Trucking companies and truck drivers are subject to complicated federal and state laws and regulations. An experienced Clayton County truck accident attorney can evaluate how the laws apply to a victim's case. The Law Office of Shane Smith can help preserve essential evidence and help victims receive compensation from the truck driver, the trucking company and/or their insurance carriers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies and truck drivers to have regular inspections and maintenance performed on their vehicles. Some accidents may lead to joint liability for both the truck driver and the trucking company. The trucking company may be held jointly liable when the accident was caused by a truck driver's negligence if it can be shown that the company negligently hired the driver. This may happen under such circumstances as:
- The truck driver did not possess a commercial driver's license;
- The truck driver was not adequately trained to drive the specific type of truck involved in the accident;
- The driver did not take mandated rest period and was encouraged to do this by the trucking company;
- The trucking company knew that the driver had failed drug tests and allowed him to drive;
- The driver lacked experience driving the cargo's weight or danger classification.
Frequently, evidence contained in Event Data Recorders (EDRs) can be compared to driver-supplied logs to verify key information following an accident. Though FMCSA regulations require truck drivers to maintain documentation showing specific driving and resting times, truck "black boxes" can prove that drivers have falsified information.
Trucking companies are only required to keep specific records about cabs, trailers and drivers for limited amounts of time. An attorney can put a trucking company on notice that it must preserve evidence related to the accident because an accident victim has a claim against the company. The accident-related evidence may subsequently be requested by the victim's attorney.
Preserved evidence may be used to prove that a trucking company or the truck driver in the accident did not follow federal mandates about resting times. Paperwork may indicate that a trucking company neglected warning signs about hazardous cab or trailer conditions.
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a truck accident, meet with a Clayton County truck accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith. Call 770-HURT-999 for a free consultation.