Previous posts on thig blog have discussed how many truckers who travel and through Delaware have to follow certain rules which require them to pull over and take a nap. This blog has also discussed the danger fatigued driving presents, particularly when the driver of a big rig or other large vehicle is too tired to operate the vehicle safely.
Unfortunately, many trucking companies ignore or at least wink at the rules and have little disregard for the dangers fatigued driving presents to other motorists. It may be simply the perception that such considerations are not important in the grand scheme of things, while others may take it a step further and deliberately put profit ahead of safety.
These sorts of attitudes are what can land a Delaware resident in the hospital for weeks or even months recovering from a serious accident, as a fatigued driver is much more likely to plow in to a smaller car, causing catastrophic damage. In the worst cases, a victim may die or be permanently disabled, unable to work and needing constant medical care.
Our law office has extensive experience in handling truck accident cases, so we know the signs of fatigued driving and what unscrupulous trucking companies might do to cover it up or get around rules meant to prevent it. We now use our experience to hold such parties fully accountable for such careless and thoughtless behavior, and we have successfully helped many of our past clients get the compensation they needed.
There is little doubt that a trucking company, particularly one with a culture that does not take driver fatigue seriously and put profit over people, is going to want to fight having to pay for their actions. Our office makes every effort to make sure they do pay up as they should.
Although there are widespread public announcements warning of the dangers of fatigued driving, many people in Wilmington, Delaware might not think of it as a big deal. After all, we all have to go to work sometimes on little or no sleep, and, generally speaking, the only result is feeling exhausted and groggy by the end of the day.
Many truck companies may even share this attitude and therefore encourage their drivers to wink at the federal hours of service rules, if they even apply to a particular trucker, and instead push drivers toward longer hauls and therefore, supposedly, greater profit.
The problem with this type of attitude is it can lead to serious truck accidents because it is hard for an overly tired driver to maintain control of his or her truck. Some of the symptoms of fatigued driving are, in fact, very similar to what one might expect in a drunk or drugged driver.
Specifically, a trucker who has been at it for too long without getting enough rest can, in the most extreme cases, literally fall asleep at the wheel, at least for a few seconds. Obviously, a driver who is not awake can and often will cause an accident. Even if a driver does manage to stay awake, he or she can, if fatigued, drift in and out of a lane and will likely not be able to respond to hazards on the road quickly. It is also harder for fatigued drivers to pay attention and keep eyes on the road.
In short, driving fatigued is more than just getting behind the wheel a little tired. Fatigued truck driving is a dangerous activity that puts the lives of others at risk, and truck drivers and their employers have an obligation to avoid this risky activity.
Last week on the blog, we discussed the regulations imposed by the federal government on trucking hours. Adherence to these rules is critical to help prevent truck accidents, as overtired truckers may fail to drive under the speed limit, maintain their lane, and yield to oncoming traffic when appropriate. Truckers who nod off behind the wheel can also fail to brake for slowed or stopped traffic, and they may blow through red lights, stop signs, and crosswalks. Tragically, these instances occur all too frequently, and many innocent individuals suffer serious injuries as a result.
As we have discussed previously, recovering in the aftermath of a truck accident can be challenging. The physical pain and suffering, the lost wages, and the medical expenses can leave a victim stressed and overwhelmed. Although they may think about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, these individuals may not know how best to go about trying to recover the full extent of their damages.
Our attorneys at Murphy & Landon PA know that truck accident victims can face significant losses, and we tailor our approach toward recovering as much compensation as we can, given the circumstances. First, of course, we work with our clients to gather and put forth the strongest evidence available in hopes of convincing a judge and jury to impose liability not only on negligent drivers, but also on negligent truck companies. Once that is achieved, we then turn our attention to portraying the full extent of harm suffered.
Our individualized approach to each and every case we handle is something that many firms say they offer, but it is a promise that very few can live up to. But, we are able to do so because we are truly invested in our clients. We understand the difficulties they are going through, and we fight for them as if we are fighting for our own health and well-being. This passion and aggression is something that sets us apart from the rest and has helped us achieve the track record that we have today. Those who want to learn more about our firm and our practice can check out our website for more information.
Many truckers are hard workers. They are often asked to drive long hours on tight deadlines, as well as help load and unload the cargo they are carrying. They also have to ensure that they are cognizant of the regulations that apply to them.
These regulations, many of which have been implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, seek to ensure the safety of truckers as well as other motorists. These regulations can pertain to cargo securement, truck maintenance, and weight limits. One of the most important regulations, though, pertains to trucker driving hours.
Known as hours of service, the limits placed on trucker drive time is aimed at reducing trucker fatigue, and, thereby preventing tired driving-related truck accidents. Generally speaking, truckers are able to drive for 11 hours after taking 10 hours off. They may not, however, drive beyond the 14th hour after they go back on duty after their 10 hour off period. Additionally, truckers are subjected to mandatory rest periods, whereby they cannot drive beyond their eighth consecutive hour since their last 10 hour off period or 30 minute break. Lastly, truckers are disallowed from driving more than 60 hours in a seven-day period, or 70 hours in an eight-day period.
Unfortunately, far too often truckers and the truck companies for which they work choose to ignore these regulations. When they do, tragic accidents can occur, leaving victims with serious injuries. Recouping from these injuries can be painful, stressful, and costly. This is why many truck accident victims choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in hopes of recovering compensation for their damages.
Those who do take legal action in the aftermath of a truck wreck may want to turn to the applicable trucking regulations. If they can show that regulations were violated, then their claim of negligence may be strengthened. To learn more about how to develop a personal injury lawsuit based on trucker negligence, accident victims should consider speaking with a qualified attorney.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Summary of Hours of Service Regulations,” accessed on April 28, 2017
A truck accident can leave a victim with significant losses. As we have previously discussed on this blog, these victims may suffer physical and emotional pain and suffering, and their injuries may result in an individual incurring a significant amount of medical debt. Additionally, many truck accident victims are so badly hurt that they are unable to work for a period of time. This means that they may lose out on much of their wages. Taken together, these damages can leave a victim and their family in a precarious financial position. Although a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent trucker may help alleviate some of these losses, the truth of the matter is that many truckers lack the resources to fully pay for the damage they have caused.
This is why it is imperative for truck accident victims to consider whether other parties can be held liable for their injuries. One of the best ways to approach one of these claims is to consider whether vicarious liability can be imposed. Under this legal theory, employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees. There are, of course, limitations. For example, an employee who is technically on the clock but performing non-work related activities at the time of the accident may be found to have been engaging in “frolic,” meaning that the employer is not liable.
By pursuing a claim against a negligent trucker and the truck company for which they work, a crash victim may be able to reach deeper pockets that are more capable of paying for the damages suffered. The result could be the recovery of compensation for the full cost of one’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other noneconomic losses.
However, suing a truck company comes with its own set of challenges. These companies often aggressively fight personal injury lawsuits, especially since many of these claims put a significant amount of money on the line. Thus, those considering suing a truck company need to know the law, how to aggressively negotiate a settlement, and, when necessary, how to persuasively present a case at trial. For many, having the assistance of a qualified legal advocate proves beneficial.
Source: FindLaw, “Vicarious Liability,” accessed on March 26, 2017
Drivers in Delaware are aware that in order to operate a motor vehicle he or she must pass specific tests and obtain a drivers’ license. With regards to truckers, the process is similar. However, truck drivers are held to a different standard than automobile drivers. Commercial truck drivers not only receive specific training, but they also must follow specific rules and regulations. Failure to follow these rules could result in penalties. Yet,, a more major concern is the fact that these negligent acts could cause a truck crash.
While the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration controls the rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry, it is not only a trucking company that could be held liable for breaking these rules. If a trucker fails to uphold his or her duty to drive safety while behind the wheel, then he or she could be held accountable in the event of a truck accident.
Being involved in a truck collision is a serious and oftentimes horrendous matter. These massive vehicles have the tendency of cause destruction and serious injuries when involved in a wreck. An injured truck crash victim is often left with physical, mental, emotional, and financial hardships. At Murphy & Landon, P.A., our experienced attorneys understand the devastation that often follows a truck accident. Thus, we are devoted to assisting victims and their loved ones navigate a legal action, helping them fight for the compensation owed to them by imposing liability on negligent individuals and companies.
Our knowledgeable and skilled legal team has the resources and experience needed to get to the bottom of an accident’s cause. We have helped past clients determine if a fatigued, distracted, or even and intoxicated trucker caused their injurious accidents, but we also assess whether truck companies have failed to maintain their vehicles or properly train their employees.
To learn more, check out our law firm’s truck accident website. Victims do not have to suffer because of another party’s negligence. It is paramount that victims take action, fight to impose liability, and seek to collect the compensation to which they are entitled.
Being involved in a truck accident is something that is on many commuter’s minds this time of year as local highways and interstates are coated with ice, snow, rain or all of the above. However, truck accidents can occur at any time of the year. This is because many accidents are caused not by weather conditions, but also by driver error or truck company negligence.
Following truck accidents, or any type of vehicle accident for that matter, it is important to determine if impairment played a role in the wreck. After all, countless preventable accidents occur every year in Delaware simply because of the negligent decision to drink and drive. Unfortunately, commercial vehicle drivers are not immune to bad choices and truck accidents are the likely results of such decisions.
When serious truck accidents take place, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) requires that certain steps are followed to ensure truck drivers are tested for drugs and alcohol. Carriers, which are regulated by the FMCSA, must employ drivers who have passed a drug screening prior to being hired as a driver. In addition, carriers often randomly drug test their drivers during their course of employment. Under certain conditions, post-accident drug test also takes place.
If a truck driver receives a moving violation within 32 hours of the incident, and the accident itself involved either bodily injury or a disabled or towed vehicle, that driver is likely to be subject to post-accident testing for drugs or alcohol. Likewise, if the driver was, at the time, performing what are known as “safety-sensitive” functions and the incident was fatal, he or she is also likely to be subjected to drug and alcohol testing.
Truck accidents are often huge calamities with costly consequences for all involved. Victims of the incident may be inclined to discuss the facts of their case with an experienced truck accident attorney, who can explain the procedures involved in obtaining recovery from a drunk truck driver.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Post-Accident Drug Testing Laws Overview,” accessed on Jan. 23, 2017
After getting involved in a catastrophic truck accident, a victim may receive a substantial settlement. This is often because survivors of tractor-trailer wrecks face extremely serious injuries. From brain damage to spinal cord injuries, to various forms of paralysis and more, the injuries suffered can prove extensive. This is especially true when considering the long-term impact truck accidents can have on Delaware victims.
There is good news for national truck accident rate though. According to a report from the Department of Transportation, the number of individuals who lost their lives in truck accidents has gone down about 20 percent over the past 10 years. Unfortunately, though, that same number actually went up last year. Interestingly, over the past several years, there has also been a rise in the number of large verdicts awarded to truck accident victims.
These verdicts can range in the tens of millions of dollars. These figures have become more frequent, since 2011, according to a media report. There have even been several prominent verdicts, where victims have received $20 million or more.
Some in Delaware might remember the 2014 truck crash that injured comedian Tracy Morgan. That incident also claimed the life of another man. That victims’ family received $10 million in a settlement.
It is never possible to put a dollar amount on the life of a human being. But, truck accident lawsuits can address the steep financial cost of an accident or a wrongful death.
According to federal law, truck companies must cover their drivers for up to $750,000 per accident. Though, truck companies do not always obey the law.
Securing a truck accident law firms’ help in the face of an accident can be a beneficial step for a victim or their family. Whether a wreck was caused by negligent truck maintenance, an inattentive truck driver or a drunk driver, an experienced attorney can help.
Source: The National Law Review, “Large verdicts in truck accident cases on rise,” Dec. 1, 2016
With the holidays right around the corner, many people are likely to take time off work to celebrate with friends and family. This means that when the New Year arrives, many in New Jersey will often want to be working more hours to pay off holiday bills or make up for lost time. Time off work can be enjoyable, but involuntary time off work can prove costly.
Holiday travel sometimes involves accidents with commercial vehicles. These truck accidents can often cause very serious injuries or death – or both. If a person is fortunate enough to survive a collision with a big rig, he or she often has to face serious obstacles in recovery. One such obstacle is physical rehabilitation, which often requires significant time away from work.
Can truck accident victims obtain compensation for time spent away from work? In a personal injury lawsuit, it is possible for the accident victim to obtain compensation for lost wages as the result of an accident. Securing an experienced truck accident attorney can help with this objective, as a skilled lawyer is typically familiar with the ins and outs of dealing with truck companies, defense tactics and the civil court system. An attorney can also investigate the accident using a variety of resources and determine who was at fault, what caused the incident, whether federal trucking regulations were violated and so on.
In today’s uncertain economy, many people want to get to work and stay there. This is also true for the surviving victims of truck accidents. Contacting an attorney can be one way to take the first step towards thorough financial recovery after a wreck.
Source: FindLaw, “Truck Accident FAQ,” accessed Nov. 26, 2016
Drivers on the road in Delaware and throughout the United States need to be cognizant of large trucks sharing the road with them. Because of the size of these vehicles, truck accidents are particularly dangerous to those in other vehicles. When there is a crash, it can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. Those who are involved in a truck accident or have lost a loved one in such an accident need to make sure that a full investigation is conducted to determine if negligence or some other mistake was involved and a legal filing for compensation is possible.
A 30-year-old Delaware man was killed in New Jersey when the rear of a tractor trailer landed on top of his Nissan. The accident occurred in the evening at approximately quarter after six. The incident happened where traffic merges near the Delaware Memorial Bridge. According to law enforcement, the location is a common spot where accidents happen. The 57-year-old truck driver was not hurt. After he was extricated from the vehicle, the driver of the Nissan was declared dead.
When there is a truck accident, there will be a great deal to think about. If there are serious injuries, it can mean the need for hospitalization, surgical procedures, rehabilitation and other treatment. The person might not be able to return to a normal life and could need help with even the simplest tasks, thereby placing a strain on the family. If there is a fatality, there will be funeral costs, the emotional and financial concerns in the aftermath and other issues that will inevitably arise. Knowing how the accident happened, whether it was because of negligent truck maintenance, recklessness, driving under the influence or for another reason, can be the key to filing a case.
In this accident, a man died when the back of a truck toppled and crashed into his vehicle. Given the circumstances of this accident, it is imperative that a full investigation be conducted to determine its cause. Speaking to a legal professional can assist in pursuing a case.
Source: NJ.com, “Police ID man killed in I-295 crash,” Bill Gallo Jr., Oct. 6, 2016