Are truck accident lawsuits different from other motor vehicle accident claims?
Yes. Truck accidents are much more complex than other types of motor vehicle accidents for several reasons:
- There are numerous state and federal regulations governing the trucking industry. The success of your claim will be greatly impacted by how well your lawyer understands these different regulations and how they apply to your case.
- There are often multiple parties who can be held accountable in truck accident lawsuits, and your lawyer must be able to accurately evaluate which parties are responsible based on the specifics of your claim.
- Truck drivers and trucking companies are required by law to keep extensive records. Your attorney must know how to interpret these complex records.
What are the most common causes of truck accidents?
While there are many potential causes of truck accidents, the most common include:
- Driver fatigue – This is the most common cause, contributing to approximately 40% of all truck accidents.
- Intoxication – Drug and alcohol use is responsible for a significant number of truck accidents. Many truck drivers use stimulants to counteract the effects of driver fatigue and sadly, alcohol use is alarmingly common among truckers.
- Adverse weather conditions – Poor visibility and slick roads due to snow, rain, and fog pose serious hazards for trucks due to their excessive size, poor maneuverability, and slow braking time.
- Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks – Trucks carrying too much weight or loads that are not properly distributed throughout the truck face an increased risk of losing control.
- Equipment failure – Brake, tire, or steering system failures can have disastrous consequences for large trucks due to their size and poor maneuverability.
- Improper training – Lack of proper training can result in truck drivers making poor decisions, increasing the chance of a truck accident.
Who can be held responsible for my truck accident injuries?
One reason truck accident lawsuits are so complex is that multiple responsible parties can be held responsible. The specifics of your case will determine where to pursue compensation. Responsible parties may include:
- Truck drivers – Truck drivers have responsibilities to uphold while operating a commercial vehicle, and when they violate those responsibilities they can be held accountable. While most commercial truck drivers are safe professionals, too many drive recklessly or drive under the influence of various substances.
- Trucking companies – Many truck drivers drive dangerously because companies put unrealistic expectations on them with overloaded schedules and trucks. Our truck accident lawyers will investigate to determine if the trucking company put profit over safety by making dangerous demands of their drivers.
- Cargo Companies – One common cause of truck accidents is overloaded or improperly loaded cargo. If our truck accident lawyers determine that this was a cause of the collision, we can pursue a claim against the company that loaded the cargo onto the truck.
- Equipment and Product Manufacturers – Defective vehicles present unique dangers to drivers on America’s highways. This is especially true when the vehicle in question is a massive commercial truck. If the truck that hurt you was defective or poorly designed, or if it contained defective parts, we can pursue compensation from the manufacturer.
- Highway Designers or Maintenance Entities – Government entities and private companies have a responsibility to design, build and maintain safe roadways. If there is a failure to do so, we can pursue a claim for defective road design or defective highway maintenance.
Determining liability in your truck accident requires two traits: experience and tenacity. The attorneys at Truck Accident Lawyers, LLC have both. We’ve spent decades investigating truck accidents in order to determine fault, and we will not rest in our efforts to remove from your shoulders the heavy physical, financial and psychological burdens of a truck accident.
If you want to speak to an experienced, passionate truck accident lawyer about your claim, please contact Truck Accident Lawyers, LLC today for a free consultation.
Are there limitations to how long a truck driver can spend on the road during a shift?
Yes. There are Hours of Service (HOS) laws that establish restrictions on how much time a truck driver can spend on the road. These laws limit truck drivers to a maximum of 10 consecutive hours and 11 total hours on the road in one day. Truck drivers must take at least 10 hours off between shifts, and they cannot exceed a maximum of 60 hours on the road in one week. Also, truck drivers are required to take at least 34 consecutive hours off each week.
What are common large truck failures?
In our experience, brake failures, lighting systems, tire failures, and engine problems broadly account for most large truck accidents.
Are there any special requirements in order to qualify to operate a commercial truck?
Yes. All truck drivers must possess a commercial drivers license (CDL). To obtain a CDL, drivers must complete specialized training and pass rigorous tests. There are different classes of CDLs, which determine the size and type of truck a driver is permitted to operate. Truck drivers carrying certain types of cargo, such as hazardous materials, must undergo additional training before operating these vehicles.