Injured by an 18 Wheeler? 18 Wheeler Victims Frequently Ask These Questions
Drivers of heavy trucks such as 18 wheelers usually have to follow special federal regulations called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can work in day and in a week. Also, these regulations require truck drivers to keep current log books of their hours worked. These regulations are intended in part to prevent truck drivers from becoming fatigued and causing a bad wreck.
Federal regulations also require most trucking companies to carry at least $750,000 in insurance coverage for a tractor-trailer. If the trailer contains hazardous materials then federal regulations require at least $5,000,000 in insurance coverage.
Consulting an 18-wheeler wreck attorney as soon as possible after a wreck is critical to preserve evidence. 18-wheelers usually are equipped with a black box (somewhat similar to an airplane) that records information about speed, braking, acceleration, etc. This information can be critical to proving the truck driver was speeding. The black box information can also prove the truck driver falsified his federally required log books. If too much time has passed between the date of the wreck and the date of the request for the black box data, the information about your wreck could be erased.
Consulting an 18-wheeler wreck attorney as soon as possible is also critical to ensuring the trucking company and truck driver preserve all log books, vehicle inspection reports, fuel receipts, toll tickets, on board computer data, etc. This information can be crucial to proving the at fault truck driver was fatigued. Contacting an semi-truck wreck attorney at Rome, Arata & Baxley as soon as possible can help preserve this information.
If you were involved in an 18-wheeler accident, take these initial steps:
1. Seek medical attention right away. Report all injured body parts to the doctor.
2. Call the police. The police will obtain information from all parties involved in the accident.
3. Find out the following information from the truck driver:
c) phone numbers;
d) insurance information (name of company and phone number of insurance agent)
e) trucking company name;
f) license plate number;
g) DOT Number for the tractor; and
h) make and color of the 18-wheeler, if possible.
4. Take pictures of your vehicle and the 18-wheeler that caused the wreck before leaving the scene if possible. If you can’t do this then ask someone to do it for you. If you can’t do this make sure you get pictures of the damage before the vehicles are repaired.
5. Call your insurance company as soon as possible.
6. Do not talk to the 18-wheeler or truck driver’s insurance companies or sign anything.
7. Do not talk to the 18-wheeler or truck driver’s claims adjusters or attorneys.
8. If the truck driver appears to be drunk you may want to take video with your phone.
9. Get witnesses’ names, address and phone numbers.
10. Again, seek medical attention right away.
11. Contact an 18-wheeler wreck attorney at Rome, Arata & Baxley for a free consultation as soon as possible.
In an 18-wheeler wreck there may be many parties that may be liable for the accident. The liable parties can include the truck driver, the trucking company, the tractor and trailer owner, manufacturers, the loading company, and/or the trucking agency. The 18-wheeler wreck attorneys at Rome, Arata & Baxley can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and pain and suffering. Please contact our office today.
Truck driver negligence in an 18-wheeler wreck many include:
Failure to maintain a proper look-out;
Failure to maintain proper control of his truck;
Failure to timely apply the brakes of his vehicle to avoid causing the crash;
Failure to stop, decrease speed, or avoid the collision;
Failure to yield;
Violation of state and federal laws;
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
Compensation may include:
Lost future earnings
Pain and suffering
Physical impairment and disfigurement
Loss of care
Loss of economic contributions
The 18-wheeler wreck attorneys at Rome, Arata & Baxley work on a contingency fee basis meaning you pay nothing unless we recover money on your behalf.