The shipping industry has taken a hit like many companies during these economic hard times. This economic struggle has resulted in many lay-offs, which in turn creates more work for those truck drivers still employed. This increase in work is creating a huge safety concern in the trucking industry. Since large companies generally pay truck drivers by the mile or hours they drive, many drivers think nothing of driving longer, faster and further. Driving an 80,000 pound vehicle is nothing to take lightly.
The legal workload for a trucker is a recipe for fatigue and disaster. According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation :
A long-distance driver may drive for 11 hours and work for up to 14 hours—including driving and non-driving duties—after having 10 hours off-duty. A driver may not drive after having worked for 60 hours in the past 7 days or 70 hours in the past 8 days unless they have taken at least 34 consecutive hours off.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in 2006, 4,995 people were killed nationwide and 106,000 injured in crashes involving large trucks. In Texas, nearly 500 people are killed yearly in wrecks involving large trucks. The trucking company owners are fully aware of the bad results of the mismanagement of these 40 ton monsters.
These results are preventable and tragic. If you are a trucking accident victim, your situation requires immediate legal representation so that justice may serve to compensate you properly as well as generate improved future laws governing the safety of our roads.
The Law Concerning Truck Accidents
The cause of action is usually one based in negligence, and the statute of limitations for suing someone in Texas for an accident is two years.
It is crucial to find a good lawyer who is experienced in managing this type of litigation and who understands trucking safety regulations. Finding someone who knows how to handle insurance companies and their lawyers, and what to address medically and legally will not only protect you from losing financially, but it may protect you from long-term or latent health problems.
Money Damages from Truck Accidents
Financial recovery can include vehicular/personal property damage and present and future medical bills. Other potential areas of compensation, depending on the facts of the situation, are mental pain and suffering damages, lost past and future wages, permanent impairment/disfigurement, punitive damages, wrongful death damages and loss of enjoyment of life.
Whether or not you have the right lawyer on your side can make or break your financial and medical status after a wreck.