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Tractor-trailer Accident Attorney in Utah

LEGAL HELP FOR UTAH TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

Approximately 80 percent of Utah’s population resides on the western side of the Wasatch Mountain Range, including the major cities of Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden. The Beehive State has become a hotspot for businesses in the tech sector and has ranked as one of the best states in which to do business. Utah’s tourism industry is also a major factor in the economy. Several national monuments, parks, and forests are located within its borders, bringing in millions of tourists annually along with billions in revenue. Other major industries include mineral extraction, petroleum production, and ranching.

Two major interstate highways intersect in the Salt Lake City metro area. Interstate 15 and I-80 are heavily trafficked roadways, especially for the trucking industry. Commercial trucks use these roadways to transport Utah’s manufactured goods across the state and the nation, but semi-trucks and heavy traffic oftentimes leads to serious accidents. Utah is not immune to trucking accidents — in 2014, 18 people lost their lives in accidents involving a large truck.

Sadly there are many 18-wheeler crashes that never had to happen in the first place. Countless lives could be spared each year in the United States if truck drivers and trucking companies followed common trucking regulations and traffic laws. When these individuals and corporations choose profit or safety, you and your loved ones’ lives are put in jeopardy.

Thomas J. Henry has helped injured victims across the United States stand up against the largest trucking companies in the world. Our experienced trucking accident attorneys coupled with our financial resources put our injured clients in the best position possible to achieve real results and compensation they deserve.

LEGAL RESOURCES TO WIN YOUR UTAH TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

In order to successfully take on the largest trucking companies in the nation, you need a firm with the necessary resources to do so. Thomas J. Henry ensures your case is handled with care from intake to resolution. The firm’s resources and decades of experience allow us to assist you efficiently and effectively every step of the way.

  • Mobility
    • Our Utah injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Clients can access our experienced team of lawyers at anytime from anywhere in the world. We can visit you wherever you reside through jet services if you cannot make it to one of our offices. Distance is never an issue because our attorneys have access to your files through satellite and cutting-edge mobile technologies, allowing them to hold meetings, draft and review files from anywhere. We make sure you have an advocate fighting on your behalf throughout the entire process, no matter where you live in Utah. We can come to your home, office, or visit you at the hospital.
  • Technology
    • Thomas J. Henry operates with state-of-the-art technology in an environment conducive to efficient and effective legal representation. No punches are held and no exceptions are made when it comes to using top-of-the-line case management, client interaction, and information security technologies when representing our clients. From the first time a new client meets at our office (or we visit them in Utah), a case profile is created and active in our modern computer system — accessible from anywhere in the country. Security and accessibility are of the utmost importance, and the ability to expedite case information to clients and legal professionals at the click of a mouse helps keep you informed with the most up-to-date information possible.
  • Experts
    • Our firm employs a multitude of trucking expert witnesses from across the world for every Utah trucking accident case. Experts can provide invaluable reports and testimony for judges, attorneys, lawyers, law firms, and government agencies in Federal and State court trials and arbitration. Having the right expert for the case is often vital in advancing your case. Experts can shine light on important aspects and details of a trucking accident, and Thomas J. Henry has spent years selecting only the best experts through thorough examining and questioning. Trucking accident experts can include:
      • Forensic engineers
      • FMCSA compliance consultants
      • Hazardous materials experts
      • Human factors forensic science experts
      • Accident investigation experts
      • Medical doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, and other medical professionals
      • Transportation safety specialists

WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR MY TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURIES?

Trucking accidents can be complex, and knowing who and where to sue can be a crucial aspect to the success of your case. These types of personal injury cases are complex because there are several different parties that may be at fault in the accident, including

  • Commercial motor vehicle or truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Commercial motor vehicle manufacturer

Thomas J. Henry has the knowledge and experience to make sure your case is handled correctly. Our Utah truck accident lawyers will make sure all the details of your trucking accident have been researched and discovered so you can receive the compensation you deserve for your trucking accident injuries. For years, our firm has demonstrated how commercial motor vehicle operators and trucking companies across the United States have caused catastrophic injuries and deaths that were completely preventable.

COMMON CAUSES OF UTAH TRUCK ACCIDENTS

Several factors can lead to a serious semi-truck accident. Due to the size differential between large trucks and passenger cars, small mistakes can turn catastrophic in the blink of an eye. In the United States, semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., or 40 tons. When the average car weighs around two tons, disastrous injuries and death can result from simple traffic infractions.

Common causes of Utah trucking accidents include:

  • Improper turns
  • Speeding
    • Perhaps the most common traffic violation, speeding was a contributing factor in at least 30 percent of annual fatal crash totals between 2003 and 2012.
  • Drowsiness
  • Unsecured loads
    • Motorists are put in danger when truck drivers and trucking companies fail to secure cargo. When cargo, including hazardous materials, spill onto the highway, serious accidents can occur.
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
    • Truck drivers are compelled to perform daily inspections on their vehicles. Even the smallest mechanical issue can turn deadly at 65 mph on the highway.
  • Improper lane changing
  • Distracted driving

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER BEING INVOLVED IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT

Your safety and well-being are paramount following a trucking accident. Your rights as a victim of a trucking accident are also important, and there are steps you can follow to help preserve those rights. We understand that truck crashes can be shocking and overwhelming. That’s why your choice matters when it comes to choosing a trucking injury attorney. Our team of lawyers will advocate for your financial and physical well-being throughout the process.

Following a Utah truck accident, you should:

  • Stop after the crash and assess your health and the health of any passengers. Do not exit the vehicle before checking to make sure it is safe to do so.
  • If possible, make the accident scene visible to other drivers by turning hazard lights on or setting out road flares.
  • Notify the police of the accident and be sure to file a police report. Filing a police report is a crucial aspect of filing an insurance claim. If there are any injuries, make sure a paramedics team is sent to the scene as well.
  • Record accident facts and take pictures of the scene, your injuries, and any other accident factors. Speaking accurately and truthfully to the responding police officer but do not speculate about facts about the incident.
  • Gather names, addresses, and phone numbers of those involved in the trucking accident and any witnesses to the event. In addition, obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the wreck.
  • Seek medical attention, even if you aren’t entirely sure you have sustained an injury. It is better to err on the side of caution and receive a check-up from a physician following the wreck. Some injuries or pain will show up days after the accident.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company, and keep a log of any medical or crash-related expenses. Do not speak with other insurance companies (advise them to contact your injury attorney, if you have retained one).
  • Contact an experienced Utah trucking accident attorney.

Attorneys at Thomas J. Henry will assist you with your trucking accident case, protecting your rights as a victim and making sure insurance companies act in your best interest. Our lawyers understand how important it is to acquire evidence immediately following a trucking accident. Available 24/7, nights and weekends, we are always available to answer your concerns and help you get through a very difficult time.

ECM AND GPS DEVICES: WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT TO MY TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE?

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Electronic Control Modules (ECM) are present in many commercial motor vehicles in the United States. These devices record important information about the truck and the behaviors of the truck driver — data that can be invaluable to your trucking injury case. ECM and GPS devices record and track the movement of the truck, including the speed at which the truck was traveling prior to a collision, the driving habits of the operator, and which routes were taken before an accident.

Our experienced Utah injury lawyers will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to secure and obtain the data found on the ECM and GPS devices. In addition, we will obtain the truck driver’s required Federal Motor Carrier documents, which can also play a huge role in determining fault and negligence in your potential truck accident case.

WHAT TRUCKING REGULATIONS EXIST TO KEEP UTAH DRIVERS SAFE?

Trucking companies and their drivers are required to abide by a variety of regulations that have been put in place to keep other motorists safe on the roads. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains all of the regulations regarding the operation and maintaining of commercial motor vehicles. Oftentimes serious trucking accidents are a result of a truck driver or trucking company’s failure to abide by these laws.

Truck drivers are required to obtain and hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard than regular driver’s license holders, which means they can lose their CDL certification by committing serious traffic violations.

Here are a few of the many federal trucking regulations:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • In Utah, CDL holders must be at least 18 years of age to operate 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 (HOS) REGULATIONS

Truck drivers are also required to abide by the hours of service regulations. These regulations are important in keeping drivers and other motorists safe. Drowsy driving is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation revealed that driving on only four or five hours of sleep increased the risk of a crash as much as driving with a blood alcohol content between .12 and .15 (reminder: .04 is the legal BAC limit for truck drivers).

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.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED UTAH TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

For decades, Thomas J. Henry has helped injured victims throughout the country stand up against large trucking companies and obtain record-breaking verdicts and settlements. Thomas J. Henry has the experience, the knowledge, and the resources you need to win your case. If you were injured in a trucking accident in Utah, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our trucking injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case.

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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