Truck Accident

Truck Drivers Must Follow More Traffic Laws Than Other Drivers

by Staff Blogger | March 30th, 2020

Did you know that a truck driver can never exceed the speed limit, never drive while distracted or intoxicated, never fail to use turn signals, and always come to a complete stop at stop signs and still be in violation of multiple laws? That’s because the trucking industry must comply with guidelines established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and those guidelines are much stricter than the ones that people driving cars, trucks, and SUVs must follow.

Two significant differences include:

  • Truck drivers must limit their hours behind the wheel—Truck drivers face strict regulations regarding how long they can drive in a single stretch or in a multi-day period. They’re legally required to take regular rest periods and can only drive 14 consecutive hours after 11 hours of off-duty time.
  • Truck drivers must have BACs of 0.02% or less—Unlike the legal limit of 0.08% BAC for other drivers, truck drivers have almost a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol consumption. That means truck drivers can be well under the legal limit and still be cited if there’s even a trace of alcohol in their bloodstreams.
  • Truck drivers must pass physical examinations every two years—In addition to requiring specialized licenses and training certificates, truck drivers also must pass physical exams that prove they’re capable of driving 80,000-pound vehicles on public roadways.

These are just a few of the extra requirements truck drivers must abide by to legally drive their vehicles. That means that when they’re involved in crashes, more research and investigation must be done to determine if they were in violation of the law. And if they were, they can be held liable for any injuries others suffer.

Were you or someone you love hurt in a truck crash? If so, contact the Nashville truck accident attorneys at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

Getting Compensation After a Truck Accident Can Be Difficult Without a Lawyer

by Staff Blogger | November 28th, 2018

The consequences of truck accidents are often devastating for victims and their families. In addition to causing disabling injuries, they often leave victims in need of extensive and pricey medical treatments. Many victims require long-term care, including physical rehabilitation, during their paths to recovery.

Like auto accident victims, truck accident victims can file claims for compensation against any and all parties whose negligence contributed to their injuries. That includes truck drivers, truck companies, and truck owners associated with the truck involved in their accidents. But because the amount of compensation involved in truck accidents can be significant, victims often find it difficult to get fair settlements—if the insurance company agrees to pay anything in the first place.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville truck accident attorneys know how the trucking industry works, and we’re familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to reduce or deny payments to victims. Many insurers stand to lose big money when truck accident victims have valid claims against their policyholders, and that can result in tactics that aren’t always seen in other types of compensation claims.

Having a law firm on your side is a great defense against the hurdles and traps the insurance company will put up while you attempt to get damages for your medical bills and lost wages. We have many years of experience getting successful verdicts for victims like you, and we know what it takes to win. Call us today for a free consultation.

Are You Protected After Your Truck Accident?

by Staff Blogger | August 29th, 2018

Truck accidents are among the most dangerous vehicle accidents that motorists can be involved in. Big trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can be dozens of feet in length. That means even the largest passenger vehicles, including oversized SUVs and pickup trucks, are no match for them during crashes.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has many rules and regulations concerning the truck industry, and most of those are designed to help keep truck drivers and others on U.S. highways and interstates safe. But even when truck drivers, truck owners, and truck companies are in clear violation of FMCSA rules and accidents occur, victims may find it difficult to get the compensation they deserve.

Because truck accident claims can involve multiple parties, and because the injuries associated with them are often severe and disabling, the amount of compensation that victims can obtain is often substantial. Insurance companies know that, but they’re not in business to pay big settlements to anyone—even innocent victims.

While insurance companies are usually reluctant to pay fair claims, they may be even more resistant in truck accident cases. Unfortunately, they often get away with it, especially when victims aren’t represented by law firms that understand FMCSA regulations and the legal process.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville truck accident lawyers have helped many victims just like you get the compensation they deserve after crashes that weren’t their fault. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you or deny you the money you need. Call us today for a free consultation.

Who can be held responsible for truck accidents?

by Staff Blogger | June 6th, 2018

Unlike car accidents where individual drivers are often the sole parties at fault, truck accidents can have multiple parties that could be considered responsible for causing crashes.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville truck accident lawyers work hard to help victims get the money they deserve after crashes that weren’t their fault—and that involves finding out who was responsible for the crash in the first place.

There are four parties that are commonly liable for truck accidents, including:

  • Truck drivers—Not only do truck drivers have to follow all of the everyday rules of the road, such as obeying the speed limit, but they also have to follow strict industry guidelines concerning how long they’re allowed to work without a break or a rest period.
  • Truck owners—While truck drivers or companies often own semi-trucks, they’re sometimes leased from other parties. Regardless of who owns a big truck, that party is responsible for making sure it’s well-maintained and safe to drive.
  • Truck companies—Companies that use trucks to conduct their business always want to maximize their profits, but they must do it safely. That means never overloading trucks or loading them in hazardous manners.
  • Other motorists—When truck drivers get cut off or are forced to engage in evasive maneuvers to avoid collisions, serious accidents can occur. Some truck accidents are caused by other negligent drivers, including those traveling in cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs.

The legal complexity of truck accidents makes having an experienced legal team on your side extremely beneficial. Find out how we can help your family by calling today for a free consultation.

What Tactics Do Insurance Adjusters Use Against Truck Accident Victims?

by Staff Blogger | April 9th, 2018

The biggest SUVs and pickup trucks typically weigh around 6,000 pounds. And while those vehicles can make drivers feel safe, they pale in comparison to fully-loaded semi trucks, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and be more than 50-feet long.

When tractor trailers are involved in accidents with other vehicles, the consequences are often serious for drivers and passengers, as severe, painful, and disabling injuries are common. To make matters worse, insurance companies are often reluctant to pay settlements to truck accident victims.

Insurance companies employ teams of adjusters whose job is it to find ways to reduce or deny the amount of money they have to pay to people who file claims. Almost all truck accident victims are contacted by adjusters soon after their accidents, and adjusters may use these strategies to accomplish their tactics:

  • Getting victims to admit fault for accidents – While speaking with an adjuster on the phone is inevitable for most truck accident victims, it’s important to stick to the facts of what happened and not admit fault, even if you think you might have contributed to the crash. If evidence later proves you weren’t at fault, you may be unable to pursue compensation.
  • Getting victims to accept lowball settlements – Another tactic adjusters use is to entice victims who are desperate for money with immediate “lowball” settlements. These offers may seem substantial, but they’re rarely enough to cover all initial expenses, let alone future expenses. And after victims accept them, they may be unable to pursue future compensation.

Having an experienced Nashville truck accident lawyer on your side is your best defense against those tactics. Get in touch with Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

3 Common Truck Industry Violations

by Staff Blogger | February 7th, 2018

Without big trucks, our nation’s economy wouldn’t be what it is today. Whether they’re loaded down with vehicles, consumer electronics, or even livestock, trucks are responsible for hauling goods both down the street and across the country.

But the massive size and weight differences between semi trucks and passenger vehicles make them dangerous during accidents. Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was created to help regulate the trucking industry and to make roads safer for both truck drivers and other motorists.

To accomplish that, the FMCSA created many strict guidelines for truck drivers, truck owners, and truck companies to follow. Unfortunately, those regulations are sometimes violated, and truck accidents can occur as a result. Common violations include:

  1. Hours of service violations – Drivers are prohibited from exceeding a specific number of hours on duty or behind the wheel at a given time without breaks or sleep periods.
  2. Maintenance violations – Trucks that are neglected or improperly maintained are more dangerous to drive, and truck owners are responsible for keeping them serviced on a strict schedule.
  3. Weight and loading violations – Big trucks have maximum weight limits and must be loaded in a specific manner to stay balanced and safe to drive.

If you or someone you love were hurt in a semi truck accident, the Nashville truck accident lawyers at Ponce Law want to investigate and determine if an FMCSA violation caused the crash. It’s our goal to help you get maximum compensation. Call today for a free consultation.

What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?

by Staff Blogger | December 27th, 2017

All auto accidents have the potential to be painful, debilitating, and even life-threatening. But truck accidents are often in a category of their own, and they can be especially traumatic for those involved in them.

Even the biggest cars, trucks, and SUVs are significantly smaller and lighter in weight than semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. Big trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and are more than 50 feet long when they’re carrying cargo.

To make matters worse, truck accidents often occur on busy highways and interstates, creating a risk for secondary accidents and crashes. People who are injured or involved in accidents with big trucks may find it difficult to think clearly in the minutes, hours, and even days afterward. But that time frame is vital when it comes to protecting their health and their rights to compensation.

If you or someone you love was involved in a truck accident, you can take the right steps after your accident by:

  • Getting medical attention. See a doctor even if you don’t think you were seriously injured. Some injuries are internal and take time to show up.
  • Write down what happened. Memories can change or even fade after traumatic events. Write down what happened as soon as you can, as your description of the accident may serve as valuable evidence.

The final step is calling a Nashville truck accident lawyer. At Ponce Law, we’ve helped many truck accident victims get compensation for their medical bills and lost wages, and we’re ready to fight for your rights to the money you’re owed. Call today for a free consultation.

Who is Responsible for Truck Accidents?

by Staff Blogger | September 20th, 2017

After a truck accident, your priority is making sure you and your loved ones are okay. But during the recovery process, you want answers—especially if the accident could have been prevented.

The Nashville truck accident lawyers at Ponce Law know how frustrating this time can be. You want closure for an accident that wasn’t your fault, but the trucking company and its insurer are unlikely to be cooperative. Meanwhile, you’re facing a long road to recovery and expensive medical bills.

Knowing who or what was responsible for a truck accident is the first step towards filing a successful claim for compensation. Our legal team begins every truck accident claim by gathering evidence to determine if any or all of these parties can be held liable:

  • The truck driver – Truck drivers must abide by strict rest and time-off requirements, obey all traffic laws, and avoid alcohol and drugs before getting behind the wheel.
  • The truck owner – Truck owners are responsible for making sure their vehicles are well-maintained and in safe, road-ready condition at all times.
  • The truck company – Truck companies are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on virtually all aspects of their business to keep their drivers and other motorists safe.
  • The truck loader – Trucks aren’t always in the hands of the above parties, and the companies responsible for loading them must be careful to follow all industry guidelines.

If you’re not sure who caused your truck accident, Ponce Law may be able to help. We know how to investigate and collect evidence to find out who contributed to the crash. Call today for a free consultation to get started.

Was Your Truck Accident Caused by Industry Violations?

by Staff Blogger | August 28th, 2017

The trucking industry plays a vital role in the nation’s economy. Because there are so many trucks on highways and interstates at any given time, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has several guidelines in place to help keep truck drivers and other motorists and passengers safe.

However, some truck drivers and trucking companies violate the FMCSA’s regulations to make more deliveries in less time and increase profits. Every violation can increase the risk of accidents, putting drivers like you at serious risk.

At Ponce Law, we know both Tennessee truck accident laws and FMCSA regulations, and we can investigate your accident for violations such as:

  • Hours of Service Violations – Truck drivers are limited in the number of hours they can work in a week or in a row without a specific amount of time off-duty. If they violate this regulation, they may get behind the wheel while sleepy or exhausted, increasing their chances of being involved in a collision.
  • Weight and Cargo Securement Violations – While trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, they carry most of that weight in their trailers. The FMCSA requires that trucks and trailers stay within a certain weight limit and that their cargo is properly secured. When this regulation is violated, trucks may become difficult to control and their cargo may become loose and enter the roadway, putting other drivers at risk.

Don’t let a truck accident that wasn’t your fault cause you financial distress. Our Nashville truck accident lawyers can fight for your rights to compensation while you focus on getting better. Call us today for a free consultation.

Stay Safe by Avoiding Truck “No Zones”

by Staff Blogger | August 18th, 2017

Driving near a big truck on a highway or interstate can be nerve wracking. They greatly outweigh even the biggest trucks and SUVs, with some semi-trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds. And when big trucks are involved in accidents with passenger vehicles, the consequences are often devastating.

While it’s impossible to eliminate your chance of being involved in a crash with a big rig, you can reduce your chances by making sure you stay out of the driver’s blind spots. Also known as “No Zones,” the blind spots on tractor trailers are much larger than they are on cars, trucks, and SUVs.

The next time you drive near a big truck, make sure you avoid these areas:

  • 20 feet in front of the cabin – Because they sit several feet off the roadway, semi-truck drivers can’t see vehicles that are directly in front of them.
  • One lane underneath the driver side – Their elevated seated position also means drivers can’t see vehicles underneath their doors, even with their mirrors.
  • Two lanes underneath the passenger side – Mirrors are only so effective at helping drivers see around their vehicles, but they can’t provide a clear path of vision to a large two-lane area underneath the passenger side of big trucks.
  • 30 feet behind the trailer – Truck drivers have total blind spots behind their trailers, and drivers who stay in that area are at risk of rear-ending trucks when drivers slow down.

Staying out of “No Zones” is a great way to reduce your risks, but unfortunately, many truck accidents occur because truck drivers, owners, or companies are negligent. If you or someone you love was hurt in a truck accident, Ponce Law is here to help.

Our Nashville truck accident attorneys can investigate the facts of your collision and work hard to help you get compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.