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Truck Accidents

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Get into a Wreck with a Commercial Truck?

By October 11, 2022April 4th, 2024No Comments

Unless you have years of experience litigating personal injury claims against commercial trucking companies, negotiating with large insurance companies and investigating commercial trucking operations … you will probably need an attorney to obtain just compensation following an accident with a commercial truck.

Our team of trucking accident attorneys at the Gilbert Law Firm of Spokane, Washington is here to help you pursue a claim against a commercial trucking enterprise.

A Strong Advocate in a Trucking Accident Case

Without an attorney, you are likely to be approached by the other side’s insurers who will try to buy you off with a ridiculously low initial offer. 

They may try to convince you that this is the best offer you will get and provide you with a very limited amount of time to accept it. In exchange for this paltry buyoff, you will need to sign away your right to sue the commercial trucking company.

A competent personal injury attorney will understand these strongarm tactics and respond appropriately so as to obtain the maximum settlement or pursue legal action. 

Once the opposing party and their insurers realize that you have legal counsel, they may adopt a more sober and respectful tone. In theory, they will stop trying to hoodwink you and begin to negotiate with you in more good faith.

The Importance of Prompt Action in a Washington Truck Accident Case

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) strictly regulates how much a commercial truck driver can drive in any 24-hour or 7-day period. In order to prevent violations, commercial trucks must have a “black box” that records all travel. 

Under federal law, the trucking company must retain these travel records for 6 months, after which they can discard them legally. Unless you have a knowledgeable attorney who requests those records within that 6-month period, you could lose valuable evidence that you need to prove your case.

Not only could those travel records show that the commercial truck driver had exceeded the allotted number of driving hours and was fatigued at the time of the accident, but they could also show that the driver was speeding in order to meet a drop-off deadline.

Veteran Investigators

In addition to pulling black box data, your personal injury attorney should also investigate if the employer had adequately vetted and trained the driver. In order to drive a commercial truck, the driver must possess a commercial driver’s license which must be up to date. 

Employers must also thoroughly investigate their driving record and disqualify candidates with instances of drug or alcohol abuse, as well as serious driving violations like fatal collisions.

Furthermore, the truck company must monitor their drivers to ensure that they comply with all of the pertinent federal and state regulations. This includes preventing drivers from operating a commercial truck for more than 10 hours in a row or more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period. 

A competent personal injury attorney should immediately research these records to ensure that the employer wasn’t negligent in its hiring practices, training or employee monitoring. Vehicle maintenance records should also be examined to determine if mechanical problems like worn tires or faulty brake systems were overlooked.

Contact the Gilbert Law Firm Today

Our legal team at the Gilbert Law Firm understand how terrifying and devastating a commercial truck accident can be. That is why they will work closely with you to ensure that you get the compensation you need to pay off your medical bills and mounting household expenses. Contact the Gilbert Law Firm today for a consultation.

Disclaimer: The blog published by the Gilbert Law Firm marketing team for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. Readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.

Lawyers who listen.

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