Being involved in an accident with a tractor trailer can change your life forever. Given the size and weight of the big rig, collisions that occur with smaller automobiles, motorcycles, bikes or pedestrians can have deadly consequences. Unfortunately, a Duluth truck accident lawyer often sees these horrible results up close when dealing with accident victims. York Gaskill understands the sensitive nature of tractor trailer accident cases, and we are prepared to help you and your family deal with the after-effects of such incidents.
Understanding the Difference Between Tractor Trailer Accident Cases and Automobile Accident Cases
Contrary to what many people think, all accident cases are not equal from a legal standpoint. There are many variables to a tractor trailer accident case that do not exist in accident cases involving automobiles. In fact, some would say that tractor trailer cases are more difficult and complex than auto cases for a variety of reasons.
For instance, truck companies are governed by the rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). That said, when tractor trailer drivers violate those rules, a court may deem the driver and/or truck company negligent per se, which simply means if the rule was violated, the truck company is responsible to some degree.
Also, tractor trailers use computer systems that are similar to the “black box” that’s often sought after in an airplane crash. Some trucks have satellite tracking capabilities, as well as onboard radar that can shed some light on why the accident happened. That being the case, we encourage individuals who have been hurt in a tractor trailer accident to seek legal guidance from an attorney with McGahren, Gaskill & York as soon as possible because the truck company might permit the electronics of the truck (as well as the tractor) to be destroyed if they aren’t stopped in time.
How We Can Help
York Gaskill has a thorough understanding of the regulations that govern truckers and truck companies. As noted above, the FMCSA provides rules with respect to hiring requirements and the overall hiring process, annual driver safety reviews, maintenance and inspection requirements for both tractors and trailers, alcohol and drug testing, breakdown safety and procedures, and the length of time the truck company must keep its records.
When a person is hurt in an accident involving a tractor trailer, it is important to have an attorney on your side who will carefully scrutinize each and every aspect of the collision, as well as look into possible violations of the rules. For example, a common issue that often plays a huge role in truck collisions concerns the number of hours a trucker can legally drive.
Truckers are only allowed to drive a certain number of hours each day/per week. In fact, under current law, truckers cannot drive “more than 11 cumulative hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty.” They are also not allowed to drive for any amount of time after the end of their 14th hour after returning to duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
As you can see, just the rules regarding hours can be tricky for individuals to understand, and it is not uncommon for trucking companies to “fix the books” in an effort to keep their product moving and income flowing.
Anyone who has been hurt in a truck accident or has lost a loved one in a truck crash is encouraged to call York Gaskill today. Time is of the essence and we want to help you make sure justice is served in your case.