Truck accidents are typically more complex than a car accident, due to the large size of the vehicle involved. In the case of accidents involving trucks, the occupants of other vehicles and/or pedestrians are at higher risk of injury or even death.
The U. S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is tasked with regulating all commercial vehicles, including transport trucks. The regulations set out the hour-of-service rules for truck drivers whose vehicles weigh more than 10,000 pounds. The regulations limit the number of consecutive hours a driver can drive to 14 hours or fewer following 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Drivers are responsible for keeping up-to-date logbooks, in which they record their hours of driving.
Besides the hour-of-service rules, the USDOT has regulations for setting out schedules for inspection, maintenance, and repair of the trucks; for truck-size and weight; for route designations; and for transportation of hazardous materials. Further more, each trucking company has its own set of rules and regulations governing their drivers at any given time.
Injuries Associated With Truck Accidents
As has already been mentioned, truck accident injuries can happen to both the driver of the truck, and his or her passenger, and other drivers on the road. For any party involved in a truck accident, the injuries can be catastrophic due to the size and weight of the vehicle and the intensity of the impact.
Some of the injuries which can be caused by truck accidents are very serious. Brain injuries, usually caused by the impact at the time of the accident, may involve a fracture of the skull with secondary involvement of the brain. Truck accidents can also lead to direct brain injury with catastrophic internal bleeding. If severe, a brain injury can lead to a reduction of mental performance or even death. Other serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, may cause partial or complete paralysis.
Causes of Truck Accidents
The most common cause of accidents associated with transport trucks is negligence. This can be caused by the driver’s negligence, including failure to adhere to traffic signs, failure to yield to a pedestrian or another vehicle, and driving while distracted (using a cellphone, etc.), driving over the legal hours, driving when exhausted, use of prescription drugs, dangerous or reckless driving, speeding, and failure to perform necessary maneuvers to avert accidents. Negligence on the part of the truck owner can also cause serious accidents. Such accidents can occur due to defective parts, inadequate driver training, inadequate maintenance, and overweight vehicles.
Legal Help for Truck Accidents
If you or anyone in your family suffers either directly or indirectly from a truck accident, you have the legal right to seek redress. If you believe that personal injuries or death was due to neglect by a truck driver, the commercial trucking company, or the manufacturer, you can file a lawsuit or lawsuits against such individuals or companies.
The Abbot Law Group has an experienced team of lawyers and has been handling litigations and trials for more than 30 years. Call the Abbott Law Group at 904.292.1111 (or fill out the online form) to receive a free, confidential case evaluation. If your case meets the criteria for eligibility to file a lawsuit, the Abbott Law Group will fight to obtain the maximum compensation to which you may be legally entitled.