Over the past few decades, we have seen a rise in the number of commercial trucks on the roadways all across the country. With this rise, we have also seen a rise in large truck-related accidents. While big rigs account for a mere 3% of traffic accidents that cause injury, the devastation is significantly higher due to their massive weight and large size.
Accidents involving commercial trucks are significantly more complicated than in a simple auto accident. There are more potential responsible parties involved, including both the driver and owner of the truck, and the truck, trailer and load will be taken into account when determining the validity of your claim and presentation of your case.
The trucking industry is mandated 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 most applicable regulations. Fortunately, by working with a firm like the Duque Law Group you can put years of expertise in your corner to understand your rights under the law.
There are a number of potential responsible parties in any truck accident. These include: the driver, the owner, whoever leased the truck from the owner, the manufacturer of the vehicle or any parts, shippers and loaders, etc.
Recently, trucking companies have been allowed to circumvent liability for accidents by distancing themselves from the drivers, equipment, and the vehicles. While they are the holders of the necessary permits to operate the vehicles, they often do not own the equipment itself that is used to haul the load. They also prefer to hire drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. These practices enable them to shift the responsibility over to the people who owned the truck and who were driving them.
Luckily, 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 common causes of truck accidents are driver error, mechanical failures, road design, weather conditions, and traffic signal failures.
According to FMCSA, the most common cause of commercial trucking accidents is driver error. Causing 88% of trucking accidents, a driver’s action or failure to take action often leads to dire consequences. The most frequent way that this happens is through driver fatigue and sleep deprivation.
A close second to driver error, equipment and mechanical issues can include 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.
Navigating through the trial process, events and responsible parties following a truck-related accident can be overwhelming without the help of someone who is knowledgeable and skilled 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 Riverside County Personal Injury Attorney 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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