We see them daily on our nation's highways and byways, quietly rolling along as they perform their trade. Seldom do we stop and give thought to the devastating results of being involved in a collision with one of these giants. However, every year thousands of Americans are the victims of commercial truck-related accidents. Weighing as much as 40 tons, the sheer size of semi-trucks can cause catastrophic damage and injuries when involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle.
The causes of 18-wheeler accidents are not dissimilar from all other auto accidents: driver error, speed, road conditions and vehicle maintenance. While the cause of truck accidents may be the same as those for car accidents, the effects couldn't be more different. According to statistics provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2013, nearly 4,000 fatalities across the country resulted from the 4,186 large truck accidents that occurred in that year; meaning nearly every accident resulted in a death.
Every accident claim sets out to address the questions of who was at fault and how the incident occurred. However, in a regulated industry like trucking, there are additional questions that surround the driver and vehicle. For example, professional drivers are required to keep a log book to prove that they are not exceeding a maximum number of hours on the road. Also, commercial vehicles are held to a high standard of maintenance and inspections. The driver log and maintenance records often become an important part of determining fault.
Insurance claims adjusters work diligently to mitigate liability. A lawyer that specializes in truck accidents is aware of federal trucking regulations and can work with experts to ascertain negligence and possibly bring a claim against the trucking company.