Anyone who gets behind the wheel of an automobile assumes a major responsibility to avoid causing accidents, and this is particularly true in the case of commercial truck drivers. Truckers receive special training before they can receive a commercial driver’s license as they have to be able to demonstrate extra skill in handling their enormous vehicles. A fully loaded semi-truck can legally weigh as much as 80,000 pounds – up to forty times more than a normal passenger vehicle – and is therefore far more capable of causing devastating damage in a collision. If the trucker or the driver’s employer caused your accident through some type of negligence, then you may be entitled to claim monetary damages in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
As soon as we accept a case involving a trucking accident, we go to work in gathering the evidence to prove our client’s claim for damages. We look for evidence that will serve to demonstrate that the trucker is responsible for causing the accident or that the trucking company is legally liable. Common scenarios involve speeding, wide right turns, lane drift, and failing to “manage the space” around the large truck, such as following too closely or turning when unsafe. Also, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates hours of service (HOS) to ensure that truckers do not stay on the road too long before stopping to rest. If the driver violated the HOS regulations, then this may serve as evidence of driver fatigue, which would go towards proving negligence. Similarly, if the trucking company failed to perform routine inspections and maintenance on the truck, then this could be grounds to hold them responsible.
If you or a loved one has been injured or if your spouse, son/daughter or parent has been killed in a collision with an 18-wheeler, tractor trailer or heavy truck, contact us for an initial case review. Our truck accident attorney from our firm can come to meet with you at the hospital or in your home and will be able to answer your questions and help you determine how much your claim may be worth.
For more information on a particular trucking company, visit the “safer database,”safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/.