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Truck Accidents - Semi-Truck Accidents


Truck accidents are much more complex than simply being car accidents with larger vehicles. Because of trucking laws there are many factors that must be investigated in relation to semi truck accidents. Because of the size of the trucks, trucking accidents can be catastrophic, and when fatal truck accidents happen, the fatality occurs more frequently in the other vehicles involved in the truck accidents, rather than to the truck drivers or to any passengers in the trucks.

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Truck Accident Laws

The US Department of Transportation regulates commercial motor vehicles, including transport trucks. Federal regulations set out hours-of-service rules for truck drivers who drive a truck that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. Under the hours-of-service rules, there is a 14-hour driving limit, under which drivers may not drive more than 14 consecutive hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers are responsible for keeping up-to-date log books that record their hours driving.

truck accident lawsuitIf a driver drives beyond these hours and his fatigue is deemed a factor in an accident, the driver, the truck owner/operator and the company that employed the driver may all be liable for the accident.

In addition to hours-of-service rules, there are laws setting out inspection, repair and maintenance of trucks, transportation of hazardous materials, and truck size and weight route designations.

Truck Accident Statistics

Truck Accident StatisticsAccording to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), in 2008 there were 4,229 fatalities in large-truck crashes. Of those, 3,139 people were occupants of other vehicles, 677 were occupants in the truck and 413 were not occupants in any vehicle. In 2007, there were 4,822 fatalities in large-truck accidents. Of those, 3,608 were in other vehicles, 805 were occupants in the truck and 409 were not occupants in any vehicle.

When large trucks are involved in multi-vehicle accidents, it is more likely to be the occupants of other vehicles that are injured or killed rather than the truck occupants. This is due in large part to the size difference of the vehicles. Passenger vehicles are much smaller than semi trucks, leaving occupants vulnerable to serious injury.

Truck Driver Injuries

Truck drivers can also suffer serious, life-threatening injuries linked to defects in trucks or loads shifting. In some cases, large truck cabs may crush in a rollover, failing to properly protect the driver from serious injury. In other cases, seatbelts fail to latch properly and do not keep the driver securely in his seat. Meanwhile, cab guards may fail and allow cargo to move forward in a crash, crushing the cab from behind.

If a driver's injuries are the result of a manufacturing defect, the truck driver may be able to file a lawsuit against the truck manufacturer, the maker of component parts or the trucking company that hired the driver.

Truck Accident Negligence

Negligence occurs when a person's actions or inactions fall short of what a reasonable person would do to prevent a foreseeable risk of harm. Negligence in truck accidents takes a variety of forms. These include failure to stop at a light or stop sign, failure to yield to another vehicle, failure to yield to a pedestrian and driving while distracted (including talking on a cellphone). In the case of commercial trucks, negligence can also include driving over the legal hours, not getting enough rest time, driving while tired, use of various prescription drugs, speeding, performing illegal maneuvers and failure to take proper evasive maneuvers to prevent an accident.

In cases of injury or death caused by negligent driving, the injured party or his family may be able to sue the driver of the commercial vehicle, the owners and/or operators of the vehicle and the people responsible for the truck's maintenance. Claims can include negligence, wrongful death and personal injury.

Defective Truck Parts

Defective Truck PartsDefective automotive parts can play a role in serious truck accidents and can result in harm to a vehicle's occupants or other people on the road. Issues with commercial vehicles include faulty brakes, defective back-up alarms, engine problems and steering problems.

In the case of injuries caused by truck defects, the injured party may be able to sue the maker of the defective part, the truck manufacturer and the companies or individuals responsible for repair and maintenance of the vehicle.

Driving While Intoxicated/Driving Under the Influence

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations set limits and guidelines for truck drivers with regards to drug and alcohol use. Under the guidelines, truck drives may not use alcohol or be under the influence of alcohol within four hours of going on duty or operating a commercial motor vehicle. Furthermore, truck drivers are disqualified if they drive a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 percent or higher, or if they are under the influence of drugs. Refusal to take a drug or alcohol test also disqualifies the driver.

Other Causes of Truck Accidents

Other causes of semi truck accidents include inadequate driver training, overweight vehicles, dangerous or reckless driving, poor driving conditions, failure to leave adequate room between vehicles and driving aggressively.

Truck Accident Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered from a truck accident, you may qualify for damages or remedies that may be awarded in a possible class action or lawsuit. Please click the link below to submit your complaint to a lawyer for a free evaluation.
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TRUCK ACCIDENT LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

Accident Attorneys Rob Ammons and Jim Dunnam Help Family Win Record-Setting $27.5 Million Recovery Against Sanderson Farms
Accident Attorneys Rob Ammons and Jim Dunnam Help Family Win Record-Setting $27.5 Million Recovery Against Sanderson Farms
May 6, 2016
WACO, TX (May 4, 2016) (Press Release): A Waco state district court has agreed to a record $27.5 million settlement for a Waco mother and her two sons after a Sanderson Farms truck crashed into the back of their car three years ago READ MORE

Truck Accident Shuts Down California Freeway
Truck Accident Shuts Down California Freeway
July 9, 2015
Los Angeles, CA A massive truck accident recently caused the shutdown of the HOV and No. 1 lanes on the freeway just north of Pearblossom Highway in Southern California earlier today READ MORE

“A Truck Crash Is Not a Car Crash,” Says Florida Litigation Lawyer
“A Truck Crash Is Not a Car Crash,” Says Florida Litigation Lawyer
May 30, 2015
Jacksonville, FL Attorney Joseph Camerlengo rarely let’s a week go by without tapping into Transport Topics, a website Camerlengo describes as “The Wall Street Journal” of the transportation industry. He’s a fastidious reader of trending transport issues because the entire focus of his practice is on an increasing complex area of the law involving personal injury related to trucking accidents READ MORE

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Ontario
on
The piece fractured my skull and removed my right ear. Neck problems and pain along with ringing in the ear have persisted.

Posted by
Minnesota
on
I have had neck surgery, PTSD, fibromyalgia and migraines since the accident. I have been unable to work or do many daily activities.

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