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What Do I Do If A Tractor Trailer Hit Me?

When you look at the difference in the sizes between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles you can see how a collision can cause some serious damage to the passenger vehicle. While commercial trucks are often responsible, the tractor trailer driver is not automatically at fault for the accident. Usually the court and the insurance company will look at the entire circumstances before determining who is at fault.

How Is Fault Determined In A Tractor Trailer Accident


When a tractor trailer is involved in a serious accident there are common issues that could result in the driver being at fault, such as:

● Asleep being the wheel
● Driving under the influence
● Driver failed to check blind spots
● Driver did not use mirrors to look out for cars
● Driver was inexperienced.
● Improper training

In any of these cases, the driver will be liable for the damages caused by the accident.

The Accident May Not Be The Driver’s Fault


One of the largest contributors towards tractor trailer accidents is equipment failure. The driver are responsible for checking their vehicles and making sure everything is in working order. Trucks that are overloaded, cargo loaded improperly, faulty tires and other issues can cause serious issues if the tractor trailer has a blow out or the vehicle jackknifes. These issues would make the tractor trailer driver at fault for the accident. Just like any other driver on the road truck drivers have a “duty” to follow all traffic laws. But they also have rules by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) a federal agency within the Department of Transportation (DOT). They determine driver hours, weight limits, equipment regulations and other tractor trailer issues. If any of these regulations are violated the truck is at fault for an accident.

Who Is Responsible For Tractor Trailer Accident Lawsuits?


By law tractor trailer drivers have a “duty of care” as any other driver on the road. This means they are obligated to follow all traffic rules and look out for the safety of others. This duty of care includes:

● Be alert to other drivers
● Obey all traffic laws
● Use all means possible to avoid an accident

Tractor trailer drivers also have a duty of care from state and federal regulations.
Besides the driver there are other avenues to pursue. Many trucking companies have also been responsible for violating rules and regulations. Many will make truckers work overtime and will falsify their log books. They may overload the truck or fail to maintain their equipment. So in addition to the driver, your attorney can also determine who else may be liable, such as:

● The owner of the truck.
● The driver’s employer.
● The business responsible for the cargo.
● If detective parts are determined to be involved, the manufacturer of the parts.
● Any third party maintenance party.
● Parent company of the trucking firm.

Beyond the number of parties, the negligent parties may be out of state. This makes filing a claim even more complicated. Therefore, it is crucial that you work with an experienced accident attorney that specializes in trucking accidents.

Violating Trucking Regulations That Prove Negligence


One of the first things that your personal injury attorney will do is to see if the driver or company abused any trucking regulations. A violation of state or federal regulations will pretty much guarantee your case. There are two federal regulations that are commonly violated. They are:

Violating CDL Regulations:


All tractor trailer drivers must have a current commercial driver’s license (CDL). To qualify for a CDL, the tractor trailer driver must pass a series of tests strictly for commercial driving. There are also different levels of CDL, to drive different sized trucks. The larger the tractor trailer the more difficult the test. The driver must also pass a drug test, and a physical examination. Only then will they be issued a license. Depending on the state it will have to be renewed every five years. So, for example if the drivers CDL has expired or he is driving a tractor trailer that that he is not licensed to drive, he is negligent.

Violating Log Book Regulations:


Every tractor trailer driver must keep a log book. In it the must input the following:

• Hours they worked every day
• Hours they rested every day
• Date the load was picked up
• The tractor trailers weight before and after loading the cargo.
• The tractor trailers destination
• Delivery date.

In addition to all this information needed to start a claim, there is the added issues of the driver CDL is in one state, the tractor trailer is registered in a different state and the trucking company is located in yet another state. This is why it is vital that you obtain the services of a personal injury attorney that is well versed in tractor trailer accidents.

With over 30 years of experience in the Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Port Charlotte we have a reputation of getting our clients the compensation they deserve. Call us today at 1-941-625-HURT to learn more about how the attorneys at All Injuries Law Firm will protect your rights.