The legal firm of Cohen & Cohen wants to provide you with a truck accident lawyer Alexandria VA car drivers have turned to many times for help with their personal injury case. We have litigated more than 10,000 personal injury cases, resulting in the recovery of over $100 million in costs and damages for our clients.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, there are a few special regulations for trucking transportation that may affect your personal injury case, including:
Before someone can earn a commercial driver’s license they must have a valid and current regular driver’s license issued by their home state. They must also pass a written and practical test designed exclusively for truck drivers. If they intend to haul hazardous materials, they’ll have to pass further testing.
If you’ve been injured by an unlicensed or under-licensed driver, your claim may be affected. An experienced truck accident lawyer Alexandria VA motorists hire can review your case and determine which, if any, commercial licensing requirements might apply.
United States Department of Transportation Truck Regulations
A truck accident lawyer Alexandria VA relies on will likely know that federal trucking regulations can be very strict. If a driver breaks any of these rules or regulations leading up to an accident, they may be held liable for any resulting damages. In an effort to keep the roads as safe as possible, commercial truckers are subject to the following:
- Training and operational requirements
- Pre-employment alcohol and drug testing
- Fees for registration and insurance
- Truck maintenance, repairs, and regular inspections
- Hazardous materials transportation requirements and training
- Distracted driver regulations
Hours in Service
It is federally mandated that commercial truckers must limit the number of hours they can drive before resting. This was established to reduce the number of accidents caused every year by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately, it hasn’t eliminated them completely.
A good Alexandria VA truck accident lawyer may try to establish if the commercial driver had exceeded his or her maximum hours of service leading up to the accident by reviewing drivers logs and other hour-tracking data.
Use of Cell Phone While Driving
Commercial drivers are generally not permitted to use a cell phone while driving. A truck accident lawyer Alexandria VA accident victims have hired to successfully represent them may be able to check the driver’s cell phone history to determine if the driver may have been on the phone at the time of the accident. As an officer of the court, your attorney may be able to subpoena these phone records directly from the cell phone carrier.
To obtain and retain their commercial driver’s license, truckers must pass a physical exam every two years. A truck accident lawyer Alexandria VA drivers turn to can likely explain how the driver’s health may impact your particular personal injury case. If the driver suffers from any of the following, they may be prohibited from driving commercially:
- High blood pressure
- A heart condition
- Problems with vision
- Complete or partial loss of hearing
Use of Alcohol or Drugs
It is illegal for truckers to have alcohol in the truck unless it is part of their cargo. Under no circumstances are they allowed to drink alcohol or take drugs while driving. This is also true for the eight hour time period preceding the time they get behind the wheel. When an accident occurs, if the police officer on scene suspects a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may require the driver take a roadside test. If the driver fails that test, are accused, and found guilty of being under the influence, the trucker may be held liable for your injuries and damages.
The Loading of Freight
Improperly loaded freight can result in spills, leaks, or falling cargo. If an accident occurs as a result of improperly loaded freight, the loading company may be held liable as well as the trucking company and/or the trucker. If the truck is hauling hazardous waste, there are additional strict requirements that must be followed. An experienced truck accident lawyer in Alexandria VA like the attorneys at Cohen & Cohen may be able to determine if improperly loaded freight contributed to the accident.
Proper Maintenance of the Commercial Truck
For safety reasons, commercial trucks must meet high standards for regular maintenance, repairs, and professional inspections. Commercial truckers are also expected to do the following:
- Perform thorough inspections of their trucks prior to every trip including lights, brakes, steering, tires, windshield wipers, horn, reflectors, emergency gear, and coupling equipment.
- A driver’s inspection sheet should be signed by the driver as well as a representative of the trucking company.
A truck accident lawyer Alexandria VA trusts may be able to prove that the failure to complete any of the above requirements may prove liability on the part of the trucking company and driver following an accident.
Filing a Claim Against the Trucking Company
Working with a truck accident lawyer Alexandria VA automobile drivers prefer may help alleviate the stress and anxiety commonly associated with personal injury claims.
At Cohen & Cohen, our attorneys may be able to determine which parties are liable for your accident. In our experience of representing victims of trucking accidents, we’ve become familiar with complicated trucking regulations and requirements. If the commercial truck driver, the trucking company, and/or any third parties violated these rules, we may be able to help you recover damages for your personal injury.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Cohen & Cohen is proud to be a top truck accident lawyer Alexandria VA locals turn to for help.