Truck accidents are a major concern to many drivers. The size and weight of commercial trucks cause serious injuries and death to the drivers of the cars they hit. Victims of truck accidents have substantial legal rights as the companies that hire truck drivers are liable for the damages.
Trucking Companies Break the Law
Many truck accidents occur because a law was broken. Commercial trucks must adhere to laws created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA.) These maintenance regulations require frequent, professional inspections. Tractor trailers can weigh over 80,000 pounds, and faulty brakes, lights, tires or other equipment can have catastrophic consequences. When a truck is in an accident and has broken any of the maintenance laws, the victim and her family are entitled to financial compensation that is more than just medical bills. The negligent companies that own and hire the tractor trailers and other large commercial trucks are responsible for paying the bills.
Another way trucking companies break the law is by not limiting how much their drivers are behind the wheel. The FMCSA created driving time limits for drivers carrying passengers and property. Many truck drivers work longer than the hours allowed or do not rest for the required eight hours between shifts. Breaking these driving time laws is grounds for higher damages awarded to injured parties.
Accidents Caused by Commercial Truck Drivers
Commercial truck drivers are responsible for following typical highway safety laws as well as those concerning care for their truck and cargo. Truck drivers are to blame for accidents when they:
- Overload their truck with too much cargo
- Fail to properly distribute the cargo and cause the truck to be off balance
- Drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Drive while texting or distracted
- Drive after not getting sufficient sleep
- Drive aggressively and tailgate
- Fail to use caution with improper road conditions
- Ignore traffic signs advising the driver of curves, hills, intersections or other road hazards
Trucking and Shipping Companies are Responsible for the Actions of their Truck Drivers
It is important to remember that commercial truck drivers are employees. Employment law comes into play when a truck driver causes an accident in most circumstances. As a result, the company that hired the truck driver is responsible for paying damages to accident victims and should be a party in most lawsuits.
Insurance companies and truck companies will often try to escape liability for these accidents in an effort to reduce costs. They will blame the accident on the driver and try to give as little financial compensation to victims as possible. Skilled attorneys know the tricks the companies will use and will ensure that justice is served to parties injured by truck accidents.
Benjamin Drake is a California personal injury attorney and founder of Drake Law Firm. A law firm dedicated to all injured with dedicated attention and deserved compensation.