Truck Accidents

Truck Accidents

The issues involved in truck accidents are different than those commonly seen in other types of motor vehicle crashes. The nature of injuries that may be sustained, the myriad of regulations governing the trucking industry and the interaction of multiple parties who may share liability all reinforce your need for legal representation.

An 18-wheeler vs. a Passenger Car

An average car weighs in at about 5000 pounds; a fully loaded tractor trailer can tip the scales at close to 80,000 pounds. When a truck and a car meet on a roadway, there is no such thing as a minor crash. Common injuries include:

  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Disfiguring burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

Sadly, many drivers and passengers who are injured in truck accidents suffer permanent injury or death.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCSA)

The FMCSA, has promulgated an extensive set of laws with the prime purpose of making the trucking industry safer. In determining the cause of a truck accident and ultimately proving liability, your legal representative must be familiar with numerous government regulations, some of which concern:

  • Safety fitness procedures
  • Minimum insurance coverage
  • Qualification of drivers
  • Operation of the vehicle
  • Inspection, maintenance and repair
The Players

There can be many causes of a truck accident and those who may be found liable have an understandably strong interest in directing fault to another. A proper investigation into the incident will examine the role of:

  • The driver
  • The trucking company
  • The manufacturer of the truck
  • The shipping company that loaded the truck
  • The entity responsible for maintaining the road where the accident occurred

Each case is very fact specific and may involve the liability of more than one party. For instance, driver fatigue is an ongoing problem, and the FMCSA has maximum driving times and mandatory rest periods. But if a driver exceeds the limits, is the fault solely on the driver, or did the trucking company establish an unrealistic schedule and offer performance inducements for early delivery? These are the types of questions that must be answered.

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If you or a loved one has been the victim of a trucking accident, you need aggressive legal representation on your side.

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