The frequency of commercial truck accidents certainly rose within the last 20 years as we saw a rise in the number of big rig trucks on the road. Though big rigs are responsible for a mere 3 percent of injuries in motor vehicle accidents, they tend to be more severe since the sheer size of these trucks is significantly bigger than commuter vehicles.
Accidents involving large trucks can be more complex than those involving commuter vehicles. There will likely be more people potentially involved, including both the driver and owner of the truck, and it is crucial that you understand the common reasons for trucking accidents, including truck and trailer maintenance history as well as load restrictions when determining the validity of your claim and presentation of your case.
The trucking industry is regulated by federal regulations that establish a set of standards and can determine the responsible party in a given trucking accident. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains the most applicable regulations. Fortunately, by working with the Duque Law Group, you can put years of expertise in your corner to understand your rights under the law.
There is a large number of potential liable parties in any commercial truck accident. These include: the driver, the owner, the person or company who leased the truck from the owner, the manufacturer of the vehicle or any parts, shippers and loaders, etc.
In recent decades, trucking companies have tried to sidestep liability for accidents by distancing themselves from the drivers, equipment, and vehicles. They carry the necessary permits to operate the vehicles, but they often do not own the equipment that is used to haul whatever is in the truck. They also hire drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. These practices enable them to shift the blame over to the people who owned the truck and who were driving them.
However, federal regulations have made it so that any company who owns a trucking permit is liable for any accident that involves a truck with its name or placard on the vehicle.
Accident victims in past years had to rely on witness statements and police reports to understand the specifics of an accident. Now, data from high tech devices and information from government agencies are also available for greater understanding.
The most frequent factor of big rig accidents are driver error, mechanical failures, road design, weather conditions, and traffic signal failures.
According to FMCSA, 88% of commercial trucking accidents are caused by a driver’s action or failure to take action, frequently caused by driver fatigue and sleep deprivation.
The second biggest contributor to truck accidents is equipment and mechanical malfunction. These can be design errors in the vehicles, manufacturing mistakes, or some other issue that interferes with the truck running smoothly. The majority of mechanical causes of these accidents are a result of a failure to maintain the equipment properly. These can include the following: jackknifing of a truck which is caused by the depowering or removing of the front brakes, failure of the brakes as a result of inadequate adjustments, blowouts of the tires because of wear and tear, truck rollover because of improper securing of the load distribution, defective steering, transmission failure, incorrect trailer attachment, defective lighting on the rears or sides of vehicles, and many more.
Big rig accidents are quite complicated in nature due to the numerous parties involved. It can be daunting to attempt to navigate through the events and responsible parties without the help of someone who is knowledgeable and experienced with trucking law. If you have been injured in a truck accident in the state of California, the Duque Law Group has the expertise and experience to be able to help you figure out who exactly is responsible so that you can proceed with a strong case and get the reparations that you deserve for your suffering. You will want a personal injury attorney to help you in your case after a truck accident, and the Duque Law Group is here to help you.
Contact our Los Angeles County Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.
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