Thousands of trucks and tractor trailers drive our interstate highways and roads each day, transporting food and other items to the retailers in every town and city in The United States.
With so many trucks on the road, crashes are expected. A crash involving a large, heavy vehicle like a tractor-trailer can be serious.
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The National Highway and Safety Administration reports that most of the people killed in collisions with large trucks were the operators of other vehicles. Remarkably, a majority of casualties involving trucks happened in rural areas (61%).What do you need to know if you or a loved one is injured in a truck accident?
The fact is you might find that you have limited time to collect your thoughts following an accident. Immediately following an accident, a trucking company will begin its investigation by sending experts to collect as much information as they can. They will identify skid marks on the road, take pictures of the accident scene, interview witnesses, and collect data from the “black box” computer that most trucks carry.
This onboard computer may contain information about the truck’s speed, mechanical condition, and other variables which could have caused an accident. The trucking company and their insurance provider are not obligated to share this information with you, so it is important to secure your own team of professionals to gather this information. A law firm with expertise in truck accidents will have its own trained investigators available to get to the scene of an accident before vital evidence is lost.
You will have access to the police report after the accident, but do not assume that the police report includes all of the information you might need.
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All commercial trucks involved in interstate commerce must abide by the regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Commercial truck drivers have to observe all federal and state regulations at all times. If you were in an accident with a truck or tractor-trailer, you should know if the driver was in violation of federal or state safety guidelines. 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 consecutive hours at one time, including breaks and meal times. A compulsory 10 hour break is mandated after 14 hours on duty. Commercial drivers carry log books to record their hours, but incomplete or incorrect log entries are not unheard of. Research studies have proven that fatigue has the same impact on one’s ability to safely drive as drinking, so neglecting to follow these regulations, can have disastrous consequences. After a truck accident, it is important to gain access to the driver’s log book, and to talk to witnesses who might have information about the length of time the driver had been on the road.
Hazardous materials can result in additional problems after the initial collision. Incorrect storage or handling of hazardous materials may lead to explosions, chemical spills, or other complications.
All commercial vehicles must also complete regular safety inspections, with higher standards than those for personal vehicles. Poorly maintained equipment may cause accidents, so an examination of the truck and its inspection reports, is important after an accident.
Truck Accident Attorney Near Me
After you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, you will be more concerned with your immediate medical and economic problems to think about these details. Let the experts at Campbell & Associates manage these details while you focus on your recuperation. If you have experienced an accident with a truck or tractor-trailer, call us for a free consultation at 704-333-0885.