You may have heard the phrase “big rigs don’t own a road,” but the truth is in many respects they do own the road. If a big rig or 18-wheeler cuts you off by moving into your lane in front of you without proper clearance, you as a motorist have little choice but to steer off the road to avoid a catastrophic collision. If this happens and the roadside has obstructions, or there is a drop off or other hazard, it can lead to a serious accident.
Many incidents such as this occur because the truck driver is impaired by drugs, alcohol, fatigue, or all of these. Truck drivers typically drive long distances and may be paid based on the miles they cover. In order to cover more miles, get home sooner, or for whatever reason, many resort to amphetamines or other drugs to keep them awake longer than they normally would be able to sustain. Unfortunately, this drug-induced lack of sleep has a side effect of slowing the driver’s response time and generally lowering his level of awareness. This is where serious mistakes are made.
Federal law limits the number of hours a driver can stay on the road, and requires truck drivers to keep accurate logs regarding the number of hours they drive, along with rest periods. Unfortunately, not all drivers are honest. Falsification of driver logs can occur.
If you are injured in an 18-wheeler accident through the fault of a truck driver, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. 18-wheeler accident investigations are very different from that of the typical automobile accident, in that there are various sources of data which must be collected as soon as possible after the incident in order to prevent the trucking company or its insurance carrier from disposing of evidence. We are committed at this firm to deploying the necessary resources as soon as possible after the client contacts us in order to preserve all evidence available, including obtaining a court order to prevent the trucking company from destroying or losing critical evidence. More than half the battle is obtaining the critical evidence, and once that is done, often the insurance carrier for the trucking company will settle the case for a fair amount. On the other hand, if critical evidence is lost or destroyed, this may give the insurance carrier an incentive to “roll the dice” and take the case all the way to trial, which in turn generates even greater uncertainty for the victim.
If you or a loved one is injured through the fault of a truck driver in an 18-wheeler accident, call me as soon as possible for a free, no-obligation consultation. If your claim has merit, I will do what it takes to ensure that you receive a full and fair settlement.