According to the US Department of Transportation, 333,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes during 2012. On average fatal truck accidents occur nearly 11 times every day in this country, and killing nearly 4,000 people each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Additionally, truck crashes injure more than 100,000 people every year. With trucking as the backbone of a U.S. economy, as the economy improves, more trucks are on the road with pressure to deliver goods on time; therefore the number of wrecks involving tractor-trailers and other transport trucks are on the rise.
Trucking Industry Regulations
Recognizing the danger to the public, there are many state and federal regulations governing the transportation industry and the operation of large tractor-trailer trucks. Unfortunately, because of an improving economy, there is a shortage of qualified drivers and some companies continue to push their drivers to the limits and sometimes beyond what is the allowed driving time in 24 hours. Lack of proper training and experience and lack of proper rest are the primary causes of trucking accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) develops standards to test and license commercial motor vehicle drivers. Its primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.
Who is Responsibe for a Trucking Accident?
If you are the victim of a trucking accident, the questions of what caused the accident and who is responsible can sometimes be complicated. Potential defendants include the driver, the truck owner, the company who hired or leased the truck to make a delivery, the shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo, the manufacturer of any defective truck parts that may have contributed to the accident, and possibly others. To determine what went wrong sometimes requires an expert with industry knowledge. It is not enough to rely upon the accident report prepared by the traffic officer at the scene.
Early Investigation is Critical
It can be critical to conduct an early investigation as to the cause of an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other truck, including taking photographs of the scene, damage to all vehicles involved, skid marks, wreck debris, etc.; to take measurements of point of impact to the resting place of the vehicles, skid marks, etc.; to conduct interviews of all parties involved and witnesses; and to investigate the driving record of the truck driver and conduct a background investigation. The earlier a trucking accident attorney is hired, the better.
Experienced Beaufort and Hilton Head Personal Injury Lawyers for Truck Accident Victims
If you or a love one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or one invovling a tractor-trailor or truck, contact us at Lowcountry Injury Law for personal injury attorneys with much experience in investigating and litigating motor vehicle and truck wrecks. They have the knowledge of trucking industry safety regulations and experience in obtaining the best possible compensation for your injuries, including past and future lost wages, lost income, medical expenses, pain and suffering and for any permanent diisabilities.