Regular drivers assume that the same rules of the road apply to the big rigs we share our lanes with, but this is not true for semi-truck accidents.
Motorists should know that there are different federal and state rules that apply to big rigs and transport companies have huge resources they will use to fight a tractor trailer accident lawsuit.
Motorists who have suffered injuries in a big rig wreck should consider finding an experienced attorney to help them navigate the complex laws and combat any schemes used by big rig companies to protect their legal rights.
Tractor Trailer Laws
If you have been injured in an accident with a tractor trailer, you should be aware that different rules apply to big rigs on the road. Big rig divers are subject to many rules and regulations on the job, including how long they can be driving and in what conditions. These rules vary from state to state and include federal laws that apply to all tractor trailer drivers. Some common rules include:
- Driving duration and required rest stops
- Background checks and mandatory training
- Testing for substance use
- Truck maintenance
- Accident reporting requirements
Unfortunately, following the rules can sometimes take longer and companies often encourage big rig drivers to bend or break the rules in the name of business. But the rules are for the safety of all of those on the road and motorists can hold companies and drivers accountable through a tractor trailer accident lawsuit.
However, motorists who have been in a big rig accident should be aware that transportation companies have many resources at their disposal and commonly use tricks to dodge a tractor trailer accident lawsuit.
Big Rig Company Lawsuit Tactics
Insurance companies who represent big rigs will try to get out of paying injured motorists or try to pay as little as possible. First, an adjuster representing the company will ask for a statement from the injured motorists saying that it will help the motorist get their settlement check.
Experienced personal injury lawyers warn that the adjuster will only use the motorist’s statement if it helps the big rig company and hurts the motorist’s tractor trailer accident lawsuit. Adjusters will call shortly after the accident before the motorist has hired a lawyer.
Motorists should know that they are not required to give a statement to the big rig company’s insurance adjuster and should be aware that the adjuster is not on their side.
Insurance companies will also take advantage of injured motorists by making a lowball settlement offer. While it is understandable that the offer of any compensation is tempting for someone facing medical bills and missed wages after an accident, these amounts are always much less than the motorist is due and will stop any litigation, for example, if you find you have additional unknown injuries or the big rig driver was reckless or negligent.
Unfortunately, big rig companies have also been known to destroy or alter evidence and to tell their drivers to not submit to required drug and alcohol tests after the accident. Companies have an incentive to resort to these tactics to avoid fines and bigger payouts in a tractor trailer accident lawsuit. Sometimes it takes an experienced attorney to show during a lawsuit that the big rig company destroyed or altered evidence that a driver was at fault for a tractor trailer accident.
As a last resort, big rig companies often try to delay a tractor trailer accident lawsuit. They know that the injured motorist is hurting, both physically and emotionally as well as financially. They hope that it will cause the motorist to take a low-ball settlement offer or give up all together.
For these reasons, it is important to get an experienced attorney on your side if you or a loved one have been injured in a big rig wreck.
The tractor trailer accident attorneys at McDonald Worley can help you navigate the complex laws and fight big rig company tactics to get the compensation you deserve. Call today for a FREE case review.