What Happens if a CDL Driver Gets Into a Truck Accident
Thousands of commercial vehicles are on the road each day in Missouri, which means thousands of CDL driver errors could happen. Even meticulous commercial drivers get into accidents. When truck accidents occur, they can leave many innocent victims hospitalized.
Trucking rules designated by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) must be followed by all commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. If a truck accident occurs, truck drivers, trucking companies, or manufacturers can be held liable. Go here to learn how victims can be compensated to the fullest extent.
Anyone injured in a crash should seek medical care immediately. Going to the hospital and allowing a physician to monitor and diagnose your injuries could save your health and will protect your future claims and benefits. Returning to the hospital when your symptoms worsen could also protect your access to future care. Failing to see a medic can harm your claim.
Investigate The Accident
Since many truck accidents could result in catastrophic injuries, victims can receive substantial compensation. That’s why truck companies attempt to limit their financial liability, by sending insurance adjusters and investigators to the scene. The investigator looks for information and might speak to witnesses.
Investigators often coerce victims into giving statements that could devalue their claim. Truck accident law specialists recommend not talking to them until you have hired an attorney. Kansas City truck accident lawyers can also investigate your accident to uncover important details.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires employers to perform routine drug testing after most commercial truck accidents. In summary, a driver must be tested whenever they receive a citation for an accident or when someone dies in a crash. If a CDL driver refuses, they will be suspended. The driver cannot return to duty until he gets a negative test.
Negotiate A Settlement
Each CDL driver typically has an insurance policy through their employer. Federal law requires commercial trucks to have a $750,000 policy, depending on the cargo. That doesn’t mean recovering compensation will be easy. Negotiating a settlement with the trucking company’s insurer can be time-consuming.
Many insurers aggressively fight back against commercial claims. If they do offer money, it may only be a portion of what you’re entitled to. That’s why it can be vital to work with a truck accident attorney in your community who you can trust.
Commercial Driver’s License Suspension
A CDL driver responsible for an accident can lose their license. Factors such as whether someone died in the accident and the number of major traffic violations the driver has had in recent years will affect the outcome of the decision. The prospect of a license suspension will carry weight in your claim and should be taken seriously.
CDL drivers can cause accidents due to honest mistakes. However, when drivers cause accidents due to negligence, they can find themselves unable to secure employment. Some of the actions that can cause a CDL driver to lose their license include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving at excessive speeds, typically 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit
- Leaving the scene of an accident or actively fleeing the scene of an accident
- Using a commercial vehicle to commit a crime.
- Using a commercial vehicle to intentionally harm another driver.
Truck Accident Liability for Your CDL Driver
Truck accidents involving tractor-trailers, commercial delivery trucks, and other large vehicles are more dangerous than accidents involving smaller vehicles. That also can make them more difficult to manage legally.
The following parties could be held liable for a truck accident:
- The CDL driver
- The trucking company or driver’s employer
- A maintenance company.
- Various third parties
It can be challenging to determine liability in a commercial truck accident. Ultimately, if an investigation into an accident reveals that the truck driver is in any way at fault for causing it, the driver will likely face a CDL suspension. They could even face total revocation of their CDL. If you have questions, speak with a Kansas City truck accident lawyer about your claim and try to stay safe on the road while driving your truck!