Would you know what to do if you were involved in a truck accident? Semi-trucks kill thousands of people each year. Many more are severely injured. The victims aren’t the only ones who are affected. Their families are burdened from the crushing expense of medical bills, they may have lost their life partner or parent, and the loss of income is especially devastating in this economy. If you or someone you love was involved in a truck with a semi-truck, read this entire article. You may be eligible to file a personal injury claim.
Trucking Industry Profile: Heartland Express Inc.
Heartland Express, Inc., is headquartered in North Liberty, Iowa. They’ve delivered goods for FedEx, Walmart, Unilever, Ford, and other household names. Heartland has around 5,000 truck drivers. They acquired Gordon Trucking in 2013.
What Is Fault in Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents fall into a category of civil law known as personal injury. Fault is important because it determines the liability someone has for the injuries of another person. It all boils down to negligence. Negligence has four elements:
- There must be a duty that is owed. For instance, according to the Department of Transportation, it is illegal for a trucker to drive more than 11 hours in a single day. This is for the safety of the driver and for the public at large. Semi-trucks can’t slow down or stop as easily as a passenger vehicle. It’s important that drivers of semi-trucks are alert and well rested.
- That duty must be breached. If a driver for Heartland Express Inc., drove 14 hours per day, that would be a breach of their duty under the law. It wouldn’t matter if a shipment was late or if they were pressured into doing it by their supervisor.
- The breach of duty must cause actual harm. If the driver missed a yield sign and was involved in a wreck after driving more than the legal 11 hours, that would be actual harm that was caused by not adhering to their legal duty of not driving more than 11 hours in a day.
- The breach must have caused the actual harm. That may seem like a repetition of the third element, but in reality, it is testing the cause of the injuries. This is often called the ‘but-for test.’ But for the driver being fatigued from driving more than the 11 hours per day, they would not have missed the yield sign and been involved in a wreck.
As you can see from the above, the elements help determine if there may be a personal injury claim.
If you or someone you love was involved in a wreck with a semi-truck, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights. Don’t wait. There are deadlines that must be met in order to have your claim heard by the court. Speak to an attorney today.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Heartland Express, Inc, you may not be entitled to any compensation.