Our nation’s economy continues to grow, with more large and small businesses and global commerce at our fingertips. With the advent of technology, more commercial and delivery vehicles are on the road to meet consumer demand. So, what does that mean for you? Well, with more vehicles on the road, shorter deadlines, longer work hours, and overworked drivers, that may mean more accidents involving big rigs or other commercial vehicles on the road. If you do get into an accident with a truck or commercial vehicle, you’ll want to understand what steps to take and what laws are on your side.
First, it’s important to know what commercial vehicles are, because establishing the type of vehicle you’ve been in an accident with will determine insurance coverage and payout.
Commercial vehicles are not only trucks, but can include vehicles such as vans, buses, and smaller trucks. A commercial vehicle, according to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety Office of Motor Vehicles, is one that is used on public highways for business use, with the exclusion of vehicles used for religious purposes. Along with this clear definition are specifications on weight limit, material transportation, and how many passengers can be present in a commercial vehicle.
When an 18-wheeler is loaded to capacity, it can weigh in the tens of thousands of pounds. Due to size and weight alone, an accident can be catastrophic. It is extremely vital to pay attention to what the common causes of trucking and commercial vehicle accidents are, which include:
Other accidents occur when driving conditions are hazardous or difficult, which include:
If you’re in the unfortunate situation of being injured in a trucking or commercial vehicle accident, it’s important to hire legal representation. Lawyers are prepared to act as quickly and as thoroughly as possible to ensure their client receives what is due to them in terms of payout. But first, you’ll want to go through the following checklist to ensure you can provide all the necessary information you may need to secure a lawyer’s help:
When a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, the company that employs the driver will have lawyers and adjusters investigate the incident from their end. That is why it’s important for someone who finds themselves involved in an accident with a commercial truck to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The truth is, trucking and commercial vehicle accidents are not like regular car accidents simply because the size of the vehicle will most likely cause significant damage, and that means the coverage of a trucking or commercial vehicle will be more than that of a regular-sized sedan.
In order to avoid liability, insurance adjusters will find ways to avoid paying out large sums of money to the injured, especially because the payouts are in the millions of dollars. If for any reason the adjuster can decrease the blame of the driver and instead turn the blame on the other party, there is a chance the claim can be denied or reduced. By the same token, they may offer a significant amount of money if there is no way to deny driver fault and that in itself will deny someone their rightful claim for injury.
A personal injury lawyer, like the attorneys at Breaux Law Firm, can help you deal with insurance adjusters, determine if the driver of the truck was not following federal motor carrier safety regulations, get you the compensation you may need for injuries or property damage, and get your medical bills sorted out.