An accident with a big rig or semi tractor-trailer is unlike an auto crash with another passenger vehicle. While the injuries can be just as severe—including the possibility of death—truck accidents have a higher level of complexity, and they require an experienced truck accident personal injury attorney.
If you or a family member is injured in an accident with a semi, an experienced accident attorney from Florin Gray Bouzas Owens can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Your truck accident attorney will investigate your case and determine whether another party (or parties) was at fault for the accident and caused your injuries. Again, unlike a car crash between two motorists, there can be several parties who may be found to be at-fault in a typical semi-truck accident. Let’s look at those who may be held responsible:
The Truck Driver or Operator. The person driving the semi may be held liable for your injuries for his or her negligence in causing the accident. In many instances, truckers at fault in these cases are found to be driving while distracted (texting or not paying attention); under the influence of medication, alcohol, or illegal substances; being too tired to drive effectively and safely, or disobeying traffic laws and federal trucking regulations.
The Trucking Company. The truck driver’s employer, the trucking company, may also be at fault at some level if it’s discovered that they violated a federal or state law in the operation of their fleet, or if they’re found to be liable for negligent hiring of incompetent drivers or in their training and operation of their fleet.
The Owner of the Semi-Trailer. In most instances, the driver and his or her company are carrying a load for someone else, and they may be using another company’s trailer to carry that cargo. That company may have failed to maintain the trailer in proper working condition, and there may be broken, missing, or subpar equipment on the trailer that contributes to the accident.
The Cargo Company. The cargo company that provides freight services for commercial truck companies may also be held liable for a truck accident because a frequent cause of truck accidents is improperly loaded or overloaded cargo. Improperly loaded cargo may fall into traffic, causing accidents for other motorists. And research shows that overloaded semis are much more likely roll over and cause a truck accident. In addition, overloaded trucks take much longer to come to a stop. Finally, a tire blowout could happen because of the excess weight and could cause the driver to lose control.
The Truck Manufacturer. The company that made the semi is also sometimes at fault for an accident. A truck wreck can be caused by a defective tractor-trailer, including issues with the electrical and braking systems.
The Company that Provided Safety Compliance or Consulting to the Trucking Company. Many trucking companies will outsource their safety and compliance program to a third-party. In addition to truck safety and conducting audits for compliance with the Department of Safety regulations, another hired company may be responsible for the training and testing of drivers for alcohol or controlled substances. An accident may be found to be caused by faulty procedures, poor training, or failing to comply with federal trucking regulations, and that third-party company was responsible for those aspects of the truck operations.
The Independent Maintenance Facility that Serviced the Semi Truck and/or the Trailer. The trucking company or trailer owner may use a third-party truck and equipment repair shop. This company may not have the best and latest diagnostic equipment to ensure that the truck is serviced correctly. They may also use substandard replacement parts that void the manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, the company’s mechanics may not be trained to discover issues with the semi and trailer.
Along with these parties that may be involved and responsible for a crash, truck drivers and their employer must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) which mandate the minimum standards for those involved with the operation of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. This includes the maximum hours a driver can operate a semi in a given period and driver fatigue; a driver’s lack of training; and inadequate inspections.
It’s easy to see that a lawsuit that involves a semi or a commercial trucking company is much different and more complicated than a car accident lawsuit between two or more autos.
You need to hire an experienced truck accident attorney, so please contact Florin Gray Bouzas Owens. Our legal team is dedicated to the pursuit of justice for the people we represent.
We have more than 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in personal injury law, including successfully representing those injured in semi-truck accidents.
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