Colliding with a semi truck can cause some serious damage, to you and your car. You may be owed compensation for the cost of medical care and other expenses, but it’s not always the truck driver who’s at fault for the accident.
Nearly 90,000 accidents involved large trucks in one year, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Codes are set in place to ensure that trucking companies maintain safety while their trucks are on the road, which means it may not have been the truck driver’s fault if the truck was poorly maintained.
Pushing the limits
Trucking regulations place restrictions on various aspects of the industry, including:
- Work time: Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow rules related to hours of service (work time). Requiring a driver or pressuring a driver to work beyond the established limits can lead to drowsy, inattentive driving, which in turn increases the risk of an accident.
- Weight and security of the load: Shipping loads can become very dangerous when their weight exceeds legal allowances, or if the load is not properly secured. Breaking these rules can greatly affect maneuvering and stopping distance. A trucking company could be liable for injuries if a load was too heavy or not properly secured.
- Required inspections: Semi trucks should be regularly inspected for safety. The stakes are high with such a large vehicle moving so much weight over long distances, so everything needs to be in top working order. Companies that fail to make regular inspections and do necessary maintenance might be contributing to an accident before it happens.
Determining who is actually liable for a truck accident can be a complicated matter, requiring some investigation. It’s important to have on your side a legal advocate who is experienced in these matters if you have been injured in a trucking accident.