If you’ve been in an accident involving a commercial truck, particularly involving a semi or “big rig,” you need an attorney that has experience handling these types of cases. Hiring the wrong attorney can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions of dollars. At Parker & McConkie, we have an on-call consultant who currently manages a large trucking company’s safety division and who helps us stay on top of current trucking regulations. Also, some of our attorneys have personally worked in the trucking industry and have the experience you need to get you the results you deserve.
Semi-trucks and commercial trucks weigh more than other vehicles on the road, which means they can cause a lot of damage in an accident. This means that drivers of semi-trucks have an important responsibility to drive safely because when they don’t follow the rules, they can do more damage than most cars on the road. For example, they need to ensure that all tires, brakes, lights, horns, and other functions are working properly and regularly maintained before making a trip. They also need to limit the amount of time they drive on the road to avoid fatigued driving. They are required to keep track of their time in logbooks. They also need to keep the truck and trailer reasonably clean so that reflection tape is visible at night time. These are only some of the things drivers must do to keep us safe.
rucking companies also have a responsibility to hire responsible drivers that have a good driving history. It would be wrong for a trucking company to hire a person to drive one of its trucks if that person had 3 prior DUI charges in the past 10 years. This puts all of us at risk. Consequently, trucking companies must perform sufficient background checks before they put somebody behind the wheel of one of their trucks. Drivers must also pass road tests, meet physical qualifications, drug and alcohol screening, and other state regulations.
Commercial trucks often have useful technology that helps us and experts reconstruct the accident. This can be an invaluable tool for proving that the truck driver is at fault. The truck’s “black box” stores electronic data on the truck’s acceleration and deceleration history, GPS location, airbag deployment, speeds, and other data. This information can disappear quickly, so it’s imperative that you get Parker & McConkie involved early so that we can get this information preserved for inspection.
It’s important to note that companies are responsible for their employee’s negligence. This is called “vicarious liability” or “respondeat superior” in the legal world. In other words, if the truck driver causes an accident while on the job and injures you as a result, his company or employer is responsible to compensate you. The company can also be responsible for its own negligence, whether it’s for negligent supervision, negligent hiring, or negligent entrustment. Knowing the difference to all of these claims is critical for maximizing the value of your claim.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or any commercial vehicle, we know how to help. These cases are document-intensive and require knowledge of the applicable Federal rules and regulations. Most companies also have internal policies and rules that drivers must follow. We find all of the rule violations to keep us all safer and to get you the result you deserve.
Call 801-845-0440 to get in touch with a member of our firm after your accident. We can review your case for free!