*This is an excerpt from one of the recent episodes of "Do I Need a Lawyer?" hosted by: Gary Martin Hays. *
Let's go to our next question:
Hi Gary. Love your show and thanks for taking my question.
My dad was driving on the interstate and a guy driving a tractor trailer
hit the rear of my dad's car.
It spun his car around and he crashed into the median.
He spent the night in the hospital due to his injuries.
My dad asked me Do I Need A Lawyer?
I told him Ayes. What do you think?
You are correct. I would highly recommend that you have your dad contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
And I=ll talk about car wrecks involving tractor trailers in just a moment.
But let me start off by saying the men and women that are out there driving tractor trailers are extremely important to our economy.
Most are very conscientious professionals.
They are careful about how they drive their rigs.
And they make sure that the tractors they are operating and the trailers they are pulling are in the safest condition.
Unfortunately, not ALL of them perform that way ALL of the time.
Some people refer to Tractor Trailers as 40 Tons of Death on Wheels.
And for good reason . . .
As large as these trucks are, even a relatively low impact collision can often lead to serious injuries or even death.
A typical, fully loaded large commercial truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds.
So getting back to your question:
Will you dad be able to take on the tractor trailer company, the insurance company, and their lawyers by himself - especially when he is trying to recuperate from his injuries?
Claims against a trucking company can be very complex, and they have many legal issues that need to be investigated right away.
If you don't act quickly, the evidence against the truck driver or the trucking company could be lost.
Let me give you an example:
Federal law requires Truck drivers to keep a log of their hours.
This log reflects when they start their day, all stops along the way, and certifies that they have inspected their vehicles.
These logs can also be used as evidence that the driver was speeding between his last stop and where the wreck occurred,
or that he suffered from driver fatigue because of the number of hours he spent on the road.
And how long are truck drivers required to keep their driver's logs?
Federal regulations only require the truck drivers to keep these logs for six months unless an attorney takes action to secure them.
So if we are hired, we immediately send the trucking company and their insurance company a letter telling them they can't destroy the driver's logs as this is important evidence for our client's claim.
Now let me give you some other factors we investigate when taking on the trucking companies.
We look to see how well the tractor and the trailer are maintained.
Federal law requires these companies to keep their equipment in proper working order AND to keep records regarding this maintenance.
When these trucks and the trailers they pull are properly maintained, it helps prevent brake failures and tire blowouts.
Keep in mind: in order to drive these big trucks, the drivers must have a commercial
Plus these trucking companies must use strict standards when they hire these truck drivers.
They must continue to supervise the drivers too to make sure they are not operating their rigs in an unsafe manner.
Now I am a big advocate of defensive driving, so let me give you some tips to try and prevent injuries on the highway and avoid these accidents altogether.
(1) Drive with caution around trucks on the road.
Remember they cannot stop on a dime so don't pull in front of one and assume they can safely stop in time.
(2) Stay visible to the truck driver.
If you can't see the driver=s mirrors, chances are he can't see you.
(3) Pay attention to the trucks turn signals and don't travel for long periods of time next to a tractor trailer.
If you or a family member is involved in a tractor trailer wreck, the single most important piece of advice I can give you is this:
Call a lawyer. If not us, please call a lawyer that has experience handling tractor trailer claims. It is a BAD idea to try and take on the trucking company, their insurance company, and their lawyers by yourself.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a distracted driver, Just pick up the phone right now and give us a call at (770) 934-8000.
Our legal professionals are standing by right now to speak with you.
The consultation is FREE and completely confidential.
And I encourage you - if you don't call us, please call someone to help you with your claim.
You owe it to yourself - to your family - to get the help you need.
So give us a call right now. (770) 934-8000.