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Trucking Accident Attorneys in Alaska

LEGAL HELP FOR ALASKA TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

Alaska, The Last Frontier, is the largest state in the United States in size, yet has the fewest amount of paved roads. Alaskan roadways are used by large trucks to transport much of the goods the state produces, including oil, natural gas, and fish. With rainy, snowy, and icy conditions, driving conditions are furthered hampered in some areas where the sun doesn’t shine for several months at a time.

Unfortunately, wherever there is semi-truck traffic there will also be semi-truck accidents that result in injuries and death. When the unthinkable happens to you or a loved one, you need a truck accident attorney with the resources needed to handle a major, complex case. You need a lawyer that is available whenever you need them and a lawyer that can meet with you wherever you reside.

We understand the financial burden that Alaska trucking injury victims can experience following a serious trucking accident. Thomas J. Henry can help make you more comfortable by advancing your court costs and litigation expenses, advance money for living and medical expenses, and you don’t pay attorney’s fees unless we win your case.

Our experienced team of truck accident lawyers are confident that they can deliver you the compensation you deserve. Across the nation, Thomas J. Henry has stood up to large trucking companies and obtained record-breaking verdicts for victims of serious semi-truck accidents.

THE LEGAL RESOURCES NEEDED TO WIN YOUR ALASKA TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

  • Experts
    • Trucking experts serve as witnesses in commercial trucking litigation matters by providing expert reports and testimony. Thomas J. Henry has spent years selecting the best experts from across the nation for each case by thoroughly examining and questioning every expert. It is vital to employ the best experts available to help strengthen your trucking accident case. Expert witnesses may include:
      • Forensic engineers and scientists
      • General equipment technical experts
      • Medical professionals, such as doctors, surgeons, and psychologists
      • Accident reconstructionists
      • Hazmat experts
    • Technology
      • Thomas J. Henry conducts business in a state-of-the-art environment where efficiency and effectiveness are at the forefront. From the first time we visit with a new client, a complete case profile is active and accessible to every attorney on your case. Our team of experienced trucking accident lawyers can access your case files from anywhere in the world. Through the use of leading-edge solutions for case management, client interaction, and information security, we make sure your case is always at hand and always secure. The ability to access your files at the click of a mouse helps you receive the most up-to-date information possible.
    • Mobility
      • It is important that you are represented by attorneys that are always available to assist you with your concerns. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. At anytime from anywhere in the world, your attorney can hold meetings, draft, and review documents pertaining to your case. Attorneys have access to jet services and satellite technology to ensure that your concerns can be addressed from anywhere. If you cannot make it to one of our offices, we can come to you at your home, hospital, or place of work in Alaska.

WHO CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?

Trucking accident cases are more complex than other accidents, because there are several parties that could potentially be negligent. Thomas J. Henry trucking accident attorneys are experienced in determining who was negligent in your case and who can be sued. Our firm has achieved record-breaking verdicts for our injured clients because we know how trucking companies operate.

We have consistently demonstrated through massive use of experts, expansive discovery, and depositions how trucking companies and drivers have caused catastrophic injuries and deaths that were completely avoidable and complete unnecessary.

WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING INVOLVED IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT

Semi-truck crashes can be overwhelming, especially if you have been injured. By following a few simple steps, you can help protect yourself and your rights as a crash victim. The actions you take after a trucking accident could help (or hamper) your injury accident case.

  • Stop immediately after the crash and assess the situation
    • Accidents can be disorienting. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Make sure it is safe outside your vehicle before attempting to exit.
  • Make the accident visible
    • Use your vehicle hazard lights, set out reflectors, or use road flares to signal to other motorists that there is a crash scene approaching.
  • Notify the police
    • Contact your local police department or call 911 if there is an emergency. Filing a police report is an important step in filing insurance claims. Be sure that paramedics arrive on the scene to care for any injuries sustained in the crash.
  • Record the facts and take pictures
    • Speak with responding officers and be as accurate as possible, but do not speculate about facts surrounding the accident or any injuries you may have incurred. In addition, take pictures of damage to your vehicle, the scene of the accident, any injuries you or passengers suffered, or anything else that may help your case in the future.
  • Gather and exchange information
    • Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses to the crash. Obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved, too.
  • Seek medical attention
    • Sometimes injuries or pain from the accident won’t become apparent until days after the crash. If you are uncertain if you suffered an injury, err on the side of caution and get a check-up from your physician.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company
    • Contact your insurance company as soon as you can. As your claim is processed, keep a log of any medical expenses or crash-related expenses as well as any changes in health. Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or trucking company claims adjusters.
  • Contact an experienced trucking accident attorney
    • Attorneys are responsible for protecting your rights as an accident victim and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. Our attorneys will immediately work to obtain and preserve evidence from the accident, give you legal advice, and ensure you receive ample medical attention. An experienced Alaska truck accident lawyer will make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process and pursue every measure available to obtain the compensation you deserve.

COMMON ALASKA TRUCKING VIOLATIONS THAT RESULT IN ACCIDENTS

Semi-truck accidents often cause injuries that are more serious than ordinary car accidents due to the massive size differential. In the United States, tractor-trailers can weigh up to 40 tons, which is 20 times heavier than the average passenger car. Alaska experienced five fatalities in crashes involving a large commercial truck.

When truck drivers ignore traffic laws, catastrophic injuries and death can be the result. Common violations that cause commercial vehicle accidents include:

  1. Speeding
  2. Improper loading
  3. Distracted driving
  4. Failure to maintain vehicle
    • Serious and fatal trucking accidents can occur if trucking companies neglect the vehicles their employees use. Drivers and companies are both required to properly maintain their vehicles. A small oversight could result in a large accident.
  5. Improper turns
  6. Driving while fatigued
    • A recent AAA Foundation study showed that the increased crash risk caused by driving on only four or five hours of sleep was equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .12 to .15.
  7. Driving while impaired
  8. Following too closely
  9. Driving too fast for road conditions
    • Truck drivers in Alaska see their fair share of adverse driving conditions and are trained to respond accordingly. Drivers that fail to slow down in rainy, icy, or snowy weather put other drivers at risk if they happen to lose control of their vehicle.
  10. Improper lane changes

ECM AND GPS DEVICES: WHY THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT

Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are found in many commercial trucks and vehicles regulated by the Department of Transportation. These devices record and track the movement of the truck. This data and information can be vital in proving fault and negligence in a trucking accident case. ECM and GPS can determine how fast a truck was speeding before the moment of impact. These devices can also show the habits of a specific truck driver and display the routes taken by the driver prior to the incident.

At Thomas J. Henry, our experienced accident attorneys will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to not only obtain the ECM and GPS data from the truck involved, but also all of the Federal Motor Carrier required documents for the driver. The acquisition of these vital pieces of information and data is paramount in achieving justice and the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

FEDERAL TRUCKING GUIDELINES HELP PREVENT HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS

In order to keep other drivers safe on the roadways, various federal trucking regulations and guidelines are in place. Injury accidents occur when drivers and companies fail to comply with these rules, putting Alaska drivers’ safety in jeopardy. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains all of the regulations for commercial motor vehicles, companies, and drivers.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard and can lose their CDL certification by committing serious traffic violations.

Here are a few important regulations that truck drivers must abide by in the United States:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • CDL holders in Alaska must be 19 years of age or older to drive within state lines.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS

One of the most important regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers is the Hours of Service (HOS) regulation.

Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

ALASKA STATE TRUCKING REGULATIONS

In Alaska, applicants for a commercial vehicle driver’s license must be at least 19 years of age to operate a commercial vehicle inside the state of Alaska or at least 21 years of age to operate in interstate commerce. In addition, applicants must have had their driver’s license for at least one year before applying for a commercial license.

It is illegal to read or view visual displays while driving in the state of Alaska. This includes television, video monitors, portable computers, or any other similar means of providing a visual display that is in full view of a driver in a normal driving position.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ALASKA TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has helped victims of trucking accidents throughout the United States for decades. Taking on some of the largest trucking companies in the world, Thomas J. Henry helps our clients obtain record-breaking verdicts. If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident in Alaska, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our attorneys are available 24/7 nights and weekends to evaluate your case. If you cannot make it to our office, we can come to you at home, in the hospital, or at your office in Alaska.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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