Every year, 1,746,000 Americans are injured and killed in accidents on our nation’s highways. Of these accidents, 368,000 involve large trucks, defined as vehicles with a gross weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. More than eight million such vehicles travel on American roads each year, giving you a significant chance of suffering a truck accident injury at some point in your driving career.
Some truck accidents are just that – accidents, created by circumstances beyond anyone’s control, such as unforeseeable road conditions or the unpredictable activities of other drivers. Most truck accidents, however, are preventable.
When a truck accident occurs, someone is almost always at fault, either through negligence or willful action. If you and/or your property are injured or damaged as the result of a truck accident due to such negligence or action, a truck accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for that injury or damage.
A truck accident lawsuit is the method by which you can recover damages from the person or group of persons at fault in a truck accident. Your best chance to confront negligent drivers, their employers, and manufacturers in a court of law and realize just compensation is to retain the professional services of a truck accident lawyer.
Rules and Regulations for Trucking Companies
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, establishes and enforces a complex set of rules and regulations covering all aspects of commercial vehicle operations.
In general, trucking rules and regulations focus on five key areas:
- Driver’s log – drivers must keep a written record of activities for each hour of operation
- Insurance coverage – every driver must be covered by accident insurance
- Hours of service – drivers can operate their vehicle only a certain number of hours per day
- Equipment standards – every truck must meet stringent equipment standards
- Commercial Drivers License standards – drivers must possess a valid CDL
Truck accident regulations are also part of this body of rules; should a truck accident lawsuit occur as a result of a crash, the degree to which the truck’s operator is in compliance with these rules will affect the outcome of the case. In a semi-truck accident lawsuit, the truck’s operator and/or owner must produce documented proof of compliance in these areas.
A truck accident that occurs as the result of an operator/owner’s violation of these rules is a serious injury to your rights as well as the law. Should you become involved in a truck accident lawsuit, you deserve compensation for negligence on the part of the truck operator.
By pursuing a semi truck accident lawsuit, you not only have the possibility of obtaining compensation, but you make the cost of negligence higher for trucking companies – thus increasing the level of safety for the driving public.
Truck Accident Causes
Truck accidents don’t just happen. While the rare vehicle crash results from causes outside of human control, almost all semi-truck accidents are the preventable result of human error and/or negligence on the part of the truck driver, other motorists, or both.
The “big seven” causes of truck accidents are:
- High driver stress levels – leads to poor decision-making
- Driving long distances without breaks – can cause “road hypnosis”
- Overloading of trucks – can render brakes and other equipment less functional
- Lack of proper spacing between trucks and other vehicles – reduces reaction time
- Mechanical failure of truck components – causes vehicle to malfunction
- Lack of driver concentration – leads to distraction
- Driver fatigue – can cause driver to fall asleep at the wheel
Truck accident injuries ruin lives, destroy valuable property, and create higher insurance rates and shipping costs for everyone. If you are a victim of a semi-truck accident, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to seek recompense.
You can recover from the pain and suffering created by a truck accident injury by seeking out a qualified personal injury attorney and, with his or her help, compelling the party at fault to compensate you for the injuries and property damage caused by their negligence.