In an accident involving a tractor-trailer, the massive weight of a large truck often creates a devastating moment of impact. Semi-trucks can be longer than 50 feet and can weigh between 30,000 to 80,000 pounds depending on the weight of the cargo. These enormous vehicles are difficult to maneuver when compared to a passenger car. Tractor-trailer accidents frequently result in catastrophic injuries with debilitating permanent effects. You may have a right to financial compensation for accident-related injuries or the death of a loved one.
The trucking industry is subject to a wide array of federal and state regulations that often form a basis of liability for tractor-trailer accidents that cause serious injury or wrongful death. Truck drivers are subject to federal regulations regarding registration requirements, inspections, maintenance and repair, and limitations on hours of service, which are designed to prevent fatigue-based trucking accidents.
For example, commercial truck drivers are prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle if the driver’s alertness is impaired or likely to be impaired by illness, fatigue, drugs, alcohol, or any other cause. Another federal regulation requires the systematic inspection, maintenance, and repairs of all tractor-trailers and inter-modal equipment by its operator. All parts must be maintained in safe, proper operating conditions. The failure of a commercial motor vehicle operator to inspect a tractor-trailer combination for mechanical defects may constitute the basis for imposing liability for a trucking accident.
Other factors that might be used to establish the negligence of a truck driver include the following:
- Unbalanced or improperly secured loads
- Violation of traffic laws and signals
- Reckless or careless driving
- Distracted driving (e.g., cell phone use)
Tractor-trailer lawsuits can be extremely complex because multiple defendants might be involved in the litigation. Parties that may be a potential defendant in a tractor-trailer accident include the following:
- Driver of the tractor-trailer
- Trucking company
- Manufacturer of a component or part of the tractor-trailer
- Freight shipper that prepared the load
- Public entity that constructed or maintained the roadway in an unsafe condition
- Company that loaded the tractor-trailer
- Other vehicles that started a chain reaction accident
- Truck manufacturer
- Independent truck maintenance company
Given this long list of potential defendants, trucking litigation commonly involves a virtual army of investigators and insurance defense attorneys. A common strategy in tractor-trailer accident cases is to blame you as the victim and claim that you caused or contributed to your own injuries. For example, the insurance provider for the trucking company may argue that you rapidly changed lanes and cut the tractor-trailer driver off. The insurer might claim the driver had sufficient time to slow down enough to avoid colliding with your vehicle. If you have been involved in a collision caused by a negligent truck driver, an attorney with experience handling trucking accident claims can review your situation and explain your legal rights.
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Were you or a loved one harmed in a truck accident? Parker Waichman LLP helps their clients recover full monetary compensation for harm caused by negligent truck drivers. Trust your case with our truck accident attorneys. For a free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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