What to Do After an Accident with a JB Hunt Semi Truck
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J.B. Hunt is one of the largest for-hire shipping carriers in the United States. J.B. Hunt currently has a fleet of nearly 50,000 trucks and trailers across the United States and Canada. Its business prides itself on providing safe and reliable transportation services throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
In 2015, an Indiana woman and her family obtained a verdict in a lawsuit against JB Hunt. The lawsuit alleged that a JB Hunt driver into the median and failed to follow mandated safety rules, including turning on the truck’s flashers or marking the roadway with reflective triangles. Later, the woman collided with the stationary vehicle, causing her to fall into a coma and face permanent brain injuries. Unfortunately, with so many drivers on the road, accidents like this are bound to happen. As reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, from 2018 to 2020, J.B. Hunt trucks were involved in 1,514 trucking accidents, with 513 involving injuries and 37 involving fatalities.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT WITH A JB HUNT SEMI-TRUCK
If you’ve been injured in a J.B. Hunt trucking accident, you may want to consider taking these steps:
1. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Unless absolutely certain that you’re not injured, you should seek medical attention immediately after an accident, either at your local emergency room or by seeing your physician. While injuries may not feel serious initially, they often have the potential to develop into something much worse when left untreated. Remember that medical records supporting that your injuries were caused by the trucking accident may be vital to a successful claim, so be sure to keep an organized record of any documented injuries.
2. GET THE TRUCK DRIVER’S LICENSE, INSURANCE, AND EMPLOYER INFORMATION
You should obtain the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of all persons involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get their contact information as well, so that you or your attorney may contact them in the future.
3. INFORM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Call your insurance company within 24 hours after the accident. It’s important to cooperate with them and tell them exactly what happened and the extent of your injuries. If the insurance company finds out that you were untruthful about anything, your claim could be denied coverage.
4. CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY
A trucking accident attorney may provide vital aid in gathering your claim documentation, establishing liability, and negotiating fair compensation for your injuries. At Zinda Law Group, our experienced trucking accident attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to help clients build the strongest case possible and to seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
Learn More: Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
COMMON TRUCKING INDUSTRY SAFETY VIOLATIONS
Truck drivers are regulated by federal and state laws that establish standards that must be followed by all trucking companies and drivers. Many states follow the authority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which ensures the safe operation of all commercial vehicles and operators within the United States.
Trucking companies and drivers must follow many laws, including:
Commercial Driver Licenses
If the truck driver involved in your accident did not have the proper license or permit, it might affect your legal case against them and the driver’s employer.
Maximum Weight Permitted
Overloading a truck is dangerous. Determining what the truck was carrying and when it was last weighed could be important factors to consider when evaluating your accident.
Quality of Trucks
Both the manufacturing and repair of commercial trucks are regulated to ensure quality control. If there was a defect in the truck involved in your accident that led to equipment failure, then you may have a claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or the truck’s mechanic.
Regulating Hazardous Waste
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has developed safety regulations for transporting hazardous materials. If you have been injured by a truck driver who did not follow those guidelines, you may have a claim against the truck driver, their employer, and/or the company shipping the hazardous material.
Rest for the Driver
The amount of time a driver of a commercial truck is permitted to drive without taking a break is regulated. This is referred to as the “hours of service.”
TRUCKING ACCIDENT CAUSES
Here are some of the common causes of truck accidents:
Truck Driver Negligence
Despite having a higher responsibility to drive safely, truck drivers make mistakes like other drivers on the road. Truck drivers may be over-worked or fatigued while driving, causing them to lose focus while on the road. Truck drivers may also drive under the influence, driving distracted, or drive recklessly. Specifically, in 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that out of 4,600 fatal crashes, 60 involved drivers who were asleep or fatigued, and 76 involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication.
Hazardous weather coupled with poor road conditions and the truck’s weight may cause wrecks. All truck drivers should be properly trained to operate a large truck according to the weather conditions.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Commercial trucks drive thousands of miles each day. Trucking companies should keep up with the wear and tear these vehicles take by regularly maintaining the fleet. Equipment failure, such as cracked windshields or worn brake pads, may cause major accidents.
INJURIES IN TRUCK ACCIDENTS
The speed and size of semi-trucks often make injuries from accidents more severe than the average car crash. Victims who survive these accidents may suffer devastating and debilitating injuries, including:
- Head and brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Learn More: Common Injuries From Trucking Accidents
FILING A CLAIM AGAINST JB HUNT
After a J.B. Hunt accident, you may have injuries that require medical attention, a hospital stay, or multiple surgeries. Don’t make it any more painful than necessary by refusing to hire a trucking accident attorney. To learn more about the benefits of hiring an attorney, view our article: Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, a trucking accident attorney may:
Assist You in Determining Liability
An experienced lawyer may assist you in determining how much you may be entitled to for your injuries based upon each party’s percentage of fault. A lawyer may also help you determine who or what may be responsible for your injuries.
Assist You in Collecting and Organizing Evidence
An attorney may conduct a thorough investigation to help you collect as much evidence as possible. This may include: names of witnesses and other parties involved in the accident, medical records and costs of treatment, and any photos of the accident scene.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement With the Insurance Adjuster
A lawyer may understand how much your case is worth and may assist you in conducting negotiations with the insurance company in order to help you seek a fair settlement amount.
Assist You in Proving a Driver’s Negligence at Trial
In a trucking accident lawsuit, you’ll have to show that the other driver was negligent. In order to prove negligence, the following must be proved:
- That the other driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers owe others on the road a duty to exercise reasonable care and attention.
- That the other driver breached their duty of care, meaning that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care.
- That the breach caused your injuries.
- That you were, in fact, injured.
Typically, damages for personal injury claims fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages.
The two main types of economic damages are medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses may include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospital fees
- Costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Costs for possible future medical treatment
Lost wages represent the time you are off from work due to your injuries from the accident. Lost wages may include:
- Vacation time
- Loss of earning capacity
You may also be entitled to compensation for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident. This may include the cost of a rental car while your own vehicle is undergoing repair.
Non-economic damages are losses or injuries that are suffered by an accident victim but are not defined in monetary terms. Non-economic damages may cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- A lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a J.B. Hunt truck driver’s negligence, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations for these kinds of cases. The statute of limitations mandates that a victim must file their personal injury claim within a certain time period after the date of the accident.
Once this deadline passes, the victim is barred from bringing their legal claim in court and from being able to seek compensation for their injuries.
Because each state has its own time limit for personal injury cases under the statute of limitations, it’s important that you find out how many years you’ll have to file your lawsuit after the date of your accident.
GET HELP FROM THE TRUCKING ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced trucking accident attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
Our firm believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
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