Trucking cases are very different from automobile cases and you need a trucking lawyer that has experience delaying with these. There’s a variety of things that are very different about trucking cases than auto cases. These are not just big car crash cases. One of the things that’s important about them is that you have different physics involved in the crash. You have a different tractor and trailer unit, and you have different insurance companies involved. Some of the trucking companies have driving policies for their drivers that may not be very safe. Some of those practices are nationally known. We can bring our experience in understanding those things and bring them to bear in a particular truck accident case.
There are also some issues with multiple layers of different insurance and you have to be able … The lawyer needs to know how to essentially handle these cases with the insurance companies, how to trigger the different levels of insurance and to ensure that we get all the insurance coverage that we need in representing a seriously injured person after they’re hit by a truck and trucking company.
There’s some additional issues. There’s new technology for trucks now, including things in the truck and in the seat that can determine where the truck was moving just before the accident occurred. We can take that information from the trucking company and we can reconstruct the facts and actually create graphics for the jury to be able to understand where the truck was moving at a particular time and the conduct of the driver before the accident happened.
Lastly, unlike motor vehicle cases with cars, trucking cases have a whole different line of federal law that governs what truck drivers and trucking companies can do. There are limits in commercial trucking because of the seriousness of accidents caused by trucks as to how many hours these truckers can drive, or whether they should or shouldn’t be using alcohol or illegal drugs. There are post accident evaluations that are supposed to be done in terms of both breath alcohol and drug testing when a trucking accident occurs. And each trucker has to go through an annual or biannual DOT physical in order to be able to operate a heavy vehicle, because the injuries again can be so severe from a trucking crash.
There are very specific things that can come out of one of these cases and as it happens, my own background in doing industrial medicine work (while I was a Doctor of Chiropractic) is in doing pre-employment physicals and a background in looking at lab testing. I was certified as a breath alcohol technician, did DOT physicals as a doctor before I became a lawyer and have background with drug urinalysis. That specific information has come in handy in a number of trucking cases including one in which I found that the truck driver actually diluted the urine or split the sample and did abnormal things like that in order to hide a positive drug test after a trucking crash. It’s that level of expertise that you need in a trucking case in order to get the best outcome against the trucking company that hit you.