UNITED STATES—Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Collisions with larger vehicles like commercial trucks are often deadly. Because these massive trucks are a frequent sight on the road, many people can not imagine a situation where these professional truck drivers would make a small, fatal mistake. The truth is that truck drivers are at fault for accidents as often as the drivers of passenger vehicles.
Most people have never had to think about the circumstances and laws that surround the operation of a commercial truck. If you have been in a collision with a truck, it pays to educate yourself further. Here are some common beliefs about truck accidents that are just not factual.
Commercial Trucks Follow the Same Laws as You
Your passenger vehicle and a commercial truck do not operate under the same laws. The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to try to reduce the risk of collisions involving commercial vehicles. These laws are much stricter, which opens truck drivers to more legal exposure if they break them.
If you have been in an accident with a truck, the truck driver or trucking company may have broken laws that you do not even know exist. It is always in your best interest to get a free legal consultation for a truck accident lawsuit. An experienced attorney can assist you by examining the unique federal laws for commercial trucks to see if you have grounds for a case.
Truck Drivers and Companies are Rarely Liable
Not only can a truck driver be liable for an accident, but there are also many other parties in their chain of command that might be at fault for a truck accident. If your accident was the result of a management decision or the order of a trucker’s supervisor, they may be personally liable for negligence or the company might take on the financial burden of the collision.
Anyone whose negligence directly contributed to the circumstances of an accident could be found liable during an insurance investigation or personal injury lawsuit. Truck manufacturers and the manufacturers of truck parts could be liable if a faulty or failing component was the source of the accident. This circumstance could be as simple as a tire blowing out before its time or a delay in the braking or steering system. It is best to not overlook any detail.
Professional Truck Drivers Maintain a High Standard
While professional truck drivers undergo extra training to drive heavy and unwieldy trucks, they are just as human as the rest of us. Trucking companies routinely push drivers to log many miles and hours driving at a time, so truck drivers are at high risk of fatigue. Their fatigue and the resulting impairment are the cause of many accidents each year, despite laws put in place to limit driving time.
Truck Accidents are as Dangerous for Truckers
On the road, there is a certain amount of mutually assured destruction among drivers. If two passenger vehicles collide, the occupants of both are at risk of serious injury and property damage. But, commercial trucks are huge and sturdy, and an accident involving one is not nearly as dangerous for the truck driver.
Even in a low-speed crash, the massive difference in weight can wreak havoc on a smaller vehicle. Commercial trucks typically weigh in around 40 tons compared to the 1 to 2 tons of a standard passenger vehicle. This difference in mass means that any car crash with a truck has the possibility to be fatal.
One of the most dangerous types of accidents involving a truck is an underside collision. Commercial trucks’ height means many models of passenger cars can fit underneath, working around all the safety features of a typical car. In an underside collision, there is rarely bumper-to-bumper contact, and the slide under can be devastating to passengers.
Early in his journalism career, Kerry L. Tucker had a revelation: there were not enough experts reporting on law issues. Legal matters are part of daily life. Yet, there seems to be a general aversion towards them. One of the main reasons for this is that the convoluted legal language is difficult for many people to follow. Therefore, he decided to change how the law is perceived by the public. Throughout his career, he met with many people who shared their personal stories with him. Some of these hit him harder. One of the cases that stayed with him and influenced his future career development was a car accident case involving a child. From then on, he decided to zero in on car accident lawsuits.