Common Causes & Liabilities Related to Trucking Accidents
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, understanding what party is responsible and what other factors could have caused the accident could be more complex than a regular traffic accident. In these types of cases, there are many parties that are involved which include the driver of the big rig involved, other drivers in the roadway, and the owner of the truck. To understand what factors that played a part in the incident, it is necessary to be informed of certain aspects of the trucking industry.
Learning typical reasons behind big rig accidents, understanding the associations between individuals and entities linked to the truck, trailer, and load, will help you decide if you have a valid claim. This will also help you understand how to present your case in a court of law.
A truck accident claim can be difficult to present, if you do not have the right tools to litigate your case. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you have the right to seek restitution for your injuries. The following information will help you learn the most common causes of big rig accidents and also help you understand what party can be held liable.
Statistics Involving Big Rig Accidents
In the year 2002, close to 5,000 people passed away and 130,000 individuals suffered injuries in accidents that involved a big rig. This is according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While big rigs are responsible for a minuscule percentage of roadway accidents, they nonetheless cause more catastrophic injuries than that of ordinary road accidents. In large part, this is due to the sheer size and weight of the majority of these large vehicles. Common causes of truck accidents have been reported to be: driver fatigue, distracted driving, lack of truck maintenance, reckless driving and driving too aggressively in poor weather.
Laws That Govern Truck Accidents
Federal laws govern and regulate the trucking industry. These rules establish specific standards that trucking owners, companies, and drivers are required to meet. Further, these laws often determine what party will be held liable for a big rig accident. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 Transportation contains the majority of all federal rules and regulations that pertain to the trucking industry.
There are several agencies that govern truck driving. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- The United States Department of Transportation, and
- The Federal Carrier Safety Administration.
Every state, and some local jurisdictions also have a department of transportation, which respectively have a set of trucking rules and regulations.
Determining the Responsible Party
Most big rig accidents involve far more parties than those of regular car accidents. There is a variety of potential responsible entities that could have played a part on the accident. Some of the most common parties involved include, but are not limited to:
- The big rig driver;
- The owner of the big rig and/or trailer;
- The individual or business that rented the big rig or trailer from its owner;
- The manufacturer of the truck, the truck’s tires, and/or other vehicle parts that may have played a part in causing the accident or has ultimately increased the damage in an accident; and finally,
- The loader or shipper of the big rig’s cargo.
Avoiding Liability as a Trucking Company
Truck companies used to be able to avoid penalties after a crash through several methods. While these methods still exist, they do very little to reduce the liability of a trucking company due to changes made to federal laws and regulations. Under current law, companies who own a trucking permit are liable for all accidents that involve the truck. Culpability displacement is nearly nonexistent due to current law.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a big rig accident, an experienced attorney can assist in finding avenues of reducing liability and/or pursuing your claim. Speak to an experienced attorney who can outline your options. He or she should be able to guide you through the legal process and ease the stress of being involved in such incident.
The attorneys at The Knez Law Group, LLP, are experienced legal professionals who vigorously litigate for their clients who have been involved in trucking accidents. They are experienced in negotiating as well as litigating cases. The attorneys at The Knez Law Group, LLP, can guide you through this difficult time and help you exercise your rights.