People seeking legal advice concerning motor vehicle accidents sometimes overlook the importance of consulting with experienced truck accident attorneys when a case involves a commercial truck. Why does expertise in this field matter? What sets these kinds of legal actions apart from generic automotive cases?
In the United States, the trucking industry has played a very important role in commerce for generations. An important body of federal laws and administrative regulations arose around commercial trucks. Vehicles shipping goods in interstate commerce may travel regularly through several states. A capable truck accident lawyer possesses experience consulting these provisions. Just consider some issues frequently implicated in truck accident cases:
A number of federal agencies issue regulations governing the operation of commercial trucks. Whether or not a truck driver and/or a trucking company complied with essential safety rules often plays a role in truck accident cases. Some key regulatory agencies include:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”);
The Department of Transportation (“DOT”);
The Transport Security Administration (“TSA”);
Additionally, agencies such as the Occupational Safety And Health Administration (“OSHA”) and the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) have issued detailed rules controlling aspects of shipping and handling certain types of materials. For example, whenever a truck accident involves vehicles transporting potentially hazardous cargo, adherence to applicable safety regulations typically becomes an issue. Successful trucking companies today appreciate the vital importance of complying with safety protocols.
Typically, trucking companies obtain specialized insurance policies. This area of the law often involves considerable complexity. Both the type of truck and its cargo impact insurance issues. Additionally, some carriers seek to economize their business operations by obtaining only minimally mandated levels of coverage.
When claims exceed the minimum coverage amount and a truck transported a shipping container, for instance, litigants sometimes attempt to recover for their losses from intermodal equipment providers. Parties involved in this type of legal case may benefit by consulting with attorneys possessing familiarity with truck insurance issues.
Employment And Agency Law
When accidents occurs involving trucks, disputes sometimes arise around the issue of whether or not a negligent truck driver acted within the scope of employment, or not. These types of legal controversies run the gamut from truck drivers who become involved in roadway mishaps miles off their designated routes, to situations in which insurance companies seek to deny compensation to truck passengers.
When a truck accident injures a third party, such as an auto driver, the question of agency may prove important in terms of allocating responsibility for the damages. The complexity of this subject remains one reason why people involved in truck accidents may wish to consult with attorneys possessing expertise in this specialized field of law.
Today, the trucking industry in the United States has become “high tech”. Most modern trucking companies maintain impressive communication and logistical capabilities. A skilled truck attorney possesses the ability to request documentation to assist litigants in accident cases.
For example, trucking companies have followed the trend towards abandoning paper log books in favor of reliance upon precise, electronic records. Today, many trucking firms use sophisticated logistical programs to help maintain contact with drivers on the road, too. Documentation issues often play a significant role in establishing fact situations in accident cases involving trucks. An experienced truck lawyer can provide helpful assistance in gaining access to records.
Truck Accident Cases
For all these reasons, and more, individuals involved in truck accident cases usually find it helpful to speak with attorneys practicing in this specialized legal field. An experienced truck accident lawyer possesses familiarity with the types of evidentiary and legal issues implicated in truck accident cases.
Knowledge about the trucking industry and applicable safety regulations may prove especially helpful during litigation. For further information, contact 1-(800) 349-0000.