Arkansas Truck Accident Lawyers
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All motor accidents can cause life-threatening injury, or even death. An accident with a truck, or “18-wheeler,” however, exacerbates the risk of fatality or serious injury due to the sheer size and power of the vehicles.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, call the experienced Arkansas truck accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group today at
How Common Are Truck Accidents in Arkansas?
Trucking accidents in Arkansas are not unheard of and can result in severe injury, or death. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, sadly 516 people died from highway vehicle accidents in Arkansas in 2018 alone. Of those fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that 86 deaths were the result of an accident with a “large truck.” Keeping in mind that one of these trucks can weigh more than 20 tons, it is not difficult to imagine why the fatality rates are high. If you find yourself a victim of a trucking accident, it is important that you have a lawyer by your side who can help handle these potentially complex cases.
COMMERCIAL TRUCK SAFETY STANDARDS
Federal Safety Standards
Due to their heavy loads and crash rates, trucks must comply with various federal safety standards. If a truck driver does not adhere to these standards, it may help your legal case.
1. Commercial Driver’s License
A truck driver must have a commercial driver’s license to operate a truck. The purpose of the license is to make sure the driver has appropriate knowledge and training to operate large vehicles. They also must be physically fit for the position and have no history of reckless driving or DUI’s.
If you are in an accident with a truck and the driver does not have a proper, up to date, commercial driver’s license, or the driver does not have his or her medical records in the truck at the time of the accident, it may show the driver is not mentally or physically capable of operating the truck and may help you in your personal injury case.
2. Driving Logbook
Truck drivers must maintain a logbook that shows how many hours and miles they have driven each day. Drivers are not allowed to drive longer than ten straight hours without taking an eight-hour break. Further, the driver is not permitted to drive more than 70 hours for 8 days. Sometimes, drivers or their employers try to exceed these limits to increase their profits. If you are injured by a truck driver who has driven more hours than allowed by federal regulations, it may show that the driver was fatigued, or even fell asleep while driving, causing the accident.
3. Vehicle Maintenance Requirements
Commercial trucks must pass various vehicle requirements to stay operational, such as:
- Warning stickers and signs
- Wheels and rims
- Brake systems, including antilock and emergency braking
- Windshield wiping
- Protective underride bars
- Appropriate number of tires and mudflaps based on the truck’s size and carrying capacity
- Emergency equipment
- Minimum performance criteria for cargo
- Rear-vision mirrors and vision assistance
The lack of any one of these requirements may show the truck was not fully operational and may aid in your personal injury case.
Additional Arkansas Safety Standards
In addition to compliance with the Federal Safety Standards, commercial truck drivers must also comply with Arkansas-specific laws. These additional laws include, but are not limited to:
1. Size and Weight Laws
Depending on their size and cargo, trucks must comply with certain length and gross weight requirements. Upon registering the vehicle, the vehicle will be investigated and tested to determine how much cargo the truck may haul. This is to ensure the truck is safe to operate on highway roads. If you are injured by a truck that does not adhere to the size and weight laws of Arkansas, it may mean the truck was not registered or not safe to operate.
2. Police Authority
A police officer has the right under Arkansas law to stop a truck and require the truck to be weighed. If the truck is found to be overweight, the police officer may require the driver to remove the excess cargo. Any truck driver who refuses to submit to the weighing or removal of cargo will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
3. Spilling Loads
If a commercial truck is being driven on an Arkansas highway, it must be loaded as to prevent any of its cargo from dropping or otherwise escaping from the truck. Any injury you have sustained due to dropped truck cargo may help you succeed in your personal injury case.
If you have been injured by a commercial truck and believe any of these safety standards have not been met, contact Zinda Law Group today to speak to one of our trucking attorneys for your free consultation.
WHAT CAUSES TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN ARKANSAS?
Commercial truck safety standards were put in place, not only for the safety of the truck drivers, but also for the safety of others on the road. The following are examples of common causes of truck accidents:
Fatigued drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. This is why the federal safety standards have put limits on the hours truck drivers can drive without taking a break.
Vehicle Safety Issues
Truck drivers are required to maintain a safe and operational truck. This includes working brake lights, properly maintained tires, and warning stickers, to name a few. Failure to keep a safe truck may lead to equipment failure and, ultimately, a collision with another vehicle.
Read More: Causes of Truck Accidents
WHO IS LIABLE FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT AND CAN I TAKE MY CASE TO TRIAL?
If you are involved in an accident with a truck, you may be wondering who is liable.
The Truck Driver
If the driver does not adhere to safety standards, such as if they are fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be liable for the injuries they caused.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company may be held liable for the negligent actions of its employees if the accident occurred while the employee was on duty. Further, the trucking company may be held liable if it negligently hired or trained the employee.
A Certified Truck Inspector
If a certified truck inspector is negligent in his or her inspection and the truck consequently malfunctions and causes damage, the inspector may also be held liable.
Sometimes, vehicle designs are flawed and make a truck needlessly dangerous. If a manufacturer supplies a trucking company with defective parts, the manufacturer of the parts may be held liable.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Arkansas?
To take your case to trial, you must file a claim. In Arkansas, the time limit (or “statute of limitations”) to file a personal injury claim is three years from the date the accident occurred, according to . Do not delay in contacting one of our truck accident attorneys to ensure your claim is filed on time.
Do Truck Accidents Go to Trial?
Some truck accidents go to trial. Truck accidents are usually severe due to the enormous size of commercial trucks. Immediately after an accident, you should follow these important steps to ensure your safety and your ability to receive compensation:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Trucking accidents often result in severe bodily injury. It is paramount that you receive prompt medical attention from a medical professional.
2. Report the Accident
Reporting the accident to the appropriate parties, such as local law enforcement, allows police officers to create an official accident report, which may provide helpful evidence for your claim.
3. Document the Accident
It is important to document the accident, as it may help establish the value of your claim. Examples of information that should be documented include:
- The name and contact information of the truck driver and trucking company
- The license plate number and vehicle identification number of the truck
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
- Photographs of the scene, including physical injury and property damage.
4. Contact a Lawyer
A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer is vital in guiding you through the next steps of your claim. If one of our attorneys agrees to handle your case, our team at Zinda Law Group may help you seek the compensation you deserve, whether that means negotiating a settlement agreement, or litigating your case at trial.
The type of compensation you may receive depends on your damages.
Economic damages generally include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income (present and future)
- Loss of earning capacity; and
- Property damages
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disability; and
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages may be available to punish the at-fault party for especially reckless or malicious behavior.
Zinda Law Group’s Arkansas trucking accident attorneys may fight on your behalf and provide dedicated representation to help you receive the maximum compensation available in your case.
Get Help From Our Experienced and Knowledgeable Arkansas Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, contact Zinda Law Group to speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable trucking lawyers. Zinda Law Group has helped numerous truck accident victims seek maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. You pay nothing unless we win your truck accident case.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.