Each year in the United States, there are nearly half a million accidents involving large trucks. Nearly 5,000 of these accidents are fatal. Most fatalities are passengers of the vehicles that they strike. Some common causes of truck accidents include:
- Tire blowouts
- Improper loading
- Faulty brakes
- Driver sleepiness
- DUI/drunk driving
- Speeding or other violations of traffic law
- Poor weather conditions
- Various other causes
In many instances, an accident can be caused by a defect with the tractor-trailer. An example of this is where the truck was constructed using inferior materials, resulting in a highway accident.
How Can I Prove Liability in Tractor-Trailer Cases?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) code is a useful means to establish liability in tractor-trailer cases and to show that the driver's negligent conduct led to the accident. Important aspects of this code provide that:
- The plaintiff must show that they are members of the group that the code is meant to protect;
- The plaintiff must show that injuries suffered were the kind that the code is meant to prevent; and
- Truck driver and trucking companies may be liable for violating the regulations.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove the Truck Driver's Liability?
In tractor-trailer cases, it is paramount that evidence is collected as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of it being destroyed or lost. Some useful guidelines include:
- Obtaining the truck driver's logs of how many hours and days they have been driving, and been on duty;
- Securing vital items such as drugs, cell phones, and beer bottles;
- Consulting an attorney and inspecting the truck before it is sold or destroyed; and/or
- Obtaining a report of the truck companies experts' background investigation.
These should be done as soon as possible after the accident, while the events are still fresh in the person’s memory. In some cases, accident reconstruction techniques may be used during trial in order to help determine the exact causes of the accident.
Read More About:
Are There Any Legal Remedies for Tractor Trailer Accidents?
Tractor trailer accidents can sometimes lead to a lawsuit or legal claim. These typically result in a monetary damages award to compensate the injured person for their losses.
Calculation of the damages will depend on various factors, such as: the degree of injury, whether there is serious property damage, and whether the tractor trailer driver was acting negligently or even recklessly.
Costs may also include such items as hospital and insurance-related costs as well. In some cases, other legal issues can be involved such as vicarious liability (liability of the shipping or trucking company).
Do I Need to Consult an Attorney about My Tractor-Trailer Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney. A local personal injury attorney can help you understand how the law affects your case and can represent you in court during important hearings.