Semi Truck Accident News

Types of Negligence to Consider in Trucking Accident Lawsuits

Trucking Accident LawsuitsAccording to statistics, there are over 500,000 semi truck accidents that occur each year in the U.S. Due to the sheer size and weight difference between commercial vehicles and passenger cars, these trucks may cause devastating damages if they are improperly maintained or operated. Thousands of Americans are killed each year reportedly due to the negligence of semi truck drivers and their employers; trucking accidents account for one in eight traffic deaths. 

If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligence of a semi truck driver or company and you would like to learn more about trucking accident lawsuits and your legal rights, contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for your free consultation.

Types of Negligence in Trucking Accidents

Trucking accident lawsuits stem from negligence caused by truck drivers or the trucking companies for whom they work. Reports have stated that some companies may place unfair demands on their drivers and fail to recognize the toll that certain job deadlines can have on the driver. In other words, most truck drivers are paid for moving goods from one destination to another, and the financial incentive for drivers coupled with possible employer pressure may encourage some drivers to engage in dangerous or negligent behaviors on the road such as:

  • Unsafe driving for adverse weather conditions
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Distracted driving, including eating or talking on a cell phone
  • Engaging in aggression
  • Driving at excessive speeds
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • General negligence while behind the wheel
  • Failing to follow federal and state regulations

Additionally, with the increasing competition within the industry and the price of fuel rapidly rising, reports and lawsuits claim that some trucking companies may resort to cutting corners to maintain their profitability. Companies may refuse or neglect to replace defective or worn parts, delay necessary vehicle inspections or pressure their drivers to travel more than the allowed number of hours per day. Examples of trucking company or driver negligence include:

  • Lack of adequate inspections
  • Poorly maintained vehicles
  • Unreasonable deadlines to move goods that force drivers to take unsafe risks
  • Failure to follow federal and state regulations
  • Overweight or improperly loaded vehicles

While most trucking accident lawsuits involve the driver or the trucking company, sometimes incidents are caused by a third party whose negligence may not be initially apparent such as a truck with defective computer systems, tires or brakes. Additionally, a third party may be responsible for neglecting to maintain the vehicle, thus resulting in semi truck accidents. This is why it is important to contact legal counsel with American Injury Attorney Group to discuss your possible legal actions based on your unique situation, at no cost to you.

Lawsuits are valuable as they allow those injured by possible trucking company or driver negligence to recover compensation for their pain and suffering, loss of income, medical expenses and mental anguish. And seeking a lawyer for help after a semi truck accident is advisable due to so many factors that have to be considered, such as the above examples. Experienced semi truck accident attorneys are familiar with the complexities of semi truck accident cases, and can help you understand your case.

For these reasons, it is important to work with an experienced semi truck accident attorney who can help to fight for your legal rights and work to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Need More information about Filing a Claim?

If you or a loved one have been injured and you are interested in filing a lawsuit, contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for your free, no-obligation case evaluation. We will help answer your questions and help you to determine if you have a claim. We will connect you with an affiliated attorney who will handle your trucking accident lawsuits and help seek compensation for damages you have dealt with.

 

Why Would Semi Truck Brake Safety Be Relevant to Your Semi Truck Accident?

Semi Truck Brake SafetyAccording to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), brake system violations and out of adjustment brakes represent 50 percent of out-of-service violations that are issued for semi trucks. While semi truck accidents can occur for any number of reasons, some of the most serious wrecks occur when brakes fail. Due to the sheer size and weight of these commercial vehicles, when brakes go out, the driver is unable to stop or slow down the truck, which often results in devastating consequences, injuries and sometimes deaths.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a semi truck accident and you feel that semi truck brake safety was an issue in the incident, contact experienced lawyers who will review your case and help you to seek compensation for your injuries.

How to Improve Semi Truck Brake Safety

Initially developed in Canada in 1998, the CVSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have continued to conduct investigations into semi truck brake safety by way of a campaign known as Operation Airbrake. According to the agencies, the program took place between September 8, 2013 and September 14, 2013 and was designed to improve semi truck brake safety throughout the U.S. and reduce the number of highway accidents caused by malfunctioning brake systems on semi trucks. The program, aside from conducting inspections, aims to educate mechanics, drivers and companies on the importance of brake operation, maintenance and inspection.

According to the results of this year’s program, out of 20,067 vehicles that were inspected for semi truck brake safety, 2,714 were deemed to be “out-of-service,” dropping the out-of-service rate to 13.5 percent, a near-record low. In 2012 and 2011, the out-of-service rates were 15.3 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively.

However, the most recent out-of-service rate tied results from 2010, marking one of the safest inspections since the agencies began to collect semi truck brake safety data over 15 years ago. Many semi truck accident lawyers across the country are pleased with the improvement, even though many more vehicles may still be defective and pose hazards on the country’s roadways.

According to the semi truck brake safety inspection that pulled 2,714 vehicles from the highways, that was still a rather large number of commercial trucks that could have potentially caused accidents, injuries or deaths if the brakes had failed. Additionally, although the number of trucks that were placed out-of-service due to brakes is down, the total number of out-of-service orders still falls around 20 percent, or one out of every five semi trucks.

When a semi truck is placed out-of-service, it is deemed to be too dangerous to drive away from the place of inspection. Instead, these vehicles are towed to places where they do not pose a risk to other drivers or pedestrians.

In many cases, those who are involved in semi truck accidents are not fully aware of the potential causes or reasons behind the incident. Many factors, including airbrakes, are not always considered, so it is important to consult with lawyers to learn more about your legal rights. You will want to hold the appropriate parties accountable for your injuries. 

While trucking companies are responsible for conducting routine inspections and performing maintenance as needed, drivers also have the ability inspect their brakes before driving. Although a driver may not be able to maneuver underneath the semi truck, he or she may check low air signals, listen for air leaks and look for damage. For this reason, if you are involved in a semi truck accident and you decide to file a claim against a company, you may also be able to hold the driver accountable for your injuries as well as the company responsible for maintaining a semi truck that does not pose safety hazards on the roadways. Experienced lawyers can review your case and help you to make that distinction.

Injured in a Semi Truck Accident? Contact Our Lawyers Today

If you or someone you love were injured or killed in a semi truck accident, the affiliated lawyers at the American Injury Attorney Group can help you to determine if you have a valid claim. We are accepting clients who were affected by inadequate semi truck brake safety inspections, and our affiliated lawyers can help you to seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. You may be eligible to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages or wrongful death if you are filing on behalf of a loved one.

How Semi Truck Accident Lawsuits Differ from Car Crashes

Semi Truck Accident LawsuitThose who are injured in semi truck wrecks may feel that the legal process is similar to that of car crashes. However, a semi truck accident lawsuit is often very different than one involving two passenger vehicles or one passenger vehicle and a motorcycle. If you have questions about a semi truck accident lawsuit, contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for more information.

Differences Between a Semi Truck Accident Lawsuit and a Typical Car Accident Claim

First of all, because complying with industry standards and safety regulations is a major component of a semi truck accident lawsuit, certain evidence in these claims is often crucial. In nearly all trucking accident lawsuits, evidence is submitted involving the driver, such as inspection records, screenings and qualifications or involving the vehicle, such as maintenance and inspection history documentation.

Although each state has separate laws, many federal regulations across the U.S. are the same in each state. For instance, drivers must observe traffic signs and signals, drive under the speed limit and carry a valid license. For cases involving semi trucks, there are specific laws in place, including maximum hours of consecutive service, licensing standards, insurance and restrictions pertaining to the route, size and weight of the vehicle. 

In most typical car accidents, only the parties involved in the incident are involved with the claims process. However, in a semi truck accident lawsuit, several parties may be named in addition to the driver such as the owner of the truck, the trucking company, the manufacturer and parties related to the inspection, maintenance or cargo of the vehicle.

When compared to passenger cars, semi trucks take longer to stop, are slower to accelerate, have specific challenges when backing up and turning and need more space to maneuver. Driving a semi truck is vastly different than operating a car, so those filing a semi truck accident lawsuit must often evaluate how the driver operated the vehicle in the incident.

Additionally, the dynamics of what happens in a crash are drastically different between a car and a commercial vehicle named in a semi truck accident lawsuit. Based on the principles of physics, a truck has a greater mass, or weight, than a car. In an accident, weight almost always wins over any other factor. However, other circumstances that can affect a wreck include control variances, cargo issues, the ability to pivot, a truck consisting of multiple axles and differences in the centers of gravity.

The role of insurance also differs between semi trucks and cars. Insurance requirements for cars are much less than those for commercial vehicles due to the potential for much more damage occurring in semi truck accidents. Because expenses associated with a semi truck accident can be large, carriers have a particular interest in minimizing the liability of trucking companies. In other words, insurance companies may take extra measures to help reduce settlements or payouts to those injured or plaintiffs filing a semi truck accident lawsuit.

Why Consult an Attorney?

Although many may feel as though they are fully capable of representing themselves against trucking companies should they choose to file a semi truck accident lawsuit, there are a number of reasons why a lawyer is beneficial. An attorney can help you receive adequate. Additionally, legal counsel can determine whom should be held accountable for your injuries as there may be more than one party at fault, whether it is the driver, the trucking company, the maintenance provider or the manufacturer of the semi truck itself. If you are injured, consider working with an attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected and that you are treated justly and fairly for your injuries.

Want More Information about Filing a Semi Truck Accident Lawsuit?

If you or someone you love were injured in an accident and you would like to know whether you are entitled to file a semi truck accident lawsuit, contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for your free, no-obligation case evaluation. We will review the details surrounding the incident and connect you with an affiliated attorney who will handle your semi truck accident lawsuit claim and help you to seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.

 

Steep Distracted Driver Penalties for Commercial Drivers Who Text and Drive

Distracted Driving PenaltiesThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has prohibited the use of mobile devices and texting by bus drivers and semi truck drivers while they are operating large semi trucks or commercial motor vehicles. However, many companies and drivers are not aware of the existence of this law and continue to violate the regulations put in place by the FMCSA.

If you or a loved one were injured in a semi truck accident and you are considering taking action, contact the affiliated attorneys at the American Injury Attorney Group. We will do our best to see that the distracted driver penalties and your compensation are appropriate for both your injuries and the damages you incurred as the result of the accident.

Distracted Driver Penalties Issued

The FMCSA has recently released drastic distracted driver penalties, perhaps in an effort to fight against this widespread disregard for the current ban on cell phone use while driving. According to the FMCSA:

  • Violations will negatively affect Safety Measurement System (SMS) ratings
  • The driver’s employer may be liable for an additional $11,000
  • The driver or trucker may be liable for a civil fine of a maximum of $2,750
  • If a semi truck driver continues to text while driving or has multiple convictions, he or she may lose the right to operate commercial vehicles for up to 120 days.

The prohibition on cell phones does not, however, apply to devices used for dispatching. However, these devices are only acceptable if they are used as part of the fleet management system. In other words, drivers cannot use dispatching devices for other purposes, including texting.

Consequences of Distracted Driving

Unfortunately, semi truck drivers continue to ignore the law and choose to text or make phone calls while operating their vehicles. Those whose attention is not focused on the road may cause serious injury or death if they cause an accident. While distracted driver penalties exist to help sway semi truck drivers from texting in the first place, such penalties may not be enough to help victims or surviving family members who lose a loved one due to a distracted driver. If you feel that you have a claim, consider seeking legal counsel from experienced attorneys today.

According to the FMCSA, drivers of semi trucks are 23.2 times more likely to cause an accident if they are driving and texting, most likely due to the sheer size and weight of the trucks themselves; if a driver loses control, it is often more difficult to regain that control before an accident occurs. Additionally, statistics show that distracted drivers looked away from the road for roughly 4.6 seconds; for a driver traveling at 55 miles per hour, those 4.6 seconds would equal 371 feet or the length of one football field.

The idea of a semi truck driver traveling the full length of a football field with his eyes not on the road and operating an 80,000-pound vehicle can be horrifying. However, distracted driving is one of the most common causes of semi truck accidents across the U.S., and the FMCSA has recognized the dangers of such occurrences. Its distracted driver penalties pertain to those who are not only physically texting but those who are reading texts as well. For the purposes of the regulation, a “text” includes web access, instant messaging, email, SMS or any other form of entering or receiving electronic messages.

When everyday drivers consider distracted driving, the pictures that most often come to mind are the businessman talking on the cell phone, the mother turning around to break up a fight in the backseat, or the teenager fiddling with the volume on his new speakers. However, distracted driving is also common among commercial drivers, and accidents are often more deadly due to the weight and size of the trucks themselves. If you are injured, it is important to contact experienced attorneys who will help you to file a claim and recover compensation for your condition.

Involved in an Accident? Contact Our Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident and you feel that a distracted driver was the cause, contact the affiliated attorneys at the American Injury Attorney Group today for more information about distracted driver penalties and whom you may hold accountable for your injuries. We will review your case and connect you with experienced attorneys who will help you to seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. Our team of attorneys understands the severity of such accidents and will attempt to see that the distracted driver penalties are appropriate for your accident.

 

Truck Accident Lawyers Discuss: Semi Driver Gets 20 Years For Vehicular Homicide

Truck Accident LawyerSemi truck accidents due to distracted or careless driving can be devastating not only to those directly involved but also to family members and friends as well. Distracted drivers may turn their attention away from the roadway for any number of reasons, many of which endanger themselves and pedestrians, passengers and other drivers. Additionally, while distracted driving can be dangerous for anyone in a motor vehicle, it can be even more deadly for those operating larger commercial vehicles due to the extreme size difference between semi trucks and traditional passenger cars.

If you or a loved one have been injured, you may wish to seek legal counsel from a truck accident lawyer to learn more about your rights. You may be eligible to file for compensation and recover damages including lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering, although your truck accident lawyer will help to determine to what you are entitled based on your situation.

Truck Driver Sentenced to 20 Years

On October 16, 2013, a 37-year-old truck driver from Illinois was sentenced to 20 years in prison after allegedly causing an accident in western Nebraska that killed a family. According to the man’s truck accident lawyer, the driver put forth a “no contest” plea to one count of vehicular homicide concerning an unborn child and to four counts of vehicular homicide. Four manslaughter counts were subsequently dropped by prosecutors. 

Traveling nonstop from Milwaukee, the man allegedly fell asleep at the wheel, causing the fatal accident on September 9, 2012. His semi truck hit the back of a car killing a man, his pregnant wife, and their two children, ages two and three.

Careless Driving Causes Devastating Consequences

According to statistics, over 3,000 people are killed in accidents involving careless driving every year. Careless driving may include drunk driving or driving under the influence, distracted driving or other situations when a driver’s attention may not be fully focused on the road. Unfortunately, those operating large semi trucks may cause greater damage if they are not paying attention due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicle and cargo.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a driver was charged with second-degree murder after authorities found that he had been looking at photographs of scantily clad women on Facebook while his vehicle was set in cruise control at 65 miles per hour. His semi truck slammed into two fire department trucks, three police cars and killed one public safety officer. The man had also allegedly been viewing porn sites, female escort pages, YouTube and social networking sites while operating his truck.

Not only does careless driving contribute to collisions, but many drivers also operate under extreme fatigue as well. Whether their employers are on a strict, unrealistic schedule or drivers feel forced to race to destinations without taking the legal break to which they are required, driver fatigue can be disastrous. By law, drivers are required to take breaks and pull off of the road for specified periods of time in order to rest their eyes, stretch and gather themselves for the next part of their travels. By failing to take these breaks and push themselves to the limit, drivers may be at a higher risk for causing accidents due to fatigue or exhaustion.

Injured? A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You to File a Claim

If you or a loved one are injured due to careless driving, it is vital that you seek legal counsel from a truck accident lawyer to learn more about your rights. At the American Injury Attorney Group, we will provide you with a free consultation at no obligation and will work to answer your questions regarding your legal rights. We will connect you with a truck accident lawyer who can work to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled such as mental anguish, loss of income, pain and suffering, vehicular damage and medical bills.

 

Can Poor Semi Truck Maintenance Cause Fatal Accidents?

semi truck maintenance- accidentProper semi truck maintenance can mean the difference between life and death in a variety of situations. Unfortunately, if employers and trucking companies fail to perform semi truck maintenance, the consequences can be disastrous, causing collisions and accidents that are often fatal.

If you or a loved one was injured and you feel that the collision was directly related to poor semi truck maintenance, seek legal counsel from a truck accident lawyer today to learn more about your rights and filing a claim for compensation.

Proper Semi Truck Maintenance

According to many truck accident lawyers, truck companies should properly inspect and maintain their vehicles to help prevent crashes. Periodic inspection and preventative maintenance will prevent failures from occurring while the truck is in operation. Accidents caused by mechanical failure can be frustrating because they are preventable, although there are still many regulations to which truck drivers and companies must adhere relating to maintenance of the truck.

Here are a few of the most common things companies must do to confirm that their semi trucks are properly maintained:

  • Maintain a record keeping system in place to detail maintenance, inspection and repairs
  • Understand the regulations and guidelines that mandate a vehicle to be placed out of service
  • Have an efficient way to monitor the effectiveness of your preventative procedures
  • Ensure drivers are aware of their maintenance and inspection obligations
  • Ensure maintenance programs evaluates suspension, tires and wheels, couplers, brakes and steering

Poor Semi Truck Maintenance Can Cause Devastating Consequences

In one unfortunate case, two teenagers were killed after a semi truck lost its rear wheels in Caddo County, Oklahoma. According to authorities, a Freightliner was traveling on the highway when it lost its fifth axle duals. The wheels smashed into the windshield of a Jeep Wrangler, killing a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. According to a trooper’s report, both died of massive head injuries after they were pinned in the car for roughly 90 minutes before emergency responders arrived.

Such is just one instance how vital maintenance is of these commercial vehicles. In order to maintain a safe fleet and to make sure that the trucking company is not in violation of federal regulations, proper maintenance is vital. However, the truck driver is also in a unique position to defect malfunctions in the truck. Sometimes, a driver may even be made aware of problems that can go undetected during routine inspections and maintenance.

Still, there are other cases where a vehicle is properly serviced and maintenance and an accident still results. In these instances, those injured may be entitled to hold a third party accountable for their condition. For example, if tires fall off of the semi, the manufacturer of the tires or the semi truck may be responsible, not necessarily the trucking company if it can be proven that he or she did everything to properly maintenance the vehicle. For this reason, it is vital to speak with a truck accident lawyer so that you can properly assess the situation and determine whom you should hold accountable for your injuries.

Injured or Need More Information? Contract a Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident and you feel that poor semi truck maintenance directly contributed to the collision? The affiliated truck accident lawyers at the American Injury Attorney Group can evaluate your case and help to determine if you have a valid claim. We will connect you with a professional truck accident lawyer who will handle your case and work to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.

 

Distracted Driving Leads to Deadly Semi Truck Accident

Distracted Driving Semi AccidentAccording to the U.S. Government’s website for distracted driving, over 3,000 people were killed in accidents involving distracted driving in 2011 alone. Distracted drivers may turn their attention away from the road for a variety of reasons, many of which may endanger not only themselves, but other drivers, passengers and pedestrians as well. Those operating large, commercial vehicles may be at a higher risk for causing destruction if they take their eyes off the road, mainly due to the sheer weight and size of the trucks that they are driving.

If you have been injured in semi truck accidents due to a distracted driver, lawyers can help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Experienced lawyers can help to determine if you have a valid claim and assist you in holding the appropriate parties accountable.

Facebook Causes Distracted Driving Crash

A recent Phoenix, Arizona, accident was allegedly caused by a distracted driver of an empty fuel tanker as he was looking at photos of women on Facebook. He crashed into three police cars and two fire department trucks and killed a public safety officer.

The driver has been charged with second-degree murder and was reportedly driving with cruise control on at 65 miles per hour at the time of the incident. After the crash, the driver allegedly lied to investigators by claiming that he did not see the emergency vehicles ahead because he was watching a passing truck in his mirror. He also claimed that he never uses his phone while driving.

However, information taken from the driver’s phone, including photos of scantily clad women in provocative positions, shows him using Facebook at the alleged time of the crash. Additionally, while driving the vehicle, the driver has allegedly viewed the Internet including YouTube, female escort pages, social network sites and porn sites, according to investigators.

The camera on the driver’s dashboard shows the man’s Samsung Galaxy III flying out of his hand at the time of the crash. According to reports, investigators concluded that, had he not accessed Facebook while operating the truck, the driver would have been able to perceive and process the dangers ahead on the road. He would not have caused the death of the officer, endangered the lives of 11 other emergency responders and destroyed six vehicles.

Distracted Driving Can Lead to Semi Truck Accidents

Distracted driving is considered to be any activity that could sidetrack someone’s attention away from driving or the roadway. All interferences or disruptions endanger passenger, driver and passerby safety and increase the risk of vehicle and semi truck accidents. Common types of distractions include:

  • Texting
  • Using a Smartphone or cell phone
  • Talking to passengers
  • Eating and drinking
  • Reading, including maps
  • Grooming
  • Watching a video
  • Using a navigation system
  • Adjusting a CD player, radio or MP3 player

However, because text message requires manual, visual and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming and dangerous distraction. The number of accidents caused by distracted drivers, particularly semi truck accidents, have drastically increased since Smartphones and text messaging have become any everyday activity. Those who have been injured in semi truck accidents may consider working with lawyers to learn more about their legal rights.

Injured Due to Distracted Driving or Involved in Semi Truck Accidents? Experienced Lawyers Can Assist You

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed as a result of distracted driving, particularly in semi truck accidents, contact the American Injury Attorney Group with questions about your legal rights or legal action that can be taken. We will evaluate your case at no cost to you and determine if you have a valid claim. We will connect you with experienced lawyers who will handle your distracted driving lawsuit, and help you understand your legal rights. So contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for your free consultation.

 

Semi Truck Accident Lawyers Note Recent Accidents and Settlements

semi truck accident lawyerAccidents can occur in different weather conditions, at any time of the day. However, realizing that things do happen does not detract from the shock and aftermath when you or your family are faced with an accident. According to statistics, over 500,000 car crashes involve large commercial vehicles or semi trucks. Due to their sheer weight and size compared to passenger vehicles, trucks can cause devastating damages if they are not properly maintained or operated. Additionally, studies show that one out of every eight deaths occur after semi truck accidents.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, a semi truck accident lawyer can help to fight for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

Semi Truck Accidents Prevalent

On Friday, October 15, 2013 in Skokie, Illinois, a semi truck rolled over after colliding with the median on the Edens Expressway. According to police officials, all lanes on the road were closed due to the crash. The potato-hauling truck was heading in the northbound lanes of Interstate 94 at Dempster when he lost control of the vehicle, hit a median and flipped over into incoming traffic.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the wreckage was strewn across both southbound and northbound lanes, and witnesses reported fuel leaking from the truck. A HAZMAT crew, the Skokie fire department and two ambulances were also called to the scene. Officials report that the driver suffered only minor injuries in the accident. While fortunately, no one else was hurt in the accident, had the truck flipped over onto oncoming cars, there would have most likely been several fatalities.

Recent Settlements

With the help of a semi truck accident lawyer, plaintiffs are filing lawsuits to seek compensation for their injuries. In one case, an attorney representing clients injured in an accident with a semi truck in 2012 are still recovering while, despite previous DWI convictions, the driver of the truck is still on the road.

The lawsuit brought against the driver by the family’s semi truck accident lawyer also included another driver who was also hit by the semi truck. The settlement in the case brought in over $9.5 million for the plaintiffs. While not all semi truck lawsuits will result in similar settlements, depending on the case and circumstances, plaintiffs may be entitled to significant compensation.

In March 2012, a family was traveling when they were rear-ended while at a stop light. According to the family’s attorney, all occupants were injured. The truck driver had allegedly been drinking and was speeding at the time of the crash. Police reports indicate that his blood alcohol level was at .071 at the time of the incident and .065 three hours later.

The driver had several previous DWI convictions, and attorneys cannot figure out how the driver even came to be in possession of a commercial driver’s license to begin with. Some attorneys suggest that trucking companies may have difficulty in finding new drivers, so hiring managers may look past previous records. Still, according to semi truck lawyers, anytime a company places a heavy truck on the road, it needs to be aware of the behavior exhibited by the driver and determine whether such conduct is acceptable to operate such a heavy, potentially dangerous piece of machinery.

Need a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer?

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, your best option is to seek legal counsel from an experienced semi truck accident lawyer. At the American Injury Attorney Group, we can answer any questions you have to the best of our ability. We understand how confusing these situations can be, particularly if more than one party may be held accountable for your condition. If you feel as though you have a valid claim, we will connect you with a semi truck accident lawyer who can help you to recover damages to compensate for vehicular damage, pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of income and mental anguish.

 

Fatal Accidents and the Role of Semi Trucks

Fatal Accidents and the Role of Semi Trucks

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The most dangerous states to drive in are Mississippi, Montana and Alabama, according to all available statistics. Unfortunately, semi-truck accidents are part of those statistics and contribute to a number of fatal accidents.

For example, a recent case in Mississippi found that a truck driver will not face any charges after two people were killed in a fatal accident when his truck rolled into both a business and a car. In another example, a Montana crash between a pickup truck and a semi-truck in 2010 left one person dead and a June accident forced an major interstate in Alabama to close for 12 hours. That truck was carrying alcoholic beverages and caught fire. It was one of the worst semi truck accidents seen in the area, reports said. These were only three crashes of the numerous fatal accidents making the news nationwide. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that almost 3,000 fatal accidents involving large and semi truck accidents occurred in 2009.

The highest amount of medical and work loss resulting from traffic accidents was in California with $4.16 billion dollars lost in vehicle crashes, including semi truck accidents and fatal accidents. A recent California fatal accident occurred in September when a big rig didn’t stop at a stop sign and struck a car, killing a passenger, according to news reports.

Texas had the second highest amount of medical and work loss due to traffic accidents. News media reported a fatal semi truck accident in Grand Prairie in August. In that accident, a semi truck flew off a ramp at a cloverleaf, across a median and into another interstate.

Studies in recent years have attributed some of the problems with semi truck accidents to a lack of sleep or risky driving or speeding in an attempt to meet delivery deadlines. Both of these issues can cause fatal accidents. Statistics also show that rural roads pose the most danger, in general, to drivers, but that is particular true in relation to collisions with semi trucks. Often rural roads are two-lane, without a lot of lighting, and that makes for unsafe situations.

It is logical that semi truck accidents are going to cause more death and injury. They weigh more and a smaller passenger car is no match. They often are carrying combustible items like fuel, even hazardous material.

This is why attorneys are important in such cases. Those who have been injured, or who suffered the loss of a loved one, in semi truck accidents have legal options and can be assisted by representation from experienced attorneys. The American Injury Attorney Group can help answer questions, guide you through the legal process and help you find attorneys that can handle your case.

There is not only the current medical or funeral expenses to consider, but also future losses due to disability or death, and pain and suffering involved in such a horrific tragedy. This is what attorneys assist with- making sure you are fully compensated for all of your losses. Attorneys are there to help you get the compensation you deserve from unsafe semi truck drivers. So contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for your free consultation and help getting the answers you could be looking for.

 

Can Semi Driver Fatigue Lead to Fatal Accidents?

Semi Driver Fatigue

Nearly 20 percent of all semi truck accidents are directly caused by semi driver fatigue according to a recent study from the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This statistic doesn’t take into account the effect exhaustion can have on slowing reaction times, increasing the tendency to take unnecessary risks, and other factors that contribute to a driver’s inability to navigate the dangers of the roads safely.

Like many other members of the general public, you may believe there are more semi truck accidents than automobile accidents, and that the truck operator is always to blame because of the sheer size of the vehicle. Large trucks are actually involved in fewer accidents per 100 million miles than other types of vehicles. Semi truck accidents have a higher fatality rate than other motor vehicle accidents, however, and semi driver fatigue plays a significant role in this.

Semi Driver Fatigue and Rollovers

Rollover accidents are one of the most dangerous of all semi truck accidents. They’re related to a truck’s stability when it’s taking a turn, which is determined by the vehicle’s center of gravity and the distance between its left and right wheels. When a driver is fatigued, he or she may not use reasonable caution entering into the turn and end up taking the curve too fast. Fatigue is one of the primary reasons why otherwise good drivers fail to use proper judgement on the road. Rollover crashes only account for three percent of all motor vehicle accidents, yet they represent almost one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.

Federal Hours of Services Rules

Federal law mandates that truck operators driving interstate routes, whose vehicles weigh more than 10,001 pounds or more, can only drive continuously for 11 hours in a single workday, and that a workday can’t be more than 14 hours long. Truck drivers are then compelled to take a mandatory 10 hour rest period before climbing back into their cabs.

In a seven day period, truck operators can only be on the road for 60-77 hours at most; in an eight day period, they can only drive between 70 and 88 hours. Though this kind of work schedule may seem horrendous to non-drivers, it’s a vast improvement over the type of schedule drivers kept before these rules went into effect when they frequently put in stretches of 24 to 36 hours behind the wheel, fueled by caffeine and stimulants.

Many truck drivers, however, try to get around these rules. Their livelihood, after all, depends upon the speed with which they can transport goods from pickup point to destination. Sometimes the companies these drivers work for do not question the drivers or push for hard enforcement of the rules because the productivity shows in their bottom line.

If you’re the victim in a truck accident, chances are your attorney will petition to get hold of the logs that drivers are required to keep by federal law. These logs will show whether the rules pertaining to hours of services were adhered to. Your attorney may also look at trip tickets and bills of laden to calculate the amount of time the driver was actually on the road. Hours of service rules are a federal requirement that must be followed no matter what state semi truck accidents take place in. If you are involved in a truck accident and believe that it was caused by semi driver fatigue due to a violation of federal hours of services rules, that case will be tried in a federal court.

Your Options After An Accident

If you or a loved one have been a victim of a semi truck accident, it is likely you do not know that you can seek possible compensation from the trucking company for your injuries. Trucking companies often have multiple attorneys fighting in their best interest, so you should not have to go against them alone. Contact the American Injury Attorney Group today if you have been injured. We can answer your legal questions, and our affiliated attorneys can help you decide if you want to seek compensation for your losses.