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If you want to bring a truck accident case, you have to know the law. Of course, it's mostly your lawyer's job to know the law, but if you don't understand the basics, you won't understand what's going on and what questions you need to ask. Here are the laws you need to be aware of.
Many states have their own specific rules regarding the operation of heavy equipment. These rules vary depending upon what industry they apply to. They also differ based on who has the duty to provide safety precautions.
The law that applies to a truck accident is the law of the state where the accident happened. It's not the law of your home state or where the trucking company is.
Since truck companies often happen on highways while you're traveling, there's a good chance that you might not be filing your lawsuit in the exact place that it happened. However, whether you file in the closest courthouse, the courthouse near your home, or the courthouse near the trucking company, the court will apply the laws of the state where your accident happened.
For the most part, truck accident cases are a matter of state laws. Federal laws tell you where and how you can bring your lawsuit when the accident was in another state or the drivers are from different states.
In many cases, you'll bring a case involving multiple states in a federal court. This eliminates any possible bias that a state court judge might have towards their own state's residents. Federal court judges are also used to hearing cases involving different state laws and adjusting their rulings to those laws.
Federal Safety Regulations
The federal government also imposes a number of safety regulations on truck drivers. These regulations are a federal issue because trucks usually drive across state lines.
A truck violating a safety regulation can often be used as evidence that the truck driver is responsible for causing your accident. This can apply even if the accident happened in a way that if it was two cars, the truck driver would not be at fault, or you would be at fault.
Truck drivers also have to keep logs that they're following safety records like taking proper rest periods and doing maintenance checks. An experienced lawyer can get this information and use it to your advantage.
To learn more, contact a company like Higinbotham & Higinbotham LLC.