Commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers and delivery vehicles pose unique dangers to drivers of smaller vehicles. Trucking accidents are also sometimes more complicated to figure out. If you get hit by a truck, you likely have several questions about the cause of the accident and who is ultimately responsible.
Was the truck driver negligent? Is the trucking company liable? Can I receive compensation for my injuries? Knowing some key facts regarding truck accidents, such as common causes and who may be liable, will help you figure out if you have a basis for a personal injury claim.
What laws and regulations govern the trucking industry?
The trucking industry is mostly regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. These regulations cover various aspects of truck driving including adequate rest. Federal hours of service rules limit the number of consecutive hours a truck driver can travel without adequate rest and sleep.
How dangerous is driver fatigue?
Truck drivers are required to get rest because drowsy driving is a serious danger. Some drivers are paid by how many miles they drive, which incentivizes them to drive longer in short periods of time. Trucking companies sometimes unlawfully pressure drivers into driving farther than is allowed. Other times, truck drivers falsify the information recorded in their driving logs.
What are “no-zones?”
If you have read anything about sharing the road with trucks, you have probably seen the term “no-zone” used. A “no-zone” is simply a blind spot for truck drivers. These blind spots are much larger than those of passenger vehicles. If a truck driver fails to be mindful of his or her no-zones, it can lead to a collision.
How can I get evidence for driver errors?
Along with witness statements and police reports, you can gather key information from high-tech devices and government agencies. Many trucking companies use inclinometers, global positioning systems and on-board computers that can record key information regarding the nature of the accident. Government agencies are also presented with inspection reports that indicate the condition of mechanical parts at the accident scene. An attorney can help you figure out the best way to collect these pieces of information and data. Commercial truck collisions can be confusing at best and devastating at worst. If you are dealing with injuries following your accident, it is important to figure out the best possible way to receive compensation. Consult with a personal injury lawyer for advice and representation.