Due to the mass of trucks, trucking accidents are much more likely to cause significant damage (and possible injuries) than normal car accidents. This isn’t to say that a normal car accident doesn’t represent mental or physical damage; the damages can significantly increase when a truck is involved.
The danger involved isn’t the only difference, but nearly everything about trucking accidents is different from normal car accidents. This includes regulations, definitions and even procedures directly after the accident. There are also major differences in compensations; since trucking companies are responsible for their employees (and their employees’ behavior) compensation tends to be larger for lawsuits involving these incidents.
Of course, there are other ways a trucking accident differs from normal car accidents, which is why if you have been involved in a trucking accident in Atlanta, you need to contact an experienced attorney that specializes in these accidents. Consider the following ways in which trucking accidents differ from regular car accidents:
Laws that govern trucking accidents are different
Interstate trucking is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which specifies several terms related to trucking companies, such as what a trucking company employee is and the things drivers can and cannot eat or drink while operating a truck. More importantly, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations also specify what a vehicle in “good working order” is and definitions related to the safe operation of a truck in adverse conditions such as snow, ice, sleet, fog, rain or even smoke. These are just examples of things the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define, and these definitions can play a huge part in your case.
The speed at which trucking companies respond
When you get into an accident with a person, they deal with the same amount of trauma as you are, and often take a long time to begin thinking straight and call an attorney or qualified insurance professional -and by the time they get to the scene or inspect the vehicle, hours have gone by.
Unlike a private individual, trucking companies have no emotional attachment and are mainly concerned about protecting themselves from lawsuit. When a trucking company is informed of an accident, they spring into action and send a rapid response team directly to the scene. Often, this team can get there before the scene has even been cleared. This means that the trucking company has an insurance representative searching for evidence in their favor at the scene of an accident.
Evidence can be “lost” by claims adjusters at the scene
Insurance companies adjusters have been known to “lose” evidence at the scene of an accident if it incriminates their company. Such evidence includes things like loud radios, food or other items that may have distracted their truck driver (which can be used to prove fault in a lawsuit). Once lost, it may be impossible to prove that the truck driver was engaging in a dangerous behavior that caused the accident-meaning that you may not get the compensation you deserve (if it doesn’t prevent you from getting any compensation at all).
Evidence that can be “lost” by the company
Trucking companies often use a large amount of technology, such as satellite systems and on-board computers in order to track the location and speed of their trucks. As you can imagine, this generates a massive amount of data and is usually handled by an outside data storage company. Most of these companies only keep this data for 14 to 30 days, and Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations only specify that trucking companies need to keep these records for 6 months (and they are typically deleted promptly after this time). After this data is deleted, it can be difficult or impossible to retrieve. Data can also be easily altered by trucking companies during this time-and it is difficult, if not impossible, to prove it in court. This can cost you thousands and may even delay or stop you from getting a settlement at all.
Trucking companies employ professionals whose job it is to prey on you
Trucking companies employ lawyers and other professionals whose job it is to ensure that you get as little money as possible. They begin by confronting you while you are still in shock over the accident. Often, this occurs while the victim is still in the hospital and the victims family is still reeling from the incident (or in mourning). They approach you making promises to take care of your family and often offer a small settlement that they claim is fair-something that is difficult to judge under the best circumstances, not to mention when you are already upset. This can result in you getting much less money than you are entitled to.
In order to avoid that you suffer any of these situations, contact us to give you the best advice so you can obtain the right compensation.