Any accident occurring between an ordinary motor vehicle and a large truck, often referred to as an 18 wheeler, results in significant damages to both property and person. Every driver on the road understands that tens of thousands of pounds traveling at 70 miles per hour, if not handled correctly, can lead to disastrous injuries, widespread property damage and in many cases death.
A person injured in an accident involving a trailer-truck, semi, tractor trailer, or 18 wheeler may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries and losses they sustained. But, trucking accidents often present intricate legal issues that can create major hurdles for an injured party before they receive financial compensation, if ever.
Trucking Accidents are More Complex than the Standard Car Crash
Our office has handled numerous truck accident cases involving serious bodily injury. From experience, a truck accident is not as simple as “A” striking “B” like in a normal motor vehicle accident. There a many components to a truck traveling along the highway and as a result there can be more than one individual or company responsible for the accident. In a trucking accident situation where there are several trucking companies involved there will be several insurance companies also involved. The more insurance companies involved the more investigation, finger-pointing, and insurance delay tactics expected. It is not uncommon for each insurance company to deny liability and claim that another party involved is to blame.
For these reasons, it is crucial that anyone injured in a trucking accident should consult with or hire a personal injury lawyer that is experienced in handling trucking accident cases.
There are Specific Regulations that Govern the Trucking Industry
The interstate trucking industry has a number of federal and state regulations in place that must be examined in a trucking accident case. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, regulates nearly all aspects of the trucking industry. Some of regulations include:
- Regulations of a drivers daily and weekly hours behind the wheel, the roads and highways they can drive on, and have a completely different definition of operation under the influence. A driver has to properly maintain a log book using a grid for each day he/she operates the vehicle along with information identifying the vehicle, driver and company.
- There are many states that have special speed limits for truck and restriction on driving in certain lanes. In Massachusetts you may have noticed signs along the Interstates that say trucks and buses are prohibited from travelling in the left lane.
- Every state has specific licensing requirements for truck operators as well as strict requirements for transporting hazardous materials.
- Weight limits are in place to ensure a truck is able to stop within a specified distance. The FMCSA regulates the length, width, and weight for interstate commercial traffic known as the National Network. State limits, however, can vary when traveling on the intrastate network.
Additionally, the FMSCA sets forth specific guidelines for trucking companies to follow and any breach of those guidelines that results in serious bodily injury or death could result in liability on the company and its components. As you can see, there are many statues and regulations that must be examined and investigated in order to establish the liability of one or more of the trucking companies involved in any trucking accident.
Anyone Injured in a Trucking Accident Should Hire an Experienced Injury Attorney
A truck accident that results in permanent injury or death has to be handled by a law office experienced in truck accident investigation, knowledgeable of federal and state trucking regulations, and that are experienced litigators. Trucking companies and their insurance carriers do not just hand over large sums of money to anyone injured in a trucking accident. Many times, lawsuits must be filed in order to get fair and just compensation for someone injured in a trucking crash. Knowing who to file a claim against or sue, what regulations they may have violated, and how to prove the trucking company is responsible are major concerns that must be addressed in trucking accidents.
That truck you see traveling down road has a tractor owned and insured by one company, a trailer owned and insured by another, a company responsible for shipping and loading the vehicle, a tractor or trailer that is serviced by another company and so on. We regularly see transportation companies that consist of many corporations under different names but in fact are all the same company. A truck that receives a container off loaded from a container ship that ends up involved in a major accident has major consequences. A truck carrying a hazardous load that ends up involved in a major accident has major consequences.
Experienced handling and investigation of a complex and serious truck accident can make the difference in the amount of a settlement and compensation. For these reasons, and many more, anyone seriously injured in a trucking accident should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Don’t make the mistake many people make and try to take on the trucking company’s insurance carrier alone.
Speak With an Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A successful injury claim or lawsuit all starts with an immediate investigation into how the crash happened. Don’t delay in taking action.
Mahaney & Pappas, LLP is a law office dedicated to representing accident victims. Our main goal is to get clients the maximum financial compensation that they deserve for the injuries and damages they suffered. If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, please contact us online or call (508) 879-3500 for a free meeting to discuss your claim. We would be happy to speak with you.