Injured in a Trucking Accident?
Commercial vehicles, including 18-wheeler tractor trailers, due to their size and weight, are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Trucking accidents can often be catastrophic, resulting in serious injuries and even the wrongful death of the victim. Trucking cases are complicated due to the involvement of state and federal regulations, as well as multiple insurance policies often being involved.
Our experienced trucking accident attorneys at Beach Injury Lawyers understand these complexities and can help someone hurt in a wreck with a commercial truck maximize their recovery.
Truck Accidents: Everything You Should Know - Protecting your Rights
Truck accidents can be complex due to a variety of industry regulations, federal motor carrier laws, and the number of parties who may be responsible for the tractor trailer (i.e., drivers, owners, brokers, and insurance carriers). The vast majority of serious injuries and deaths that result in large truck crashes involve the occupants of passenger vehicles. The primary issue is the vulnerability of passengers traveling in smaller motor vehicles. Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are much taller with greater ground clearance. This often results in small vehicle underriding trucks in crashes.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Beach Injury Lawyers today. Our experienced truck accident attorneys will guide you through the difficult process and ensure that your rights are well protected.
Trucking Regulations & Violations
One of the common reasons there are a great number of truck accidents is that truck drivers are often overworked. They’ve been working and maneuvering this huge automobile without having proper rest. To avoid this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set up some rules for all companies as part of the work and safety hazards. If you are working in the trucking industry, inform yourself about this matter to keep you within your rights.
Truck Driver Qualifications
These are the standard requirements set by the organization for this job position:
- All workers should be at least the minimum age of 21 and should be able to speak English fluently.
- Drivers should have legally acquired commercial driver’s licenses.
- Every two years, all workers should undergo a physical exam and pass excellently.
- During work hours, alcohol and drugs, including prescription medicines, are prohibited. Each medicine may hamper their ability to work safely.
Trucking Company Requirements to be Accomplished
The organization has also created necessary procedures on what specific requirements any trucking company must perform to ensure drivers’ safety.
- Do a background check and ensure that all requirements submitted as stipulated will be checked and verified to ensure that all are legal.
- Create an annual record check for drivers yearly.
- Perform a thorough mechanical assessment on all vehicles and create necessary restoration if faulty parts are recorded before delivery.
- Collect and keep all necessary information, including driver and vehicle inspection records.
Service Requirements to Avoid Violation and Accidents
Along with the standard qualifications implemented above, these are some additional service requirements each driver and company is expected to adhere to avoid any work-related accidents.
- All trucks are not allowed to carry items exceeding the necessary weight requirement. In this case, no trucks should carry 20,000 lbs. per axle. This means the total weight of a vehicle should not be more than 80,000 lbs.
- Each driver is only allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours daily.
- The total working hours of a driver, both driving and not driving, should be 14 hours.
- Upon completing one working shift, drivers are expected to have at least 10 hours of rest. This rest should be given after the 1st and before the next shift.
- Now, in the case of truck companies that do not operate daily or seven times a week, in any circumstance, a driver is not allowed to exceed 60 working hours. This means a driver is only entitled to work 60 hours per week.
- On the contrary, if the company works 7 times a week, then drivers can work up to 70 hours weekly.
- All drivers should have a detailed and precise log book documenting how they spent their travel.
The Reason Behind Trucking Regulations and Service Requirements
As mentioned above, the very reason why truck accidents are rampant is that drivers tend to be overworked. The body will start to react when drivers exceed the necessary working condition allowable. The most common signs are drivers becoming drowsy. This leads to unsafe driving performance as the lack of sleep can impair one’s judgment and affect the senses. When they drive, chances of falling asleep increase and, instead of driving in their own lane, they might unconsciously maneuver the steering wheel to another lane, which can cause a massive accident.
This is why FMCSA strictly implements this regulation, as companies tend to pressure and push their drivers to their limits just to achieve the quota. They only think of money and don’t think about the consequences that it might create. And drivers may feel pressured to oblige for fear of losing their jobs. These unreasonable demands are what FMCSA keeps on fighting.
Truck Accident-Related Injuries
In the event of a collision, unfortunately, smaller and lighter vehicles are the ones that are affected. According to a study created by the National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety, a 73 percent possibility occurs that these injuries might happen, especially to the victims that were hit by a truck. Below are the common catastrophic injuries victims might experience:
- Skin cuts and Body lacerations
- Injuries in necks and back
- Internal Injuries
- Shattered and dislocated bones.
- Body Parts Amputations (legs, hands)
- Injuries in the torso and ribs
- Brain and Spinal Injury
Depending on how damaging these accidents are, some can lead to life-changing events. It may take months or weeks to recover with all the medication and therapy, but some people
who sustain significant damage will have to suffer from this injury for the rest of their lives and may need care 24/7. Furthermore, this injury may result in death.
Truck Accident Case and Damage
Each accident may result in a similar or different effect. Depending on your case, you, the victim, are entitled to have some claims. Below are some of the assistance you’ll receive:
- Payment support for your rehabilitation.
- Claims for physical pain and mental suffering.
- Medical expenses both for current and future.
- Lost salary due to injury.
- The loss of working ability due to injury.
- Mental and Emotional damage.
Choosing a lawyer who is focused in this field can give you an edge on winning this battle — a lawyer who can fight head-on with the company’s elite legal team. Remember, the company may go to great lengths to ensure your compensation will be lower than what you should receive.
But don’t worry — with our highly trained lawyers who work with a professional medical team, we can ensure that you’ll receive what is due to you. We have been familiar with all the tricks insurance companies may throw at you. We will fight our way so justice will be served, and you’ll get the compensation they are denying you.