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The Benefits of Expert Testimony in a Truck Accident Claim

Truck-Accident-Claim

To successfully litigate a personal injury claim, you need to present clear and compelling evidence that the defendant acted carelessly or negligently, causing actual losses. In a truck accident claim, that can often be a challenge, given the varied potential causes of such a crash, as well as the complex regulations governing trucking operations. As a result, it’s often essential to bring in expert witnesses to help juries understand both the cause of the accident and its consequences.

Here are the experts who are often called on in a truck accident injury claim:

  • Accident reconstruction specialists—These experts, usually engineers, customarily look at damage to vehicles, as well as evidence from the scene of the crash, so that they can identify exactly what happened. They’ll use all relevant data to recreate the accident, including skid marks, road gouges and information from the truck’s on-board data collection systems.
  • Human factors experts—One of the common causes of major truck accidents is truck driver fatigue, caused by drivers failing to take required breaks. A human factors expert will explain to a jury exactly what happens physically and mentally to a driver who does not get adequate sleep or rest.
  • Medical experts—Medical professionals will review all treatment and medical records and testify regarding both short-term and long-term injuries, as well as the care an injured person will require.
  • Economics experts—This expert will calculate the total monetary losses sustained by an injured person, both actual and projected, including lost income, unreimbursed medical expenses and property damage.
  • Mechanical expert—A mechanical expert will carefully examine the truck involved in the accident, looking to see if there are mechanical problems that should have been fixed or that directly or indirectly contributed to the accident. The mechanical expert will also confirm that the actual maintenance done to the truck conforms with what was reported in the vehicle maintenance log.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. We won’t charge any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Truck Driver Log Violations

Truck Driver Log Violations

According to statistics gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were more than 325,000 reported instances in 2015 where truck drivers had failed to log, update or provide correct information in their log books. In addition, roadside inspections led to more than 136,000 documented violations for hours-of-service regulations.

Under federal law, over-the-road truckers and trucking companies are required to maintain log books to ensure that maintenance is properly conducted and the drivers are not on the road without adequate rest. Under those rules, a truck driver may not be behind the wheel for more than 11 hours after any 10 hour period off duty. In addition, the driver cannot be on the road beyond the 14th consecutive hour after a 10-hour rest. There’s also a limit of 60 hours on the road over a given 7 consecutive day period and 70 hours over a given 8 day consecutive period.

Unfortunately, with the pressure to maximize profits, many drivers find ways to circumvent these rules, either failing to log information or, on some occasions, maintaining two sets of log books. Fortunately, for accident victims, the FMSCA has regulations that require all commercial trucks and buses to have an electronic logging dev ice (ELD) installed. The ELD logs the number of hour a driver is operating the vehicle.

In addition, most semis and big rigs have what is known as an Event Data Recorder, similar to the black boxes installed in commercial airliners. The EDR gathers a wide array of information, from the number of hours on the road to average speed, use of cruise control, seatbelt usage, whether the driver exceeded speed limits and instances of hard braking or sudden stops.

Contact Our Office Today

Don’t wait another day—evidence may be lost! Your first consultation is free of charge. Contact us by e-mail or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

We handle all truck accident injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

Feds Hope Increased Fines Reduce Truck Driver Log Violations

feds-hope-increased-fines-reduce-truck-driver-log-violationsUnder federal laws and regulations, over-the-road truckers must maintain logs that document how much time they spend behind the wheel. Federal regulations require truck drivers to take regular breaks, and limit the amount of time they can be on the road over given periods of time. Unfortunately, many truckers and their employers circumvent the regulations, with some actually maintaining bogus logs to submit to federal enforcement agencies.

In an effort to reduce the incidence of driver log violations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes fines and penalties on drivers who infringe upon the rules. In 2015, the agency made a number of changes, with the specific purpose of increasing the costs of non-compliance with “on-the-road” regulations. Here’s an overview of the changes made two years ago:

  • Recordkeeping violations—Any failure to keep records as required by the FMCSR (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations) will subject the offender to a $1,100 per day fine, up to $11,000. That’s a daily increase of $100 and a total increase of $1,000.
  • Egregious hours of service violation—A trucker found to engage in “egregious” violation of the “hours on the road” requirements can face a maximum fine of $16,000, up from $11,000.
  • Violation of 24 hour out-of-service requirement—A trucker who fails to stay off the road for the mandatory 24-hour period set forth in the regulations can be fined up to $4,125 per violation, up from $3, 750 per incident.

Contact Our Office Today

Don’t wait another day—evidence may be lost! Your first consultation is free of charge. Contact us by e-mail or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

We handle all truck accident injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

truck-accidents

If you are involved in a collision with a commercial truck, chances are your injuries will be serious. Because legislators and other government officials understand the risks associated with truck accidents, truckers and trucking companies face substantial regulation, most of it designed to protect other motorists. Nonetheless, nearly 4,000 people died on America’s roadways in 2015 as a result of commercial truck crashes, and less than one in five of the people who died were truck drivers. Here are the most common causes of truck accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Drivers are typically paid according to the number of miles they are on the road—the more miles, the more money they make, so there’s an incentive to drive long hours without a break. Accordingly, state and federal regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can consecutively be on the road, as well as the number of hours over a specific number of days. Drivers are supposed to keep logs, but many falsify those reports or fail to report the total number of hours on the road.

Driving Under the Influence

Though some drivers will drink and get behind the wheel of a big rig, it’s more common for drivers to take amphetamines or other drugs to help keep them awake and alert on the road. These drugs can often impair their judgment, leading to accidents.

Failure to Maintain a Commercial Truck

Drivers are also supposed to maintain accurate maintenance logs, but time spent maintaining an 18-wheeler is time spent off the road. Maintenance logs can also be fabricated.

Driver Error

Many accidents are caused when drivers are unfamiliar with the road on which they are traveling, either traveling at too high a rate of speed, failing to obey traffic signals, or making inappropriate lane changes.

Contact Our Office Today

Don’t wait another day—evidence may be lost! Your first consultation is free of charge. Contact us by e-mail or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

We handle all construction site injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

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