We depend on trucks and tractor-trailers to supply the commodities we use daily. It is impossible, with so many large trucks traveling the freeways, to avoid all accidents. A collision involving a large, heavy vehicle like a tractor-trailer may be serious.
The National Highway and Safety Administration reports that the majority of people killed in collisions with large trucks were the drivers of other vehicles, and that accidents resulting in the death of either the truck driver or another driver were more likely to occur in rural areas.
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with a truck or tractor-trailer, you may find that knowing some of the information in this article can help.
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As with any accident, time can work against you. Directly after an accident, a trucking company will launch its investigation by dispatching experts to gather as much information as possible. Their accident investigators will be on hand immediately to gather any data they can, and to find the truck’s “black box” computer.
If the truck had an on-board computer, it may contain the same data as the black box on an airplane. The trucking company and their insurance company are not obligated to share this information with you, so it is vital to employ your own team of experts to collect this data.
A truck law firm can hire a team of trained experts to collect and safeguard evidence for their clients. Do not expect that the police report will have all of the information you may need to prove your case.
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration governs all aspects of commercial trucking, including instruction, licensing, insurance, and drug and alcohol testing. Each state may have its own set of laws that also must be complied with by trucking companies operating within their boundaries. Evidence of a violation of any of these rules may be important to proving your case.
Very often, truck drivers are found in violation of regulations regarding the number of hours they may drive at one time. Drivers are restricted to 14 continuous hours of driving at one time, including breaks and meal times. After 14 continuous hours, drivers must be off duty for 10 hours before being allowed to drive again. Commercial drivers carry log books to record their hours, but inadequate or incorrect log entries are not unheard of. Regulations regarding the maximum number of driving hours permitted exist for a reason – fatigue is a common cause of accidents. It will be important to ascertain for how long a commercial driver had been on duty just before an accident.
Hazardous materials can lead to additional problems after the initial collision. If hazardous freight causes an explosion or, a spill causes additional health problems, it will be necessary to learn if proper storage and handling procedures were complied with.
Regular safety inspections are required of commercial vehicles, and are more thorough than ordinary vehicle inspections. Cutting corners on safety inspections or equipment could result in accidents. After an accident involving a truck, it is necessary to access inspection reports, and to have the truck inspected for faulty equipment that may have been improperly maintained.
Tractor Trailer Attorneys Near Me
All of this may seem overwhelming for a person who is already struggling with a serious personal injury or with the loss of a family member. The law firm of Campbell & Associates can deal with the required investigations, dealing with insurance adjusters, and getting you the payment you deserve while you focus on your health and your family. You may call us at any time at 704-333-0885 to schedule a free evaluation with one of our tractor-trailer accident experts.