Your Truck Accident Lawyer
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Truck Accident Lawyer Foley & Small
Foley & Small would like to share with you information about the issues in the handling of a semi tractor-trailer accident case. Foley & Small has handled many trucking accident cases and is knowledgeable and well equipped to handle such claims.
We work with and retain accident reconstructionists, trucking experts, doctors and therapists, economists and other experts. Investigators are often retained to assist in information gathering.
Foley & Small as experienced attorneys, legal assistants and other staff who work with our clients and their families. We help our clients and their families through what can be a difficult time and assist them to return to a normal life.
Why Foley & Small?
Our Attorneys each have 30+ years in the practice of law.
Our Attorneys each have the highest rating from their peers.
We have a history of successful jury trials and maximizing settlements.
We do not handle thousands of cases, but a select few; providing our clients with individualized attention assisted by a kind and caring staff.
Truck Accident Facts
Vehicle accidents involving semi tractor and trailers often result in devastating vehicle damage, injury and sometimes death. A typical semi tractor and trailer are approximately 8 feet wide, 13 feet tall and more than 40 feet long. A semi tractor and trailer can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. With this size and weight and at speeds of 55 mph or more, it is not surprising that more than 4,000 Americans are killed as a result of tractor trailer accidents each year and more than 110,000 are injured.
Truck Accident Claims Process
Foley & Small retains accident reconstructionists who are trained engineers schooled in determining from the physical evidence how an accident occurred. We also retain trucking experts to help us with the practical aspects of the case. These are truck driving instructors who will review the driver’s decision making and events leading to the collision, the operations of the trucking company and various driving requirements that apply to trucking companies and their drivers.
Truck Accident Claims Issues
Trucking accidents have significantly different issues from your typical car accident. There are more issues that arise because of the unique requirements that apply to trucking companies and their drivers. These issues include the following:
- Trucking companies must obtain a background check on their prospective truck drivers and must obtain a driving history before the driver can be hired.
- Once hired, the trucking company must monitor the driving history of the driver, both for traffic offenses and for accidents.
- There are inspection requirements for both the semi-tractor and for the trailer to insure they are mechanically sound.
- Truck drivers must pass a driving test and obtain a special driver’s license called a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, and with it must obtain a physical on a regular basis to insure the driver is healthy.
- Regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation restrict the number of hours a driver can drive. These regulations also require the driver maintain a driver’s log and monitor their sleep, driving time and off-duty time. Drivers must maintain an expense log which can be of help to track the driver’s hours of driving, location and speed.
- Many trucking companies today utilize satellite monitoring to track the location of their truck units. This information can be helpful to us, again, for determining the location, speed and verify driving hours.
These are just some of the issues that are unique to a driving case.
DOT – Trucking Insurance Requirements
Trucking companies are also required under DOT regulations to maintain insurance coverage for their trucking operations. This includes a requirement to have in place a $1,000,000.00 liability policy. This insurance coverage requirement is much higher than that seen for automobiles and pickup trucks. This is not surprising in light of the damage and injury that can be caused by an 80,000 lb vehicle traveling 55 or more mph.
Contact Foley & Small
At Foley & Small, we are here to help you and your family should you ever be confronted with an accident caused by a semi tractor trailer. Put our experience and resources to work for you and your family.
Click on the link at the top right of this page for a live chat with a member of our staff or email us from our Contact page. You can also call us at 800-276-2525. Thanks again for contacting us at Foley & Small.
What to Do After an Accident
- Take some deep breaths to get calm. After a crash, a person may feel a wide range of emotions — shock, guilt, fear, nervousness, or anger — all of which are normal. But take a few deep breaths or count to 10 to calm down. The calmer you are, the better prepared you will be to handle the situation. This is the time to take stock of the accident and try to make a judgment about whether it was a serious one.
- Keep yourself and others safe. If you can’t get out of your car — or it’s not safe to try — keep your seat belt fastened, turn on your hazard lights, then call 911 if possible and wait for help to arrive. If you can drive your car and are in an unsafe spot or are blocking traffic, find a safe and legal place to park your car (like the shoulder of a highway or a parking lot). If a car cannot be moved, drivers and passengers who cannot exit the vehicle should keep their seatbelts fastened for everyone’s safety until help arrives. Those who can safely exit should warn oncoming traffic of the accident. Make sure to turn on hazard lights and set out cones, flares or warning triangles if possible.
- Call the police/ambulance. If you, a passenger or a passerby has a cell phone, call 911 for the police to respond to the accident and an ambulance, if necessary. An ambulance can be quickly called to the scene to attend to the injured. The police can secure the accident area so other accidents do not occur, attend to injury response, call for a wrecker service and clear the accident scene. A police report will be helpful to everyone in accumulating and documenting what occurred with the collision.
- Exchange Information. After the accident, exchange name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number and license plate number for the driver and the owner of each vehicle. If the driver’s name is different from the name of the insured, establish what the relationship is and take down the name and address for each individual. Also make a written description of each car, including year, make, model and color.
- Photograph and Document the Accident. Use your camera to photograph the accident scene and the vehicles. The more pictures the better. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.
- File An Accident Report. Although law enforcement officers in many locations may not respond to accidents unless there are injuries, drivers should file a state vehicle accident report, which is available at police stations.
- Know What Your Insurance Covers. The whole insurance process will be easier following your accident if you know the details of your coverage. For example, don’t wait until after an accident to find out that your policy doesn’t automatically cover costs for towing or a replacement rental car. Generally, for only a dollar or two extra each month, you can add coverage for rental car reimbursement, which provides a rental car for little or no money while your car is in the repair shop or if it is stolen. Also check with your agent to ensure your have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. You also should evaluate your coverage amounts and cost. Increased coverage can often be obtained without a significant increase in your premium. Check your policy and with your agent for specifics.
- Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Glove Compartment. Drivers should carry a cell phone, as well as pen and paper for taking notes, a disposable camera to take photos of the vehicles at the scene, and a card with information about medical allergies or conditions that may require special attention if there are serious injuries. Also, keep a list of contact numbers for law enforcement agencies handy.
- Contact Foley & Small. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident due to the fault of an another you have available to you the right to assert a claim to have your medical bills paid, to pay your lost wages and income and to recover for the pain, suffering and related losses resulting from your injuries, including recovery for any permanent injury. Let the attorneys and staff of Foley & Small use their experience and expertise to help you and your family. Clicking on the link at the top right of this page for a live chat with a member of our staff or email us from our Contact page. You can also call us at 800-276-2525.
- Accident Aftermath. While the crash itself can be tragic and upsetting, dealing with the aftermath can be too. In the hours or days following a collision, some people may still be emotionally shaken. They may be beating themselves up over what happened — especially if they feel the crash was avoidable. Sometimes, people close to those who were involved (like families and best friends) can experience some emotional problems too. These feelings are normal and usually improve with time.
In some cases, however, these feelings can get stronger or last for longer periods of time, keeping a person from living a normal life. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur when a person has experienced a devastating event that injured or threatened to injure someone. Signs of PTSD may show up immediately following the crash, or weeks or even months after. Not everyone who experiences stress after a trauma has PTSD. But here are some symptoms to look out for:
Avoiding emotions or any reminders of the incident
Constant feelings of anxiousness, crankiness, or anger
Avoiding medical tests or procedures
Constantly reliving the incident in one’s mind
Nightmares or trouble sleeping
If you notice any of these symptoms after you’ve been in a car crash, check with your doctor, counselor or psychologist, as they should be able to help.
Reporting the Incident
Check on everyone involved in the crash to see if they have any injuries. This includes making sure you don’t have any serious injuries. Be extremely cautious — not all injuries can be seen. If you or anyone involved isn’t feeling 100%, you should call 911 or any other number your state uses to request emergency assistance on roadways. Be ready to give the dispatcher the following information:
Who? The dispatcher will ask for your name and phone numbers in case the authorities need to get more information from you later.
What? Tell the dispatcher as much as you can about the emergency — for instance, whether there is a fire, traffic hazard, medical emergency, etc.
Where? Let the dispatcher know exactly where the emergency is taking place. Give the city, road name, road number, mile markings, direction of travel, traffic signs, and anything else you can think of to help them know how to find you.
Make sure you stay on the line until the dispatcher says it’s OK to hang up.
Let's Discuss Your Case Today.
We want to hear from you and discuss how we can help. Remember, working with Foley & Small is like having a lawyer in your family.
We only get paid if we recover for you.
We have an entire team ready to work for you.
We want to help you in any way we can, including with medical bills and insurance issues.
Serving communities in
Indiana and Michigan
for over 30 years.
Foley & Small handles and tries cases across Indiana and Michigan.
This includes working in the following counties, county seats, and cities:
Foley & Small
1002 E. Jefferson Blvd.
South Bend, IN 46617