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 become tired and groggy, they’ll take stimulants in an effort to continue going, as opposed to pulling over and taking a break, per the regulations.
If you’ve had a tractor-trailer injure you or a family member, you’ll need to select an attorney that understands federal regulations and has the expert witnesses who can help figure out what went wrong and why it went wrong. You’ve got to delve deep into a lot of records to figure that out. What was the real driving record? All of these trucks are now equipped with black boxes, so even if they have manipulated their log book, the black box is going to tell us the truth. Some companies use GPS systems to monitor the movement of their trucks, so you’ll want to be sure and get that data as well. It may help you prove the trucker was exceeding the safety guidelines of the federal government.
The maintenance records are the other crucial documents you need to get your hands on to determine whether or not the truck was properly maintained. Finally, the load has to be examined. Did the load shift and cause the accident? I’ve had cases where rolls of aluminum the size of a small house shifted, came off the back of the truck and went through the windshield of a young couple on the way to their wedding. It was truly a tragedy that could have been avoided if the driver had followed regulations. We were able to prove that it was, in fact, an improper load by using our knowledge of tractor-trailer regulations.
Here at The Segal Law Firm we have the experience trying tractor-trailer cases. You’ve got to know the rules and then start digging until you discover what went wrong and what exactly caused the wreck. This is what ultimately will protect your legal rights if you’ve been injured in a tractor-trailer wreck. I’m always more than willing to answer any questions about the legality of these very serious accidents and you can ask those by calling 855-344-9100.