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Utah Truck Accident Lawyer

Utah truck accident lawyer

Getting into a semi-truck accident can be a life-altering event. Catastrophic injuries often result from a semi-truck collision. If you are unfortunate enough to endure the impact, you can be left with severe injuries and a grueling road to recovery.

But after a truck accident, personal injury victims are typically not able to manage the complexities. This is where a Utah truck accident attorney involved with most truck accident claims. This is where a Utah truck accident lawyer can offer accident victims the help they need to recover financial compensation by filing personal injury claims.

Your personal injury lawyer will pursue the at-fault parties involved to ensure that you receive a fair settlement and maximum compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.

Secure Legal Representation From a Skilled Utah Truck Accident Lawyer

Secure legal representation

A personal injury law firm that handles Utah truck accidents doesn't ask their clients for any money upfront -- or ever, unless they recover financial compensation for their clients. Because they operate on a contingency basis, a Utah truck accident attorney works hard to see that you get the compensation that you deserve for your serious injuries from a collision with an 18-wheeler.

Below are just some of the many ways the skilled and knowledgeable legal team at ReshLaw Accident & Injury can help you pursue your personal injury case against the liable party.

  • Gather your medical records from the providers who rendered treatment for your life-threatening injuries and grueling recovery.
  • Assemble a rock-solid truck accident case by gathering the necessary evidence and hiring the right experts.
  • Negotiate with the attorneys and insurance company adjusters for the trucking company.
  • Take the trucking company and its driver to court if they don't want to settle your semi-truck accident claim.

We can also guarantee that you obtain the medical and post-accident rehabilitative care you need after suffering traumatic brain injuries or other serious consequences from a commercial truck accident.

Utah Trucking Laws: What You Need to Know!

Utah trucking laws

Most motorists understand why there are two sets of rules for passenger vehicle drivers and commercial truckers. The weight and size disparity between the big rigs and much smaller passenger vehicles is one of the reasons that truck drivers must adhere to more stringent laws to protect the safety of other motorists and their passengers.

Let's examine some of the Utah trucking laws for semi-truck drivers:

  • They need a special commercial driver's license (CDL) to operate the big rigs.

This regulation is not unique to Utah. It encompasses all U.S. states and the District of Columbia. To qualify for a CDL license, all drivers must be 18 or older and have had a regular state driver's license for a minimum of one year. They are also subject to passing medical and vision screenings.

In addition, CDL drivers must take and pass a training course, skills test, and a written test before the state of Utah issues a CDL.

  • All truck components must be in good working order.

A semi-truck driver must conduct a pre-trip inspection of their big rig before each trip. Their horns, brakes, mirrors, engines, tires, windshield wipers, headlights and tail lights, and mud flaps must work as intended before the trucker drives away.

  • There are size restrictions for commercial vehicles.

Unless they seek special permits or endorsements that might require vehicle escorts, a commercial vehicle must not have a trailer longer than 53 feet. The maximum height of the semi-truck is 14 feet, and its total width is not over 8.5 feet.

  • Left lane usage laws.

Utah law states that the left lanes on highways and interstates will be used for passing slower vehicles. But if there are more than two lanes bound in the same direction, truck drivers can only drive in the far left lanes if they are trying to avoid some obstacle in the road or must make a left turn. These rules apply to all trucks pulling trailers that weigh six tons or more.

  • What about speed limits?

Unlike other more densely-populated states with separate speed limits for trucks, on most roads, semi trucks can drive the maximum speed of 80 mph on freeways in Utah.

  • Impaired driving

There are additional federal regulations addressing alcohol and drug usage by commercial truckers that are designed to keep the community safe from intoxicated drivers of 18-wheelers. It should also be noted that even over-the-counter (OTC) medications can impair drivers to the point of legal intoxication when driving.

Utah Truck Accident Statistics

According to statistics from the Utah Department of Health, someone dies from injuries they suffered in a collision on Utah roads every 33 hours. Utah drivers get into accidents every eight minutes, and someone gets hurt in these wrecks every 20 minutes.

The state Highway Safety Office released its data from 2018, revealing that in that single year, 62,074 accidents occurred in the state. As a result, there were 260 fatalities and 25,645 more injured from highway collisions.

Passenger and commercial vehicle accidents remain among the top causes of death from injuries for those living and driving in Utah.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Utah

While the circumstances of each accident differ, there are some primary causes of semi-truck accidents, including those listed below.

Driver Fatigue and Hours of Service Violations

Driver fatigue and hours of service violations

A truck driver is often expected to adhere to impossible schedules assigned by the trucking company that employs them to drive. A fatigued truck driver can cause a dangerous truck accident simply because they failed to get sufficient sleep before leaving on their route. This profit over safety protocol is often instilled by companies that are too greedy to care. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains complex policies regarding the Hours of Service for truckers. Truckers cannot drive longer than 11 hours after 10 hours spent off-duty. After driving eight consecutive hours, the regulations mandate they take half-hour breaks.

Before electronic logs were invented, some trucking companies commonly encouraged their drivers to falsify their written log books to appear to comply when they had actually been driving far longer. 

Distracted Driving and Cell Phone Use

Trucking can be a lonely job, and truckers frequently use cell phones for entertainment and to speak with loved ones while out on the road. But any form of distraction can be deadly to the truckers and those with whom they share the roads.

Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Cargo

Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo

Drivers are responsible for the proper loading of their cargo to prevent a truck accident from occurring. Whether they load it themselves or pay lumpers to load their cargo onto commercial trucks, the semi-truck driver will be held liable if the cargo shifts during transport and causes a serious truck accident.

Mechanical Failures and Equipment Malfunctions

While some semi-truck accidents may be unavoidable, a truck crash caused by mechanical failure or equipment malfunction is typically easy to avoid. Both trucking companies and their drivers can face liability for a semi-truck accident caused by broken parts or worn-out equipment.

Poor Weather and Road Conditions

Poor weather and road conditions

Although most truck accidents occur during daylight hours and dry conditions, both inclement weather and substandard road conditions can result in a truck accident with injuries. Although big rig drivers cannot do anything about the weather, it is incumbent upon truckers to slow their speed accordingly when bad weather appears on the horizon.

Types of Truck Accidents in Utah

Below are a few of the types of commercial truck accidents that can leave victims injured or worse.

Rear-End Collisions

If an 18-wheeler slams into your rear bumper, your injuries may be life-altering (if you survive the impact). Since even a rear-end collision with a passenger car can be very serious and cause disabling injuries, getting slammed by a big rig can leave you with greater injuries proportional to the weight of the vehicle.

Head-on Collisions

The energy generated by a head-on truck crash can be strong enough to leave a passenger vehicle in pieces on the highway. This is likely the most devastating semi-truck accident one can suffer.

Jackknife Accidents

When the cab of a truck and its trailer veer in different directions, it is known as a jackknife because of the similarity of the "L" or "V" shape it makes to a pocketknife. These frequently occur during slippery road conditions. Once the truck jackknifes it is anyone's guess what happens next.

Rollover Accidents

A rollover truck accident can happen if a trucker takes an exit too quickly and cannot slow down enough to avoid other cars. The truck may roll over on the roadway or down an incline causing significant injuries to the driver, passengers, or travelers in other vehicles.

Underride Accidents

Fortunately, this type of semi truck accident occurs less frequently since more trucks are now fitted with rear underride guards to prevent the often fatal injuries in these collisions. An underride accident occurs when the injured party’s  vehicle travels under the taller truck. 

Most Common Injuries in Truck Accidents in Utah

Most common injuries in truck accidents

If you are involved in a Utah truck accident, your injuries could range from mild or moderate to catastrophic. Listed below are a few of the most prevalent injuries suffered by victims of truck accident cases.

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Neck and back damage
  • Head injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Paralysis
  • Injuries from seat belts

This list is not exhaustive, as truck accident cases can cause any number of injuries.

Liability in Utah Trucking Accidents

You may wonder who bears liability if you have suffered injuries in a trucking accident. The answer will depend on the specific circumstances of the crash.

Still, there can be several liable parties in semi-truck accident cases, including the driver, trucking companies, and the truck parts manufacturer when a part may have malfunctioned and caused the wreck.

Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Lawsuits in Utah

An accident victim with injuries from a truck accident usually has four years to either settle their claim or retain a truck accident lawyer to file a lawsuit claim against the responsible party or parties. However, there are some exceptions and talking to a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible is the best court of action.

Things You Need to Do Right After Your Utah Truck Accident

Things you need to do right after your truck accident

An experienced truck accident lawyer will advise those injured in big rig collisions to do all they can to protect their rights in the aftermath of a wreck. Below are some tips our Utah truck accident lawyers advise potential clients to do after a semi-truck accident.

  • If you are able, photograph the accident scene, including crash debris and skid marks.
  • Seek emergency medical treatment.
  • Retain copies of doctor and hospital bills and any other medical expenses you may incur.
  • Document lost wages from time off work recovering.
  • Stay off social media and discuss the accident only with your truck accident attorneys.
  • Allow your truck accident lawyers to deal with the insurance adjuster and avoid giving them any statements.

Your personal injury attorney will also explore avenues of financial recovery from the drivers of all vehicles involved in the wreck.

Compensation Available in Utah Trucking Accident Claims

Trucking companies and their insurance providers will always attempt to lowball their compensation offers in a truck accident case. But a semi-truck accident lawyer understands the true value of a truck accident case and will pursue the liable parties to make sure they cover things like medical bills and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.

Why Choose ReshLaw Accident & Injury for Your Utah Truck Accident Claim

After a big rig collision, call ReshLaw Accident & Injury to arrange a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney who will be your most stalwart advocate at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. We work on a contingency fee setup and offer a no strings attached free case evaluation for individuals injured in a truck accident.

We also seek justice for the survivors of those who suffered fatal injuries in a collision with an 18-wheeler. We can seek compensation for any hospital bills incurred before your family member passed away, their pain and suffering, funeral and other final expenses, and loss of consortium claims arising from the passing of your loved one due to a negligent trucker's actions behind the wheel.

Because we don't get paid unless you do, our semi-truck accident lawyer will go to the mat for you to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries, medical bills, losses, and other intangible damages.

Schedule an Initial Consultation With Our Utah Truck Accident Lawyer at ReshLaw Accident & Injury Today

Schedule an initial consultation with our truck accident lawyer

Do you want to know more about Utah truck accident FAQs? Injured victims and those who lost family members in fatal crashes can reach out to our Utah truck accident lawyer and schedule a free consultation.

Use our simple online form to set up your initial appointment with our legal team members, or give us a call at (801) 810-7374.

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