Tractor-Trailer Crashes: The Information Needed to Prove Your Case

The complexities of a tractor-trailer accident require much more than witnesses and word of mouth, like many of your day-to-day fender benders. These days, technology is the first place we go to start looking for answers.  At The Segal Law Firm, we are knowledgeable about what questions to ask and where to get the information we need to prove the cases of our clients. It has almost become an industry standard for trucks to be equipped with black boxes. These keep track of several different variables in the truck including mileage, speed and other important data. This data can be downloaded with the correct computer software and often provides a lot of information about what the driver was doing up to and until the time of the accident.  It may not be clear at first glance why the drive crossed the median or hit a passing car, but this black box information may be the key that can legally prove your case. Another interesting development is the fact that big companies are keeping track of their drivers with GPS systems. If you’ve ordered a package for delivery, you’re probably aware  of tracking numbers. These allow you to see if your […]

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Tractor-Trailer Crashes; Who is Responsible and How Am I Protected?

Why Does Insurance Matter? As a lawyer who has tried many tractor-trailer cases, insurance coverage is one of the very first matters I take into consideration. Right now, just to drive across state lines, a truck has to have a million dollars in insurance coverage. What many don’t understand, is the tractor often has a different owner from the trailer it is pulling, which might mean more than one insurance policy. In some instances, big companies have ten, twenty, even thirty million dollars’ worth of coverage! We recently had a case where it turned out that more than one company was involved in the financing of a particular tractor, which we call a joint venture. We were able to get our clients a substantial extra insurance policy for their loss because we proved these companies were working together. Insurance, like the rest of the regulations involving tractor-trailers, is a complex situation, but it’s one that’s very important to you and your family.  If you’ve suffered a debilitating injury, the more insurance that is available, the better off you’re going to be in the end. It’s very important that your lawyer know who to ask about insurance and where it might

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Tractor-Trailers are Highly Regulated for a Reason

Why Are Tractor-Trailers Highly Regulated? When it comes to understanding tractor-trailer regulations, it’s best to start by looking into why the federal government stepped in and created them in the first place. Why does the government have one set of rules for cars and a completely different set for tractor-trailers? Well, the simple answer is, if two cars collide, generally, they’re going to be about equal in protecting their passengers. But if you get hit by a tractor-trailer, you’re dealing with a whole different ballgame; you’re going to be seriously injured or even killed.   Lack of Sleep The federal government has looked at accidents over the years and pinpointed a main cause; fatigue.  A lack of rest is the most critical thing we find when investigating these cases. The driver has been driving too long, for too many hours, for too many days. Remember, this is not an hourly per day regulation. You’ve got to look at how many hours were driven on Monday AND Tuesday, as well as how many hours the driver slept in between. Taking it even further, how many hours were driven in the entire week? There are very specific regulations that drivers have to

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The Tractor-Trailer Lifestyle; Bending Rules Can Bring Harm

The life of an interstate truck driver can be a very difficult one. Companies are constantly putting pressure on the drivers, to get the load there, get the load there, get the load there. On top of that, you’ve got the fact that they’re away from their families, plus the stresses of the weather and road conditions. Take all of that and add the maintenance of a rig and fuel costs to the list. When you combine all of those stresses with a lot of pressure from the company to make the deliveries, you get an extremely difficult day-to-day. There are very specific federal regulations about how many hours and how many days a trucker can drive. Often in our cases, we find that drivers are bending those rules, trying to get the delivery done quicker to get their next load and make more money. They have those financial pressures on them and that sometimes results in cutting corners for more deliveries and more money. All of these stresses that come with being a driver sometimes culminate in alcoholism, drug abuse and, unfortunately, the use of stimulants. When they are trying to drive more hours than they should and they

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What type of lawyer handles a car wreck or trucking accident?

With regards to car wrecks, it depends. There are some car wrecks that are very simple. The injuries are not profound or life changing. Personal injury lawyers or trial lawyers handle these cases on a regular basis. At the Segal Law firm, we tend to focus more on serious life-altering cases where people involved in car wrecks have been killed or paralyzed, lost a limb, suffered blindness or suffered a serious head injury which results in them not being able to continue working and providing for their family. You want to have a lawyer who has not only prepared a car wreck case for settlement but has tried them in a court of law to a jury. You have to look at a lot of factors in a car wreck because sometimes there is evidence that people overlook. You may see someone who is in a rather mild car wreck but they suffer paralysis. Everyone is scratching his or her head saying, “Well, how did that happen?” But it turns out, when you look under the seat, the seat belts are sheared off. So obviously the force of that particular car wreck may not look like it was a lot

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Tractor Trailers and Traffic Laws

The result of two objects coming together, one of which is your car and the other of which is something that weighs tens of thousands of pounds, is not going to be a good result. And you don’t have to be a physicist or a scientist to understand that if a tractor-trailer hits you in your little car or your SUV or your minivan, you and your family are going to be seriously hurt or killed. There are a whole set of complicated federal regulations and you need an attorney that knows the federal regulatory system inside and out, and knows how to develop a tractor-trailer case. Federal Laws regulate how many hours they are allowed to drive so many truckers keep two sets of logbooks. One set is the driving time that they get paid for. The other logbook is the driving time they show the state troopers, or they show the federal regulators, or they show the truck stop operator. The equipment, the rig, how often it has to be inspected, how it has to be maintained – those are all things that are regulated by the federal government. Often, we will do a case and we will

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What Qualities Should You Look for in a Trucking Accident Attorney?

If you are looking for a lawyer to handle your trucking accident case, the most important consideration is to find someone with experience. A lot of people are unaware that the laws that govern the tractor-trailer industry are entirely different from those laws for automobiles. Of course, the reason for that difference is in the fact that if your little car is hit by a tractor-trailer, you don’t stand much of a chance of winning that battle and the law of averages pretty much dictates you’re going to lose. The government has very strict laws concerning how tractor-trailer drivers are trained and permitted to operate their trucks, how many hours they are allowed to drive before taking a rest, and how they must supervise their loads. When they stop, there are laws about how they check their gear, their load and their equipment; and the tractor-trailer must be maintained properly. Your lawyer needs to know these laws in order to determine the best way to represent you in your tractor-trailer accident. Determining Your Lawyer’s Experience  One of the best ways to find out how much experience a lawyer has in this area is by interview and this can be done

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Don’t Wait Two Years- Evidence Disappears

You may have two years to file a lawsuit, but trust me when I say that you don’t want to wait that long to call an attorney. The fact of the matter is- evidence disappears. The longer you wait to call, the harder and harder it gets to bring your case. It doesn’t matter what type of case it is; tractor trailer, coal mining or mesothelioma. You need to call The Segal Law Firm as soon as you’ve been in accident so that we can make sure critical evidence doesn’t disappear right out from under you. Tractor Trailer Wrecks If you’ve been in a tractor trailer accident, it’s imperative that you or a family member call us immediately after you wake up in the hospital. We’re going to want the black box from the truck, the driver’s log books, the GPS information and the home office data about where the truck was and how fast it was going. Those are all pieces of evidence that are going to disappear pretty quickly it you’re sitting around waiting for two years to give us a call. Coal Mining Accidents When it comes to coal mining accidents, we’ve got to be a part

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Tractor Trailer Wrecks: How Soon Can I Call An Attorney?

If you’ve been hurt in a tractor trailer accident, the sooner you call an attorney, the better. These types of wrecks are often extremely serious, resulting in life changing injuries and, unfortunately, many ending in death. We at The Segal Law Firm have talked to people literally the day they woke up in the hospital. Although the statute of limitations is two years in West Virginia, there is just too much precious evidence that can be lost or destroyed if you wait even a few days to call us. We need to get on your case right away to gather that evidence, investigate your case and get your family the damages that you deserve. A lot of people don’t realize the overwhelming amount of data that can be used as evidence in a tractor trailer case. There are black boxes, very similar to the ones used in airplanes, that can be recovered, which contain critical, critical information. They also have the log books of the drivers, telling us if the driver was overworked and driving more hours than regulations permit. The trucking companies now even have software back in the home office that will tell you where the truck was

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Tractor Trailer Accidents: Call Us Right Away

The process of starting a tractor trailer case is pretty simple; you’ve got to call me. A lot of times the victims of these accidents have been severely injured or, unfortunately, even killed. In these cases, it is absolutely permissible for the spouse, child or loved one to call us on behalf of the injured party. It is imperative that we get involved as soon as possible. There are crucial steps that must be taken early on to ensure that you or your loved one get the help you deserve. The first thing I’m going to do, after I feel like I fully understand your point of view, is get the police report. Even if the victim is in a coma or unconscious, I can get to work. A lot of these trucks are equipped with black boxes, much like those of an airplane. They have recovery data systems that can help us understand what the driver was doing before the wreck and what warning signs were available. I need to get that information before it is destroyed. I am also going to get my hands on the drivers’ log books, which they are required by law to keep. This

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