In this Google Hangout, Phoenix truck accident attorney John Kelly answers a series of questions about truck accidents and their causes. You may also visit us online at https://www.jkphoenixpersonalinjuryattorney.com/truck-accident/ or post a question to the comments section and John has agreed to answer your questions.
1. Richard – I was in an accident with a commercial truck. The driver looked like he hadn’t slept in days. Are there rules for how long a commercial driver can drive before he has to get off the road?
1. Fran – I was hit from behind by a semi-trailer. The truck driver said he had no choice because if he hit his breaks his load would have smashed through the back of his cab and killed him. Does this mean he wasn’t negligent?
2. Steve – I was driving on the highway and was struck by rubble that flew off the back of truck hauling construction materials. The debris broke my windshield and caused me to hit the guardrail. Is the trucking company liable for the damage?
3. Marvin – My car was hit from behind by a commercial truck. The driver said his brakes failed. He also said he’s not responsible because another company handles his truck maintenance. Is he right?
Kelly Law Team
1 E Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Transcription of content:
– We’re with John Kelly. John is a personal injury attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. And we had some online questions related to trucking accidents, semi-truck accidents, so with that said, I’m gonna go to the questions that were posted. John can answer the question. The first one was from Richard. Richard said, “I was in an accident with a commercial truck. “The driver looked like he hadn’t slept in days. “Are there rules for how long a commercial truck driver “can drive before he has to get off the road?”
– Yes, actually, there are rules, and they’re federal rules, and typically state rules, too, for truck drivers. They’re actually required to keep a log of the amount of time that they’ve been on the road. And if they crossover too much time, they can be fined and actually cited for that by the police. So, this is actually a big issue in truck accident cases, because oftentimes these companies, or even the employees who are driving, push to be on the road further and longer, and, you know, they’re making the money but they’re not being safe. And that becomes a big issue for a claim. If we find out that he was on the road for way too long, he was sleepy, caused an accident, he could be held liable, his company could be held liable, his insurance company is obviously gonna be looked into for a claim. So definitely, that’s something I always get an investigator working on gathering some of that evidence of truck accidents, cause they’re very complicated cases, typically.
– Okay, next question was from Fran. Fran says, “I was hit from behind by a semi trailer. “The truck driver said he had no choice, but to, “because if he hit his breaks, his load would have “smashed through the back of his cabin and killed him. “Does this mean he wasn’t negligent?”
– For Fran, I don’t believe he should rely on the truck driver to determine what caused the accident. With any kind of truck accident, the police are gonna do an accident reconstruction. So, they’re gonna have someone, and hopefully someone who’s experienced, go out there and do measurements, talk to witnesses, take photographs, do graphs and diagrams, and determine how this accident happened. Typically, with a truck accident case, there’s, you know, a lot of physics and motion that’s involved, that can cause the accident. I find the truck driver’s scenario very hard to believe so I would tell Fran that he probably needs to hire an attorney to start helping review the reports, getting their own witnesses and investigation going to establish a claim against that truck driver.
– Okay, next question was from Steve. Steve says, “I was driving on the highway “and was struck by rubble “that flew off the back of a truck “hauling construction materials. “The debris broke my windshield “and caused me to hit a guardrail. “Is the trucking company liable for the damage?”
– For Steve’s situation, it is definitely possible that the trucking company could be held liable for flying rubble off of a truck. You know, there’s a lot of regulation in how the truckers are, you know, how their hauls, how big their hauls are, how they’re secured, the maintenance of the truck, to make sure that it’s safe. If there’s things falling off the back of the truck, there’s something wrong. And this actually is a pretty common way that people are injured. So, again, there’s gonna be a report that should look into that aspect of how it happened, but there’s a lot of other things that we could do to investigate the company, to see if it’s something that runs company-wide, if there’s safety protocols that they’re failing to implement.