Shoulders on highways and interstates should not be used for parking or stopping by any motorist, including commercial truck drivers. Shoulders should be kept free for emergency situations that make a stop on the shoulder necessary. Unfortunately, large commercial trucks illegally parked on a shoulder can cause tragic accidents especially in bad weather, reduced visibility, or when a truck attempts to re-enter the highway.
Crashes with trucks can be devastating for car occupants due to the sheer size and weight of a commercial truck. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the majority of fatalities in truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants. Truck drivers, on the other hand, are generally well protected in the cabs of their tractor-trailer trucks.
If you or a loved one suffered harm and financial losses in an accident with a truck parked on the shoulder illegally, you do not have to struggle on your own to get justice. Contact Labrum Law Firm now for a free case review and legal guidance: (615) 338-9500.
What Does the Law Say About Trucks Stopping on Shoulders?
Shoulders on public highways are not intended to provide general parking or rest opportunities for truck drivers. If drivers have to stop on the shoulder due to encountering a genuine problem or emergency, they must use warning devices immediately to reduce the possibility of crashes.
In general, commercial truck drivers have to abide by rules and regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state-specific laws. Federal regulation 49 CFR § 392.22 specifically deals with the issue of commercial trucks parked on highway shoulders. The law states that a truck parked on a shoulder can be permissible provided the truck driver warns other road users adequately by:
- Immediately turning on hazard warning lights
- Placing a warning device (such as a reflective triangle or flares) on the traffic side as soon as possible and within 10 minutes
- Keeping the appropriate warning devices in place until the truck leaves the shoulder
If a truck driver fails to use appropriate warning devices, they could potentially be liable for any fatalities or injuries caused by the stopped truck.
Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers at Labrum Law Firm knows the rules and regulations that truck drivers and companies must follow. We can help with collecting the evidence proving negligence and build a comprehensive case against the at-fault party. Call us today to find out if you have a case and could recover compensation for your losses.
Proving Negligence in Your Truck Accident
Truck drivers who park on the shoulder because they feel like taking a break or for another reason other than a genuine emergency typically violate road laws. Drivers should stop at designated rest areas or parking lots for breaks. If a truck driver illegally parks on the shoulder, causing an accident, they could be legally negligent and responsible to compensate any victim for injuries or losses received. A truck accident lawyer will try to determine negligence by analyzing the accident and determining whether the truck driver:
- Stopped on the shoulder for a non-permitted reason
- Failed to warn other road users with hazard lights and warning devices
However, in order to prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit your attorney will also want to prove the following four elements:
- The truck driver owed you a duty of care
- They breached the duty by illegally parking on the shoulder
- The breach caused your accident and injuries
- You have damages such as medical expenses and other losses
Truck accidents can be challenging to prove and litigate. Consider consulting with a seasoned truck accident lawyer for help and advice, and to ensure you receive justice.
Victims of Accidents Involving a Truck Parked on the Shoulder Can Recover Damages
If you suffered injuries due to a truck parked on the shoulder, you should not have to deal with the financial burden on your own. If you can prove that a truck driver or a trucking company's negligence contributed to your accident, you could receive various types of compensation that can help your recovery and financial situation after a crash. Examples of compensation can include:
- Medical expenses and future medical bills
- Lost income, future lost income, and loss of future earning capacity
- Awards for pain and suffering
Depending on the specific circumstances of your trucking accident and the severity of your injuries, you could be entitled to additional types of compensation.
Victims of truck accidents can find it challenging to receive adequate compensation. Trucking companies are generally well-prepared for fighting accident claims and may have teams of lawyers ready to fight against providing fair settlement offers to victims. Moreover, the insurance companies may be dragging their heels, trying to minimize or deny adequate compensation for victims. An experienced truck accident lawyer can provide you with peace of mind, professional legal guidance, and protect your best interests.
How Labrum Law Firm Can Help Truck Accident Victims
Truck accident victims may find it stressful and challenging to stand up against powerful companies and their lawyers. Therefore, it is important for victims to consider learning about their legal rights and receive appropriate legal advice after a trucking accident with a truck parked on a shoulder. An experienced personal injury attorney from Labrum Law Firm can fight for your rights and can potentially prevent the trucking company or their insurer from denying your claim or taking advantage of you.
Negotiating with Insurers
An attorney can negotiate with the trucking insurance company, aiming to achieve a fair settlement that covers all your damages. Unfortunately, trucking accident victims rarely know the true value of their claim, which can severely disadvantage them in settlement negotiations. An attorney can calculate your damages comprehensively, including expected future medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and non-economic losses, such as physical pain and emotional distress.
Strong Representation in Court
While personal injury cases can generally be settled out of court, an adequate settlement depends on the defendant and their insurer's willingness to settle. Your personal injury attorney knows when the time has come to seek legal recourse in a court of law and can present your case strongly at trial.
Contact the Labrum Law Firm To Learn More About Your Legal Rights
If you experienced a trucking accident with a truck parked on the shoulder of the road, you may have extensive injuries and losses. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps. An experienced trucking accident lawyer from Labrum Law Firm can handle your case from beginning to end and help ensure your legal rights remain protected while you are free to recover. We work on a contingency fee basis with no financial risk for you. Call our legal team today to schedule your free consultation: (615) 338-9500.