If you were injured in an accident involving a large truck, there are many pathways to compensation. There are hundreds of state and federal regulations that truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow. However, in many cases, these trucking companies systematically violate these rules in ways that call into question the safety of their drivers and operations. Trucking companies do not readily admit these errors, and it may take significant investigation to uncover these violations and hold them responsible for the crash.
After facing injury in a trucking accident, do not accept a settlement for your injuries without talking to a Miami truck accident investigations lawyer. Miami truck accident lawyer Prosper Shaked can stand up to trucking companies, demand records and evidence, and build your case through rigorous investigation and zealous advocacy. For a free consultation on how Prosper Shaked can represent you in your case against trucking companies, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.
Truck Accident Causes
In many cases, the direct cause of a truck accident is not hard to discover. Truck drivers, like other drivers, must answer to police if they are involved in an accident involving personal injury or death. That means that things like speeding, drunk driving, drugged driving, tired driving, and other serious traffic violations are often uncovered at the scene or soon after. However, deeper causes of the accident may not be discovered so easily.
If the trucking company denies liability for the crash or places the full blame on their driver, you may need to investigate to uncover ways to hold the trucking company liable. There are multiple tools and records that help victims of car accidents, as well as police and federal officials, uncover systematic trucking regulation violations.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to keep a log of their hours. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) writes regulations called “Hours of Service” rules, which limit how long a driver can spend on the road. These rules limit the driver to no more than:
- 11 hours on the road without 10 hours off duty,
- 14 hours on-duty in one workday (including breaks),
- 8 hours on the road without a half-hour break,
- 60 hours on-duty in a 7-day workweek (or 70 hours in an 8-day workweek).
Many trucking companies will force their drivers to violate these rules so that the company can ship more freight and make more money. Some cases have even seen trucking companies withholding paychecks until their drivers submit falsified or altered records.
Trucks often contain trip recorders similar to the “black boxes” in airplanes. They may also contain speed limiting or GPS devices to help keep drivers at safe speeds. If any of these devices were disabled during the trip or demonstrate that the driver or trucking company violated regulations, these records could be obtained as part of a lawsuit. For instance, if the trip recorded shows the engine was running for longer than the driver’s log admits, the trucking company may have tampered with logs to hide the fact that it overworks its drivers. Similarly, a driver’s phone data, pay stubs, or testimony could also uncover systematic issues within the trucking company.
Damages for a Truck Accident Case
When you are injured in a truck accident, the trucking company or their insurance company may try to get you to settle for a low amount. These parties do not represent you and do not have your interests in mind, so when they offer you what they claim to be a fair settlement, it may not fully cover your needs. Talk to an attorney about your case before accepting any money or signing any documents to help protect your claim.
While you may be able to prove the driver was at-fault and collect damages against them, you may be missing substantial damages if you do not pursue a case against the trucking company as well. The trucking company could be held personally liable for issues like the negligent hiring of a dangerous driver or its attempts to violate trucking regulations. In addition, the trucking company could be made to pay any damages for its driver’s negligence. In many cases, a truck driver is not particularly wealthy and may not be able to afford the payments you need – but the trucking company often can.
Lastly, taking your case to court could open the door to additional damages. Insurance usually does not pay for pain and suffering damages, but in a lawsuit, you can recover these damages in addition to medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, the court may look at the results of your attorney’s investigations and decide that the trucking company should be punished for its willful disregard of trucking regulations and the safety of other drivers. This could lead to you receiving additional damages, called “punitive damages.” Though these damages are rare, judges have the power to order them against especially negligent or dangerous parties for the benefit of the victim.
Our Miami Truck Accident Lawyer Can Investigate Your Case and Uncover Damages
Do not settle your case for whatever the insurance company or trucking company says it is worth. Talk to an attorney to understand what kinds of damages you might be able to uncover through a thorough investigation of the trucking company and their driver. For a free consultation on your case, contact Miami truck accident investigations lawyer Prosper Shaked today. Your case may be subject to strict filing deadlines, so call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676 to set up your free consultation today.