Although commercial truckers are an intricate part to how goods are transported all over the country, sharing the road with a truck can come with some risk. You never know who is driving in the big rig next to you. Ever been stuck in a lane between two large commercial trucks? The thought alone can cause anxiety. We put a lot of faith and trust into others operating motor vehicles on the road. Especially those driving big rigs. But what happens when a commercial driver causes an accident? Or is non compliant with their commercial driver’s license?
What should I do if I see a big rig driving unsafely or recklessly on the road?
Unfortunately, at some point in your life, you may experience an unsafe truck driver while on the road. Hopefully, you are lucky enough to not fall victim to an accident as a result. It can be scary to witness a large truck being operated in what appears to be a hazardous way. It’s important to take action in order to make some attempt at protecting not only yourself but others on the road. Your first step should be to call 911. The police may be able to intercept the truck driver and put a stop to their reckless driving before anyone is harmed. Your follow up to this should be to contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). There are a variety of ways in which you can file a report against the reckless driver. The FMCSA plays an intricate role in regulating the trucking industry. They can investigate not only the truck but also the trucking company. Make sure that you have taken down the trucks information and that you are clearly able to speak to what you witnessed.
What are some reasons a CDL may be suspended?
When a truck driver is convicted of reckless driving it can come with serious consequences that can have a significant impact on their livelihood. In fact, there are a number of reasons a CDL may be suspended that stem beyond reckless driving, for example:
- Reckless driving
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drug related offenses
- Driving more than 25 mph over the speed limit
There are significant penalties for engaging in this type of activity which can result in the loss of a commercial driver’s license. This would ultimately depend on the severity of the offense.
Am I able to collect punitive damages if I am in a trucking accident?
In severe trucking accident cases, your attorney may advise you to collect punitive damages. Punitive damages are not a component to all personal injury cases but are a way of making the negligent party pay for their actions by requiring them to pay money to the victim of the accident. Punitive damages are a way of punishing the person who has caused the accident. In many cases, punitive damages can be the result of the truck driver behaving in a reckless manner, ultimately causing the accident to occur. In some cases, depending on the details, a truck driver may even be facing criminal charges as well.
If you have been in an accident involving a commercial truck, you probably have sustained serious injuries. You are likely to carry both the physical and emotional pain from the accident for some time. Speak with the best auto accident lawyer Des Moines, IA offers when determining whether pursuing compensation for damages is in your best interest.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Johnston Martineau, PLLP for their insight into truck accidents and commercial drivers.