Truck Accident Attorney
Large Trucks and Tractor-Trailers are one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States. In 2016, there were 4,317 people killed in crashes involving large trucks or buses according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is not too hard to believe when you look around you on the interstate at all of the 18-wheelers on the road.
The maximum weight for a U.S. semi truck and full trailer is 80,000 pounds spread over 18 wheels. These massive vehicles can cause devastating accidents and injuries due to their size and weight. Due to the dangers these vehicles pose to the public stringent regulations have been enacted through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act.
While many 18-wheeler drivers conform to these regulations, when they don’t the consequences can be tragic for those involved in an accident with them. Accidents involving 18-wheelers can result in severe injuries and large medical bills.
Trucking Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
Trucks pose a great risk to other vehicles on the road. When a tractor-trailer or eighteen-wheeler collides with a passenger vehicle, there is an increased risk of the victims suffering:
Due to the higher likelihood of suffering these severe injuries, trucking accident victims often need more medical care and rehabilitation over an extended period of time when compared to victims of typical motor vehicle collision that were operating cars or trucks. The costs associated with this additional medical care can be very high. In addition to the higher medical bills, often, victims of eighteen-wheeler accidents are unable to return to work for an extended period of time causing unnecessary financial burden to the victim and his or her family.
If you or somebody you know has been involved in a collision with an eighteen-Wheeler or Commercial Vehicle, the personal injury attorneys at Stokes Stemle are here to help. Call us today at 334.316.4123 or click the link below for a free, confidential consultation and let us assist you in putting the pieces back together and getting you back to where you were prior to the collision.
There is no cost to you for this service and you do not have to pay unless you make a recovery.
Trucking Accidents Require Serious Lawyers
Personal Injuries caused by tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles present a variety of issues that necessitate the need for an attorney who is familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Commercial Vehicles must have an insurance policy in place to cover at least $1,000,000.00 in liability exposure. Due to the large amount of money at stake in commercial personal injury claims, the commercial carriers and drivers go to great lengths to avoid being placed at fault for collisions.
Cases involving commercial vehicles require a vigilant attorney who is willing to look through all the facts and evidence surrounding not only the collision, but also the commercial vehicle operator and his employer in order to maximize the value of the victim’s personal injury claims.
Stokes Stemle Has Detailed Knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
Due to the dangers these vehicles pose to the public, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to promote safety in the commercial trucking industry and prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. To achieve this goal, they have enacted regulations through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) that govern the companies, drivers, vehicles and cargo.
The operators of commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard of care than the average motorist and are required to hold a commercial driver’s license. Further, truck drivers must also pass background checks for certain criminal convictions and serious traffic violations, in addition to undertaking regular drug tests and completing continuous education and training requirements. Many times, companies fail to do their due diligence and hire drivers that may not be suitable or qualified to be a commercial truck driver.
While many eighteen-wheelers drivers conform to these regulations, when they do not the consequences can be tragic for all parties unfortunate enough to be involved.
Top Causes of Tractor-Trailer Collisions
Hours of Service
The United States Department of Transportation allows truckers to drive a maximum of 11 hours per day. Truck drivers are limited to the number of hours they may drive in a single day and ten-day period. They are required by the FMCSR to take rest breaks for a minimum amount of time before they may drive again. The pressure placed by the owners to quickly transport and haul loads can lead to these Hours of Service regulations being violated.
Despite having an increased responsibility to drive safely, truck drivers make mistakes like other drivers. Truck drivers may drive drowsy, drive drunk or under the influence of drugs, drive distractedly, or drive recklessly.
Commercial truck drivers travel thousands of miles every day. To keep up with the immense wear and tear these vehicles take, trucking companies, drivers, and maintenance crews must regularly maintain the fleet of vehicles. Equipment failure, such as worn brake pads or a cracked windshield, can cause a major traffic accident. It’s a driver’s responsibility to check his/her rig at the beginning of every shift and submit a vehicle maintenance report. Failure to do so can be fatal.
Poor fleet maintenance is not the only thing that can cause a truck’s equipment to fail and cause a major accident. Equipment manufacturers may be guilty of negligence during a part’s production, leading to defective or dangerous components. Parties that may be liable for defective parts in a trucking accident include the parts manufacturer, truck manufacturer, the trucking company that sold the truck, and the installer/mechanic who made part repairs.
Improper Cargo Loading
Truckers and cargo loading teams have to abide by industry-specific rules when it comes to loading the bed of a commercial truck. There are a certain weight, size, length, width, and height limits to a load, as well as special methods of securing cargo for transportation. Mistakes or negligence during loading procedures can make a load fall off into the road, causing catastrophic accidents.
Helping Trucking Accident Victims Put Their Lifes Back Together
Recovering from an accident involving a commercial vehicle can be tough, but the professionals at Stokes Stemle are here to assist you in returning your life back to normal. We understand the difficulties that may arise during your recovery from your injuries. Our experienced attorneys will work with you to ensure you receive maximum compensation that you deserve for:
- Pain and Suffering
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Future Medical Care
- Property Damage
- And More. . .
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler contact Stokes Stemle today at (334)316-4123 for a free case evaluation with our experienced attorneys. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.