Truck Accidents in Bad WeatherBy Stewart J. Guss on November 21st, 2018
Driving an 80,000-pound truck hundreds of miles each day is a tremendous responsibility, but truckers regularly prioritize schedules and delivery deadlines over the safety of the motorists with whom they share the road. Rather than do the safe thing and pull over, truckers, in their rush to make deliveries and get back home, may try to push through bad weather like heavy rain, snow, ice, and high winds—sometimes with disastrous consequences.
If you sustained injuries in an accident with a commercial truck that occurred during bad weather, call Stewart J. Guss and his team of experienced truck accident attorneys. We dedicated to helping victims recover compensation for their losses and know how to make insurance companies pay out! When they don’t, we won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit and take a case all the way to trial, if necessary. In addition, with our no-win, no-fee guarantee, you won’t need to pay legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf! To schedule a free case evaluation with our truck accident legal team, call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
National Trucking Accident Attorney Stewart J. Guss discusses trucking safety on national news with Mike Papantonio on America’s Lawyer
Truck Drivers Are Required to Use Extreme Caution in Inclement Weather
If you drive regularly, you know how poor weather can affect the way your vehicle handles and your visibility. Any reasonable person would slow down and even get off the road when conditions get bad enough, but you regularly see truckers driving at or even above the speed limit in bad weather conditions. This is perplexing, as not only are commercial truck drivers subject to the same common law duty to not expose others to an unreasonable risk of harm to which all other drivers are subject, but they also are required to comply with federal regulations that require them to use extreme caution when adverse conditions affect traction or visibility.
49 CFR Part 391.14 provides examples of the conditions in which a truck driver is required to use extreme caution:
In addition, federal regulations require that truck drivers reduce their speed when these conditions exist, and actually require them to get off the road if conditions become sufficiently dangerous. In some cases, establishing that a truck driver was not in compliance with these regulations at the time of an accident may be sufficient to establish liability without any other evidence of negligence.
The Insurance Company is NOT on Your Side
When you start the claims process after a truck accident in poor weather, it is critical to understand that the insurance company that you are dealing with is not on your side, regardless of nice and polite their representatives seem. In fact, their job is to do everything they can to minimize the amount they pay you, so retain a law firm—even if it’s clear that your case is going to settle out of court. Some of the shady tactics that insurance companies use to keep money in their pockets and out of victims’ hands include the following:
- Asking questions designed to trick victims into admitting fault
- Taking an unreasonable amount of time to process a claim
- Requesting overbroad medical authorizations in an effort to dig up ANYTHING that could be a pre-existing condition
- Making ridiculously low initial offers
- Misrepresenting the law or policy limits
Protecting Your Rights after an Accident in Which Inclement Weather Played a Role
After an accident, it’s important that you take certain steps to protect your legal rights. Unfortunately, even when a truck driver clearly caused an accident, the insurance company will do everything it can to avoid paying you to compensation you deserve. Below are some of the things that you can do to ensure that you receive the compensation to which law entitles you:
- Gather information – If you can stay at the scene of the accident and are not too injured to do so, collect information about your accident. Make note of the truck’s license plate number and DOT number. Try to determine what trucking company owns the truck, if any. Take pictures of the aftermath of the accident and the weather conditions at the time of the crash.
- Stay off of social media – Many accident victims are surprised to learn that their social media use can affect their accident claim. The insurance company could potentially use posts that show you having fun with your friends or family or engaging in physical activity as evidence that you are not as injured as you claim.
- See your doctor – As an accident victim, it is important to see your physician and undergo a thorough medical evaluation, even if you do not believe that your injuries warrant medical treatment. When you see a doctor, he or she will create an official medical record that you and your law firm can use as evidence in negotiations with the insurance company.
- Retain a law firm as soon as you can – After an accident with a commercial truck, you should retain a law firm as soon as possible. Once you have a legal team, it will communicate with the insurance company for you, making sure that you don’t say anything that could hurt your chances of recover compensation. Furthermore, any delay could result in the loss or destruction of evidence that is important to your case.
Call Us Today to Speak to a Truck Accident Law Firm
When truckers refuse to slow down in poor weather, innocent people can get hurt. If you’ve sustained an injury in an accident with a commercial truck where rain, snow, ice, or some other weather condition was involved, call our law firm as you can. The legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, is not afraid to go up against large corporate insurance companies, and will not hesitate to take a case to trial if it becomes necessary. We will review your case for free and you will not pay a DIME in legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
To schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call our office today at 800-898-4877 or contact us online.