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3 Things You Must Know if You Are Involved in an 18-Wheeler Accident

Damaged White Trailer Truck

What do you do in you are in a Tractor Trailer Accident?

Automobile accidents can lead to serious injury, legal expenses, and insurance costs. However, not all collision cases are handled the same way. Crashes involving an 18-wheeler often involve negligence on the part of the truck driver or the trucking company. Drivers of commercial motor vehicles including 18-wheelers are held to strict laws governing their maintenance, repair, and operation.

As such, these cases are treated very differently from those involving non-commercial vehicles. Even if the insurance companies deny you compensation, you may still have a valid claim depending on the condition of the opposing vehicle. An attorney experienced in supporting Arkansas 18-wheeler accident cases can get to the bottom of your case and secure rightful compensation. Many people involved in 18-wheeler accidents aren’t aware of the unique laws that can win your case. Here’s what you need to know:

1. THERE ARE STRICT LAWS GOVERNING TRUCK DRIVER BEHAVIOR.

New federal commercial motor vehicle laws restrict the number of consecutive hours truck drivers can operate an 18-wheeler. There are also strict limitations on food and beverage consumption, cargo, and other operating procedures in order to prevent severe accidents on the highway.

Including cargo, 18-wheelers can easily reach weights of 30 tons or more. The force of such an object colliding with a car one-tenth of its mass can produce deadly results. A specialized Arkansas 18-wheeler accident attorney can verify whether the trucking company was compliant with the various laws and hold them accountable in the event of an accident.

2. MOST COMMERCIAL 18-WHEELERS HAVE A BLACK BOX RECORDING DEVICE.

Black boxes and GPS devices automatically activate in response to sudden changes in vehicle movement, such as rapid acceleration or sudden braking. Once activated, these gadgets automatically record crucial information about the truck, including:

  • Engine speed
  • Vehicle location
  • If and when application of the brake occurred

This data can help an accident attorney piece together the accident and prove your claim against a negligent 18-wheeler driver.

3. TRUCK DRIVERS MUST PROVIDE SUFFICIENT VEHICLE DOCUMENTATION.

Federal motor carrier laws require truck drivers to have their 18-wheelers regularly inspected and retain this documentation. In Arkansas, 18-wheeler accident cases require the truck driver to provide recent inspection reports detailing the vehicle’s condition before and after the trip. Drivers must also retain copies of work and repair orders to verify the truck’s compliance with road safety standards. A qualified accident attorney can subpoena such documents to prove your Personal Injury case.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or death due to truck driver negligence, you need to take action. Don’t wait to have your case evaluated. Federal regulations require drivers to retain vehicle inspection documentation only for a set period. After the expiration date, the trucking company can discard the documents, and you may no longer have a valid claim against them.

Contact the experienced Arkansas 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Caddell Reynolds or call (800) 889-6944 to start the investigation for your case and get the compensation you deserve.

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