While suffering an injury because of the carelessness or wrongdoing of a non-commercial driver and an injury suffered because of the negligence of a commercial truck driver can both have devastating consequences—the similarities end there. Unfortunately, many injury law firms do not recognize and capitalize on the differences in how these cases should be prosecuted and tried, which can cost you, the injured person, significantly in the final outcome. So, what are the differences between a car crash case and a case concerning a commercial driver?

The first thing that is important to recognize is that a commercial driver is, by definition, a professional driver. Operators of commercial vehicles such as eighteen-wheelers are required to obtain specialized training and there is a separate commercial motor vehicle driver’s manual that must be mastered. Commercial drivers are often operating large vehicles on our roads with weights upwards of 80,000 lbs. Even a small hit from such a massive vehicle can transfer immense force and cause life-changing injuries.

Society, in fact, recognizes this danger and so special rules have been developed that are applicable only to commercial vehicles. On the federal level, there are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which apply to any commercial vehicle companies and drivers operating interstate.

As professional drivers, commercial vehicle drivers must abide by these regulations or rules. These rules for commercial vehicle drivers are there to help keep the motoring public safe from these large vehicles. Some examples of regulations are limitations on the hours a driver can spend driving in any given period of time. This is an incredibly important regulation as it helps to prevent fatigued large truck drivers off of our roads, yet it is one we often see being willfully ignored—with some drivers going as far as falsifying their driving logs to drive more than they should.

Because of the danger presented by these big rigs, commercial drivers are also required to get a medical exam—typically every two years. Many times, we find that medical exam certificates are expired and drivers are operating these large vehicles when they have a medical condition that affects their ability to drive safely.

Another important regulation for drivers is that they must be periodically drug tested, as well as when they are hired and when they are in wrecks meeting certain requirements. The evidence and statistics are clear that drivers are much more likely to be in wrecks when they are impaired. When that wreck involves a multi-ton truck—the resulting damage and injuries can be catastrophic and often fatal.

Maybe even more important is the responsibility that these regulations place on trucking companies to ensure that they have competent, professional, and safe drivers out on our roads. Trucking companies are required to take steps to ensure that they only hire qualified drivers and that they give those drivers the proper training so that they can operate large trucks safely.

Unfortunately, many law firms without experience in these types of cases just treat them as they would a car wreck case—focusing simply on the truck driver’s immediate action that caused the wreck such as changing lanes into another vehicle or running a red light. Such an approach fails to maximize the potential value of a trucking case and often fails to address the root problems that caused the wreck.

Trucking cases require experience and knowledge in prosecuting commercial vehicle cases—knowledge of the applicable regulations, commercial motor vehicle driver’s manual, industry standards, possible at-fault parties, and the best trucking experts. If such cases are worked up by a law firm just as they would work up a non-commercial car wreck case, you are very unlikely to get the case result that you deserve and is just. Please give us a call anytime to discuss your potential eighteen-wheeler or commercial truck case. Over the phone, we can discuss your case with you free of charge and answer any questions you have about your injury case—and you will get to talk with an actual attorney that is experienced in a car wreck and truck wreck cases.

Figueredo Law Offices, LLC. © 2024 - All Rights Reserved | Website By: EIS