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Date Modified: April 7, 2023
Trucker Lawyer Glossary
Learn the words and educate yourself.

We hope you enjoy this free glossary of truck injury terminology. Most of all, we want you to find out more about trucking accident claims. After all, the deadly effects of these big rig cases are indisputable.

Ehline Law has vast experience in these cases. So if you need more help, pick up your phone now. Call us to speak to a well-qualified, million-dollar advocate at (213) 596-9642.

Why Do the Right Words Play Such an Important Role?

There are thousands of people injured in tragic events every year. And there are common legal terms used in these circumstances. Some of these terms are typical of those used in personal injury legal claims.

State laws and the federal government regulate the trucking industry. So this can influence the amount of compensation obtained by the victim or the family. So if you lost a loved one in a fatal collision, you need to understand the terminology.

Also, it might be a good idea to hire a lawyer. They will already know the language and procedures. Hence, they are indispensable to winning a trucking injury case.

These Common Truck Injury Legal Terms Include:

  • Hours of Service Rules: This is how many hours legally the truck driver may drive daily. Furthermore, these hours get determined according to federal regulations.
  • Truck Log Book: Truck drivers by law must keep a log. Said journal must document hours of service and hours of rest. Also, this logbook can be evidence in a future case. But it requires the attorney to obtain a court order to have access to the record. This log may be able to provide evidence of liability. So logbooks are often doctored, lost, or inadequate. Depending on the facts, failure to provide these records shows evidence the defendant isn’t trustworthy. So here, the defendant produced less compelling evidence. But he or she could have produced the tally. Hence, the evidence that produced shall get treated with distrust by the Court and jury. (See also California Evidence Code Section 412, et seq.)

The Agencies

  • NHTSA: The NHTSA got created by the Highway Safety Act of 1970. It’s formally called the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA manages highway safety and consumer programs. These programs got established in both 1966 and 1972. The NHTSA administers motor vehicle safety on the roadways. Also, they are entrusted with the overall strategy for the prevention of motor vehicle collisions.
  • FMCSA: This is an agency that is a part of the Department of Transportation. Its full name is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This organization was established, January 1, 2000. It is a creature of statute. Its directives come from the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. The duty of this office is to ensure the safety of commercial vehicles.
  • Truck Accident Attorney: This is an attorney specializing in truck crash litigation. So this lawyer represents the injured victim or the bereaving family having lost a loved one. Also, PI lawyers typically help survivors of decedents fatally injured in trucking collisions.

Also, experienced attorneys should get consulted as soon as possible after the incident. You will need them to investigate and to counter any claims that the defendant company may make.

Most of all, they protect the victims’ rights to recover compensation for injuries. Also, they can get money for a fatality and other damages deserved by the victims.

Time-Barred Issues

  • The Statute of Limitations: This is a limit of time from the injury or death date in a tragic event. It is a prescribed period to file legal claims. This time limit can be different from state to state. If the lawsuit does not get deposited in the given amount of time, the court won’t accept it. It becomes time-barred in such cases.

Understanding Negligence in Trucker Crashes

  • Negligence: This is when the actions of the bad driver or his employer are careless or reckless. Then they can be legally considered negligent. Truck operator negligence can be driving recklessly. But it also includes driver fatigue, driver inexperience, speeding, or driving under the influence.

    So the negligence of the semi-company can involve improper maintenance or knowledge of inexperience. Also, it may include not investigating the background of drivers.
    Furthermore, it can mean liability for not replacing defective parts. But it could also be the act of ignoring defective part recalls. If someone became hurt, these facts are all a basis for showing legal liability. And this shows a duty had become breached.

Trucking Accident Damages

  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages don’t get awarded in every case. But it’s an amount of money meant to punish the defendant. It focuses on intentional or grossly negligent actions. This award is to teach a lesson. Mostly, it is common in avoidable accidents. Examples include and involved reckless driving. But they can also come into play if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Punitive damages must also compensate the victim for mental stress and the injuries sustained. Again, these are extraordinary damages. So usually, they do not get awarded. They are rare.
  • Economic Damages: These are damages that can get recovered after an accident. They are part of a compensation award or settlement. This is a financial award for medical expenses, loss of wages, and future loss of earnings. When the attorney is seeking economic damages, compensation can include loss of consortium. But it also covers funeral and burial costs. So if someone dies in a fatal trailer crash, these may be part of what is available.
  • Non-Economical Damages: This gets included in your financial award or settlement. Its design is to assure money compensation for mental anguish, pain, and suffering. But it also covers loss of enjoyment of life. This award can include punitive damages. Again, this is only when a driver gets found at fault due to certain causes.

What are Some Other Truck Accident Damages?

  • Loss of Consortium: Defined as a damage award or settlement. But it only gets awarded when a spouse has lost the ability to provide financially or personally. Also, it includes the loss of services of a family member for other family members — furthermore, these changes in household responsibilities. Of particular interest, it also covers changes in marital life. So the loss of sex and emotional problems get included. So it’s not just physical injuries getting compensated.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: So this is when people get fatally injured due to negligence. Most of all, the killing was the fault of someone else. Then it is legally considered a wrongful death. So this is accidental and avoidable death. This lawsuit allows the family to recover compensation. Hence, it holds the negligent party legally responsible. So wrongful death attorneys are the experts for this type of complicated lawsuit. Also, they get specially trained. Hence, they can determine the damages that the family deserves. So at least victims can get an idea of the value of a case. Guessing is not an option when it comes to getting paid in court.

Need More Advice About Truck Accidents? Call Us Today

Regardless of how inexperienced you are about the terminology, we will answer any questions. We can help walk you through the process. Our legal beagles work hard to address your concerns. Also, we will help you understand your settlement.

So act now. The firm is available at (213) 596-9642. Alternatively, go ahead and visit the company’s site at ehlinelaw. Our operators are standing by for your urgent call or to read your website contact form for verification purposes only and prompt return call.

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.