According to the Idaho Transportation Department, in 2014, 22 fatal crashes and 539 crashes resulted in injuries due to commercial vehicles. The Idaho transportation department classifies “commercial vehicles” as trucks, buses, and tractor trailers. Smaller vehicles that carry hazardous materials are also classified as commercial vehicles in Idaho. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Boise, Idaho, you may have many questions. You may be suffering from injuries as a result of your accident and may even have to miss time at work. Due to the size of trucks, victims often suffer more serious injuries and face more long-term challenges. Truck accident personal injury claims differ from car accident claims due to increased truck regulations and due to the fact that many truck companies carry higher insurance. Here are five ways truck accident claims differ from car accident claims.
- Trucks carry more insurance. In general, most trucks carry insurance policies up to $1 million in value. This is the case because driving a truck is known to be a greater liability than driving a car. Despite the smaller number of trucks on the road relative to cars, trucks cause a significant portion of injuries and accidents. Truck companies are therefore required to carry extensive accident insurance. If you are seeking compensation for a truck accident, your semi truck accident attorney will likely work closely with the truck company’s insurer.
- Truck drivers are required to abide by hours of service laws. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, any commercial truck driver must abide by hours of service limits. These limits vary depending on the type of vehicle being operated and on the length of time the driver had to rest before a shift. Determining whether a truck driver has abided by hours of service laws can sometimes be complex. Not all drivers keep accurate logs. In some cases, your truck accident attorney will need to investigate shipping logs and records to determine whether a driver exceeded his or her hours of service limits.
- Truck companies are sometimes quick to hire lawyers to protect their bottom lines. Unlike a car accident where two private individuals are settling a claim, truck accident claims sometimes involve corporate entities with teams of lawyer fighting on their side. Truck accident victims need to make sure that they also find qualified representation.
- More entities can be held negligent in a truck accident claim. In a truck accident claim, victims can seek damages from a truck driver, the owner of the equipment being used, the company that hired the driver or leased the vehicle, the shipper, and even the truck manufacturer.
- Negligent parties may try to shift blame. Because so many entities can be held liable following an accident, victims sometimes find themselves facing layers and layers of litigation. The truck company may shift blame to the driver while the driver might shift blame to the company. A semi truck accident attorney in Boise can assist victims and ensure that those who are negligent are held responsible.
The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen in Boise and Nampa, Idaho is a truck accident attorney who can assist you if you’ve been injured in an accident. The firm offers free, initial, no obligation consultations to victims and their families.