Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney: What You Need to Know

Attorney Tad Thomas | 888-981-0031 | Free Consult

“Pushing drivers to go beyond their maximum allowable hours, pushing them to go beyond the speed limit in order to make runs, that is profit for those companies.”

How are commercial vehicle accidents different compared to normal car accidents?

Tad Thomas is an attorney with Thomas Law Offices based in Louisville, Kentucky. He opened the firm in 2011 and can assist clients in Louisville, Kentucky; Chicago, Illinois; and Cincinnati, Ohio. In this interview, he explains what to do after a commercial vehicle collision, and why you need an attorney who is familiar with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-981-0031 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Key Takeaways From Tad Thomas:

Cases involving commercial motor vehicles have different state and federal requirements that don’t apply to standard passenger vehicles. Attorneys who handle these cases need to be familiar with the specific regulations set forth by the FMCSA governing commercial vehicles.

Most cases involving commercial motor vehicle accidents involve direct violation of federal safety regulations.

Common examples of FMCSA violations include hours of service violations, failure to maintain the vehicle, excessive speed violations, and failure to account for hazardous conditions. Any one violation of FMCSA safety regulations can result in catastrophic and tragic accidents, and unfortunately, there are often multiple violations involved in an 18 wheeler accident.

The Federal Coercion Rule exists to enable drivers to anonymously report company violations.

In 2016, the Federal Coercion Rule was instituted to provide drivers with a safe way to report the misconduct of a trucking company without fearing retaliation. If a driver’s company violates federal regulations, the driver can report that violation within 90 days to have a federal regulator investigate the company’s violations and cite the violator.

Pushing drivers to go beyond maximum allowable hours and speed limits increases profits.

Many trucking companies push their drivers to stay on the road past their allowable hours, often foregoing the mandatory rest breaks detailed in the federal regulations. Additionally, use of excessive speed is a common factor in trucking accidents, especially in hazardous conditions. The general rule of thumb for profit in the trucking industry is that the company and driver are only making money when the truck is on the road, and making deliveries as quickly as possible allows them to move more products. This push for profit is the primary factor behind FMCSA violations.

Falsified driving logs can make proving the violation a challenge.

Computerized driving logs are intended to prevent falsification of information, such as the time a driver left their location and when they arrived at their destination, but some drivers have found a way around this. This is one reason it’s a good idea to contact a commercial vehicle accident attorney in these situations. An experienced truck accident attorney will know what evidence is available and how to sift through the misinformation to get to the root cause of an accident.

Large trucking companies have their own legal and insurance teams who will go to the scene immediately after an accident.

This provides trucking companies an advantage over the victims and families of victims involved in these collisions. It can be days or even weeks before an attorney is contacted on behalf of the victim; during that time the trucking company’s legal team will have already been building a case to protect the trucking company and driver from liability. This can result in important evidence being hidden, destroyed, or naturally dispersed. This is why it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident with a big rig.

The majority of attorneys who handle these cases work on contingency.

This means your attorney will only be paid if they are able to win your case, not a moment before. Additionally, the attorney’s firm will likely advance the expenses of the case such as the cost of investigative experts, filing fees, and more. This allows victims of these accidents to focus on healing and recovering while an experienced attorney handles the legal process, working to protect the victim and their family from further damage.
To learn more, contact Tad Thomas directly by calling 888-981-0031 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

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