In addition the number of people or companies liable for a tractor-trailer wreck being higher than the average car wreck, the investigation into the accident and evidence to support a claim is entirely different.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hundreds of regulations or laws that govern the operation of tractor-trailers that aren’t required of your average driver. There are regulations not only on who can drive a commercial vehicle, but what a company should investigate before hiring a driver. There are regulations that apply to how often the tractor and trailer are inspected, how many hours a driver can be on the road or on-duty, the amount of rest a driver needs, and even what a company and the driver must do after a wreck.
Experience handling trucking litigation is important. When you are in a car wreck, the insurance company may call you to investigate the wreck a few days later. When you are in a wreck with a tractor-trailer, the insurance company often has investigators – and even lawyers – on the scene of the wreck or building a case against you within a matter of hours. It is important that you contact an experience trucking lawyer as soon as possible to help preserve evidence and begin working on your claim. Trucking litigation requires an inspection of the following types of evidence:
- A physical inspection of the tractor and trailer
- Bills of Lading
- Weight tickets
- Dispatch instructions
- Maintenance records
- Hours of Service records
- A driver’s training and qualification file maintained by his/her employer
- An electronic inspection of the technology on-board the tractor, trailer, and in the cab
- Drug and Alcohol testing and screening
Not only can there be a lot at stake for a victim, but the stakes are higher for a trucking company and its insurance company, as well. For example, the minimum level of insurance a private citizen in South Carolina is required to purchase provides for $25,000 in bodily injury per person or $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per occurrence. On the other hand, a motor carrier is required to have, at least, $750,000 in bodily injury coverage. If you include the insurance limits on all liable parties, that total coverage can be upwards for several million dollars. These differences in insurance coverages emphasizes why it is important to have an knowledgeable and experienced attorney assisting you on these claims. An insurance company and their team of lawyers are going to fight you tooth-and-nail to limit your claim.
The experienced attorneys at Hatfield Temple understand the complexities involved in trucking litigation and are committed to making sure that the victims are fairly compensated and all of the liable parties are held accountable. Our country is dependent upon the use of large commercial trucks. While there are plenty of safe drivers and motor carriers, we must hold the unsafe drivers and motor carriers accountable when their negligence causes catastrophic or fatal injuries – not only to help compensate the victims but to hopefully reduce the number of victims in the future.
Contact an experience truck accident lawyer today
Experience handling trucking litigation is important. The attorneys at Hatfield Temple have experience handling complex injury cases and trucking litigation. We are committed to helping victims pursue the compensation they deserve, not just for past damages but with an eye to the future impact a wreck may have on a victim.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a wreck with a tractor-trailer, call (843) 662-5000 or schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options. Our attorneys will meet you at on of our office locations, at your home, or in the hospital, wherever it is more convenient. We represent clients throughout South Carolina in trucking litigation claims on a contingency basis, which means we won’t charge you any up front costs or fees unless we help your recover.