Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are often caused by:
- Truck-driver fatigue or driving over truck-driver allotted hours
- Unsafe truckloads due to cargo not properly secured that can shift or fall off the trailer
- Truck vehicle maintenance, particularly faulty brakes and improperly maintained tires
- Driving errors such as improper lane changes, speeding, improper turning
- Violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- Failure to follow requirements for obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License
These failures can cause a truck to go out of control and cause serious and devastating collisions.
What to Do after a Truck Accident
Obtain the best medical care available to you. Your health and well-being are the most important asset you have. Inform medical providers of what happened in the crash and what problems you are having. In catastrophic injury cases your family will need to contact an experienced trucking collision attorney as soon as possible.
An experienced trucking collision attorney will issue a preservation letter to the truck driver and trucking company demanding that relevant evidence in their possession be saved and protected. For example, we will seek to obtain the driver’s log, which is a record of the driver’s hours and other details relating to their work. Drivers are required to maintain a driver’s log which police officers are authorized to take possession of at the scene of a serious truck accident.
Drivers’ logs are traditionally recorded on paper, although trucking companies are increasingly using electronic logs. Either paper or electronic logs may be altered, to make it look like a driver involved in an accident was getting sufficient rest.
An experienced trucking accident attorney will look beyond the logs and examine other items such as:
- Toll booth receipts
- Fuel-purchase receipts
- Miles traveled
- Electronically stored information
We will inspect the accident scene and the truck that caused the collision. We will hirer accident reconstruction experts to clearly understand and present how the collision occurred. We will investigate the crash to determine what, if any, of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) were violated by the company or its driver. We will review all events leading up to and including the crash to determine if the driver followed the requirements learned to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
Type of Compensation in Truck Accidents
Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, trucking companies are required to maintain a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage. Most companies carry more coverage, and proposed legislation seeks to increase the minimum coverage to over $4 million.
For catastrophic injuries typically resulting from truck accidents, an injured party can recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering that may be permanent
- Loss of life
- Punitive damages if the trucking company knowingly violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
Punitive damages are a type of punishment intended to deter bad conduct of trucking companies and their drivers and to encourage them to operate within the law.
Representing Clients in a Truck Collision Claim and Lawsuit
Truck drivers and trucking companies are governed by various regulations such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the requirements imposed on holders of a Commercial Driver’s License. In pursuing a trucking collision case, it’s important to get a firm understanding of how the collision occurred and to determine the application of specific trucking regulations.
At Condeni Law, LLC, we go out to the scene of the accident, personally inspect it, and if necessary, bring trucking experts to inspect the accident scene and the vehicles, and prepare an accident reconstruction report.
Our firm can assist clients at the onset of a truck accident case by obtaining necessary evidence, obtaining witness statements, sending necessary letters to the truck driver, the trucking company, and their insurance carriers, directing them to preserve documents and records relating to the truck driver and the truck company. These first steps are vital to establish liability and pursuing any truck collision settlement or lawsuit.
Without the experienced trucking attorney’s letter directing them to preserve all records, the trucking companies may legally destroy driver logs and maintenance records pertaining to the vehicle involved after six months. Other forms of physical evidence need to be secured and preserved. Witness statements need to be obtained. All evidence must be evaluated and effectively presented to an insurance carrier for settlement or to a jury to obtain a proper verdict.
Contact us today for a free consultation (216) 771-1760.