Trucking Accident Lawsuits: Common Types Of Negligence

In October 2010, a settlement of almost $63 million was reached in a trucking accident lawsuit involving a Kansas City-based grocery store chain and the driver of a truck owned by the company. The lawsuit stemmed from an accident that killed ten people on the Oklahoma Turnpike in June 2009, with families of those killed alleging that the company failed to properly train and supervise the driver, who slammed into a line of traffic that was stopped on the turnpike.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a semi truck, call the American Injury Attorney Group for more information about your options. In a free consultation, we can answer your questions. If you have a case, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.

Negligence In Trucking trucking accident lawsuits
Accidents

When an accident occurs involving negligence on the part of the driver of a tractor-trailer, the company owning the truck can be held responsible for injuries or deaths if it can be shown they did not properly train or supervise the driver. According to court documents filed in a trucking accident lawsuit, the driver of the truck had been on the road steadily, with no breaks, for more than 12 hours. It is speculated that the company required unreasonable delivery deadlines that led its driver to work longer hours than permitted under federal and state guidelines.

Trucking accident lawsuits can also be filed if a company ignores routine maintenance or fails to make repairs that might prevent an accident. Additionally, some companies hire drivers with a background of safety problems or drug and alcohol problems. When these drivers are involved in accidents, the trucking company could be liable in trucking accident lawsuits.

Truck drivers may also be negligent in causing semi-truck accidents when they fail to follow safety regulations. In Kansas City, Missouri, a 13-year old boy was killed when the driver of a tractor-trailer owned by the United States Postal Service allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign. The intersection where the accident happened was a four-way stop with flashing lights above each sign, leading investigators to believe the driver was not paying attention.

In addition to inattention behind the wheel, large truck drivers may ignore regulations regarding the number of hours they are permitted to drive, as well as the requirement of breaks throughout those driving hours. Truck drivers have also been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. These types of negligent actions can be a deadly combination when someone is controlling a truck that can weigh more than 80,000 pounds.

In 2012, large trucks accounted for four percent of registered vehicles in the United States, according to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but accounted for eight percent of fatal accidents. Big trucks were involved in multi-vehicle accidents 81 percent of the time compared to only 58 percent in passenger vehicle accidents. In 2012, 73 percent of deaths in crashes were occupants of vehicles other than the large truck, according to the NHTSA.

Have Questions About Potential Trucking Accident Lawsuits?

If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a semi truck, contact the American Injury Attorney Group to learn more about your options. At no out-of-pocket cost to you, we can answer your questions. If you have a case, we can connect you with an affiliated semi truck accident attorney who can help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Congress Suspends Truck Driver Hours of Service Rules

The trucking industry has won a victory in an ongoing battle between it and safety officials who had wanted to keep truck driver hours of service more limited.

Congress in December agreed to temporarily stop enforcing rules that had been established in 2013 related to those truck driver hours of service. But the U.S. transportation secretary and others have voiced concern that this rollback to the previous regulations will mean more truck drivers will be behind the wheel when they have not rested properly. truck driver hours of service

Hours of Service

In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented truck driver hours of service regulations limiting the average work week for drivers to 70 hours. The measure was intended to ensure drivers would get adequate rest. The regulations included at least 34 hours off between shifts and two consecutive nights between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Officials have said that the two nights were intended to ensure drivers would get adequate sleep.

The organization said that more than 85 percent of the truck-driving workforce would not be affected by the changes. FMCSA said that driver fatigue had been connected to a high risk of crashes as well as serious health conditions in drivers.

Industry Rallies Congress for Changes

The bill that Congress recently passed and that President Barack Obama has signed into law was attached at the last minute to the nation’s $1.1 trillion spending bill designed to prevent a government shutdown. It puts a stay on enforcing the two key elements of the 2013 truck driver hours of service regulations. Drivers will not have to be regulated to the 34-hour, two-night rest period. They also will no longer be limited to one restart time per week.

The suspension does not change the regulation itself, but only the enforcement on the regulations. The stay will last at least until Sept. 30, 2015. During the time the suspension is in place, Congress has ordered that the Department of Transportation begin studying whether the 2013 truck driver hours of service regulation provided a “greater net benefit for the operational, safety, health and fatigue impacts.”

Fatigued Truck Drivers in the News

Truck driver hours of service were thrust into the limelight last year when actor Tracy Morgan was critically injured and another passenger in the van in which they were riding were killed when the van was struck by a semi truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. The truck driver had not slept for more than 24 hours.

Statistics have shown that of the more than 30,000 people who die annually because of drowsy driving, one in seven of the accidents are caused by tired drivers of large trucks. Transportation experts have said they are concerned that the suspension of the truck driver hours of service could lead to even more deaths on U.S. highways.

Have You Been Hurt in an Accident That Involved a Tired Semi Truck Driver?

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident that involved a semi truck, American Injury Attorney Group can help you. For no out-of-pocket costs, we can help you evaluate your case so that you can determine if you have a claim. If you do, one of American Injury Attorney Group’s affiliated attorneys can file a lawsuit on your behalf. You may be eligible to receive a monetary award.

Company Wants Waivers for Inexperienced Truck Driver

Driving a tractor-trailer requires more skills, knowledge and experience than driving smaller vehicles. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific requirements that must be met before an inexperienced truck driver can be certified to drive one of these huge trucks on their own. One of these requirements, found under FMCSA regulation 49 CFR 383.25(a)(I), states that an inexperienced truck driver that holds a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) must be accompanied by the holder of a valid CDL and must the fully licensed driver must be in the front seat next to the CLP holder.

Requests for Exemption

On Nov. 28, 2014, the FMCSA announced that C.R. England Inc. had requested an exemption from thInexperienced truck driverse requirement that a licensed CDL holder accompany an inexperienced truck driver, stating that there is a desperate need for truck drivers and that it would be too expensive to get the inexperienced truck driver back to their local motor vehicle departments to get the new CDLs. The company is requesting that any new driver who has passed the CDL skills test but not yet received the CDL document to be permitted to drive the big trucks without a fully licensed CDL driver. Public comments, which can be accessed by clicking here, on the request are open until Dec. 29, 2014.

Inexperienced Truck Driver Statistics

Because driving a tractor-trailer requires special skills, it is important that people behind the wheel have adequate training. Some of the most common causes of truck crashes include:

  • Loss of control of the truck
  • Vehicle failure
  • Shifting cargo
  • Improper maneuvering
  • Driver fatigue

Drivers with little training may be unable to handle the big truck when these types of events occur, making them more likely to be involved in an accident than truck drivers with experience. Therefore, by requiring inexperienced drivers to spend more time driving with an experienced driver in the passenger seat, the risk of accident could be reduced as the experience driver could offer advice on how to handle issues that may cause a crash.

Have You Been Injured Because an Inexperienced Driver Was Behind the Wheel of a Semi-Truck?

If you have been injured in an accident with a semi-truck driver, or if a loved one has died from injuries sustained in an accident with a tractor-trailer and you believe an inexperienced driver may have been an fault, contact the American Injury Attorney Group to learn what rights you may have. American Injury Attorney Group can evaluate your case with no out-of-pocket cost to you and refer you to one of our affiliated attorneys if we believe you have a claim. You may be eligible to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your semi-truck crash. Call American Injury Attorney Group today to find out more information.

Big Rig Accidents vs. Small Car Accidents

big rig accidentsAccidents involving big rigs are starkly different than those that only involve smaller vehicles. Big rig accidents are much more likely to result in severe bodily injury or death, and the chance of property damage is higher as well. The legal aftermath of big rig accidents is also much more complex than it is for car-on-car accidents. Understanding these differences is very important for anyone who has been involved in an accident involving an eighteen-wheeler, regardless of who was at fault.

What Causes Big Rig Accidents?
Semi trucks typically weight at least 40,000 pounds when traveling down the highway, and they are longer than six normal-sized cars lined end-to-end. Fully-loaded big rigs can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Because of their extreme weight, big rigs are very tough to bring to a complete stop within a short amount of time, no matter how quick the driver’s reaction.

Big Rig Accidents vs. Small Car Accidents?
Big rig accidents are more destructive than small car accidents for the same reason that injuries in professional football are more serious than those sustained on grade school sports teams. More size and more speed mean more damage when two objects collide. Big rigs contain significantly more mass than even the largest pickup trucks or SUVs. Therefore, a big rig hitting another vehicle at 65 miles per hour is going to deliver significantly more force than a regular car traveling at the same speed.

The Aftermath of Big Rig Accidents
Victims of big rig accidents often have to endure a long road to recovery. This road may involve hospital stays, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological counseling. It is very possible to regain a normal life after being involved in big rig accidents. However, it often takes a great deal of time and even more often creates a financial burden for driver of the small car. Whereas the truck driver might have a company to defend him or her from legal accountability, the other driver is alone in the fight unless they seek legal counsel. This makes it even more imperative for someone injured in big rig accidents to contact the American Injury Attorney Group to discuss their legal options.

The silver lining is that there are many more legal options available to victims of big rig accidents than there are to victims of regular automobile accidents. An attorney can determine if the truck driver or trucking company violated any standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If so, those involved in the accident could be eligible for compensation regardless of who was at fault. The same is true if the truck driver did not keep an up-to-date logbook, or if his blood alcohol content (BAC) was above .04 percent, which is a stricter BAC limit than for regular drivers. It is also possible that subcontractors involved in the maintenance and repair of the truck can be sued for damages if they failed in the performance of their duties.

Contacting the American Injury Attorney Group
If you were injured in any big rig accidents, you may be eligible for legal compensation, regardless of who was at fault. Contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can answer your questions, discuss your legal options, and connect you with an affiliated attorney if you have a claim. He or she can help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. Call today.

Truck Driver Safety After Close Call with School Bus

          truck driver safetyMinnesota State Patrol released a startling video of a near fatal accident involving a semi-truck, a young girl, and a school bus on Highway 23 near Paynesville. It started as an average stop for the bus driver who took all the regulatory precautions, including using the stop arm and flashing lights. As the bus approached its stop, the 12-year-old girl is seen waiting at a safe distance. Seconds later, the video shows an 18-wheeler violating basic truck driver safety standards as it rushes by on the shoulder.

A Near-Miss Caught on Video
          The video captures the semi truck speeding around the stopped school bus, almost running over the approaching boarder in the process. The 18-wheeler managed to miss both the girl and the school bus, but still broke multiple truck driver safety laws in the process. It is illegal under any circumstances to ignore school bus signals or to pass on a shoulder. A frightening experience for all involved, there were no physical injuries. The anonymous truck driver never stopped or turned around, but later, once the video went viral, turned himself in to authorities and now faces gross misdemeanor charges.

The Need for Truck Driver Safety
          Whether he was simply impatient or didn’t see the bus soon enough to brake, no reason was ever given why the semi-truck driver chose to ignore truck driver safety and put innocent people in danger. The incident did, however, spark widespread conversation concerning truck driver safety. Whether that means truck drivers avoiding the pressures of overdriving or going too long without sleep, obeying truck-specific speed limits, having their truck inspected regularly, or simply giving deference to smaller cars on the road, truck driver safety is key to getting from point A to point B without accident or injury.

Contact the American Injury Attorney Group
          Semi-trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road due to their sheer size and weight. An otherwise minor accident can result in fatality or a devastating personal injury over the actions of a fatigued, inexperienced, or reckless truck driver. Other drivers are urged to remain cautious of large trucks by keeping plenty of distance and closely obeying truck driver safety laws. Even the most experienced drivers may not be able to react quickly enough to avoid all accidents under poor circumstances. If you have sustained an injury due to a lack of truck driver safety, contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for a free, no obligation consultation. We can analyze your claim and connect you with an affiliated attorney able to determine who is at fault and file your lawsuit accordingly.

Actor Recovering from New Jersey Semi Truck Accdient

New Jersey semi truck accidentA New Jersey semi truck accident claimed the life of comedian James McNair. Tracy Morgan, former Saturday Night Live cast member, actor, and comedian, was critically injured in a collision involving a Walmart tractor-trailer. As of Monday (6/10/14), Morgan is reported by his publicist to be in critical but stable condition. His reported injuries include a broken nose, ribs, femur, and leg. Morgan is expected to remain in the hospital for at least a few more weeks to recover.

The driver of the Walmart tractor-trailer, Kevin Roper, was charged with one account of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Roper turned himself into authorities after an arrest warrant was issued. A criminal complaint filed in the case indicates that Roper had been awake for the previous 24 hours. Early indication of fatigue being a factor is attributed to the way the accident occurred. Roper allegedly failed to account for traffic that was slowing down ahead of him. The driver tried to veer out of the way of the limo bus that carried the comedians at the last minute, but failed to clear it before impact.

Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for Walmart, issued the following written statement in regards to Roper’s alleged fatigue and the accident: “With regards to news reports that suggest Mr. Roper was working for 24 hours, it is our belief that Mr. Roper was operating within the federal hours of service regulation.” The regulations that Buchanan is referring to include the imposed limit of a driver being permitted to drive only 11 hours out of 14, and that 14 hours on the road must be followed by a 10 hour rest period. Rest limits are required to prevent fatigue in tractor-trailer drivers and tragedies like this New Jersey semi truck accident.

Potential Legal Actions After a New Jersey Semi Truck Accident

Situations like this New Jersey semi truck accident highlight the need for legal representation in the event of an accident. “The facts are continuing to unfold. If it’s determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility,” Bill Simon, President and CEO of Walmart, commented in a written statement. The keyword in that statement is “if.” There will be an investigation to determine who all is responsible for the New Jersey semi truck accident. Walmart has a team of lawyers at its disposal to examine and counter any claims, which is reason enough for anyone involved in a New Jersey semi truck accident not to file their lawsuit alone.

The CEO states that the company will take full responsibility if their tractor-trailer is determined to be at fault. There are many ways that one can distort “full responsibility.” Would that be full responsibility for all costs incurred? Or full responsibility according to the projections of Walmart’s legal team? Or full responsibility based on some mean average of payouts for similar cases? Because the families of those who are hurt or killed in semi truck accidents need time to mourn or care for their loved ones, these types of questions are better left to experienced semi truck accident attorneys, like those affiliated with the American Injury Attorney Group.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Call today for a free consultation with the American Injury Attorney Group today if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in an accident involving a tractor-trailer. We can inform you of your legal options and review the details of your case. If you have a claim, the American Injury Attorney Group can refer you to an affiliated attorney for representation.

Nationwide Inspections Increasing Semi Truck Safety

          semi truck safetyThe drivers of semi trucks and large commercial vehicles cause of hundreds of accidents each year in the U.S. In an attempt to improve both semi truck safety and the safety of other motorists, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set forth certain requirements for the maintenance and inspection of semi trucks. As per the guidelines, a semi truck driver is required to perform an inspection of his or her vehicle before, during, and following a trip to pinpoint any defects in the truck that will need to be repaired before getting back on the road. Additionally, semi trucks are required to undergo an annual inspection, carried out by a qualified and certified individual, according to the requirements set forth by the Department of Transportation.

Semi Truck Safety Inspections

          From June 3 to June 6, 2014, semi trucks were inspected to ensure that they are in compliance with the rules of the road. According to an officer from the Wisconsin State Patrol, these types of inspections are meant to ensure the semi truck safety of 18-wheelers and bring awareness to the importance of annual semi truck safety inspections.

          Common violations of the FMCSA’s guidelines include faulty steering components, suspensions, brakes, and tires, and incorrectly reported drivers’ hours. While drivers’ hours are not physical parts of the semi truck itself, thousands of semi truck accidents occur each year due to driver fatigue caused by overdriving.By ensuring that semi truck drivers are in compliance with laws pertaining to the number of consecutive hours they can drive, the FMCSA hopes to increase semi truck safety by reducing the number of drivers on the road who may be at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.

          Many weigh stations have a high-speed motion and weight system on the interstate prior to the scale that will alert state patrol officers if a semi truck is overweight. While some drivers are given warnings, other receive fines for carrying too much cargo. The fines vary according to each state and whether the violation was for defective equipment or for being overweight.

          Routine and annual inspections of commercial vehicles are important to ensuring the semi truck safety of the driver and others on the road. However, semi truck accidents still happen, and those who have been injured may have legal recourse. Whether the accident occurred due to driver fatigue, a defective part on the truck itself, or the improper loading of cargo, you may be entitled to hold the appropriate party responsible for your condition if you were injured in a semi truck accident.

          While injured individuals may feel as though filing a lawsuit against the driver to recover damages is simple and will guarantee them financial compensation, this is not always the case. It is important to seek legal counsel to determine who was responsible for the accident because you may be entitled to pursue a claim against more than one party. Possible defendants in semi truck accident lawsuits include the owner of the truck, the trucking company, the owner of the cargo, the manufacturer of a defective part, or the mechanic responsible for inspecting or repairing the vehicle.

Contact the American Injury Attorney Group Today

          If you or someone you love was injured in a semi truck accident and you want to learn more about your legal rights, contact the American Injury Attorney Group today. We are currently offering no-obligation consultations, free of charge, to those who have been hurt in an incident involving a semi truck. If it is determined that you have a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process as you pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled.

I-75 Semi Truck Collision Shuts Down Michigan Traffic

         
 The causes of a semi truck collision are not always readily apparent at first glance. A semi truck collision on April 30th in Michigan is an example of this. The accident started with the first semi driver losing control of his truck in the northbound lanes. The driver of the second semi was unable to avoid collision with the first truck.

         Semi Truck Collision The first truck struck two support columns of a Michigan overpass, which caused it to overturn and spill its load of laundry detergent. The collision with the second truck resulted in fires and lane closures of both sides of the highway while the scene was brought under control. The Michigan Department of Transportation was called out to check the stability of the overpass before lanes could be reopened. The driver of the first semi was killed. The second driver was able to escape his truck before flames engulfed both. Investigators are utilizing a collision reconstruction team to help determine the events that led up to this fiery semi truck collision.

Seeking Legal Evaluation

          It is important to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney if you or a loved one has been injured in a semi truck collision. Many of these accidents are attributable to human error, negligence, or other factors that the respective companies could have control over. Improper maintenance routines can result in the failure of essential mechanical systems such as the brakes. There could even potentially be errors on the part of the company the truck belongs to.

          Any of these factors and more can play a role in a semi truck collision. An experienced semi truck collision lawyer knows how to collect evidence and help seek compensation against the responsible party. Contact the American Injury Attorney Group today if you or a loved one has been affected by a semi truck collision. If you decide to pursue a claim, we can connect with you an affiliated, experienced attorney who can help you file your lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. Contact us today for your free consultation.

 

Semi Accident in California Leaves Road Workers Injured

Semi Accident Injures Road WorkersA semi accident in Sacramento California in the Fix 50 area has injured three workers, according to a California Highway Patrol official. The three crew members were working on the project when they were hit by a wood beam that one of their coworkers allegedly was transporting. According to sources, the worker spun around as he was attempting to place a wood beam close to a guardrail. As he moved, it allegedly went over the retaining wall, where it was hit by a passing semi truck and thrown into nearby construction workers.

California Highway Patrol officials reported that one of the workers sustained head trauma and was airlifted to University of California Davis Medical Center. The extent of the injuries to the other two workers is unclear, but a Caltrans official stated that one was taken to a nearby clinic while the other was treated at the scene of the accident.

Caltrans investigators will be investigating the accident in depth, and work will continue on the project as scheduled unless specified otherwise by a safety instructor. Officials are still searching for the semi, and it is believed that the driver may not have known that he or she hit the board.

As is the case with the semi accident in Sacramento, California, semi accidents are often unpredictable. Whereas fault on the part of the semi driver does not appear to be an issue in the Fix 50 incident, semi truck accidents are often caused by misjudgment involving a semi’s weight or speed, faulty truck components, driver fatigue, distracted driving, or even semi truck drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unpredictable events happen, and if there is a semi truck involved, the damage can increase exponentially.

It is important to seek legal counsel if you have been injured in a semi truck crash. An experienced attorney can help you determine who is liable for your injuries, as some crashes may occur due to the fault or negligence of more than one party such as the driver, the owner of the vehicle, the owner of the cargo, the driver’s employer or even the mechanic responsible for inspecting and maintaining the truck.

Have You Been Involved in a Semi Accident in California?

Contact the American Injury Attorney Group today if you or someone you love has been injured in a semi truck accident. We can provide a free consultation on your legal rights in your unique situation. After we review your case, we can help you determine if you are eligible to recover damages for your condition and connect you with an affiliated semi accident attorney who can help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. There is no cost to speak with us, so call us as soon as you feel as though you have a case.

Semi Truck Collision in Texas Kills Boy

Semi Truck Collision Kills BoyA semi truck collision in Houston, Texas resulted in a car fire and left one boy dead. According to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), a semi truck was traveling eastbound on the freeway when its driver allegedly looked down to change something in the truck. Although it was not clear whether he glanced at a cell phone or radio, the driver reportedly returned his attention to the road and saw that traffic was slowing or nearing a complete stop.

According to officials, the driver did not have the chance to brake in time and caused a semi truck collision when he struck a silver vehicle after an estimated 100 feet of skidding. Two other vehicles were involved in the semi truck collision, one of which incurred significant rear-end damage. The HCSO reported that a mother, daughter and boy of eight to 10 years of age were in this vehicle, and although the mother and daughter were transported to a nearby hospital, the boy was pronounced dead at the scene of the semi truck collision.

While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has banned the use of texting and mobile devices by semi truck drivers while they are behind the wheel with the exception of dispatching units, many drivers and companies are not entirely aware of the law and continue to violate the FMCSA’s regulations. However, the agency has recently released distracted driver penalties between $2,750 and $11,000 in an effort to fight against distracted driving.

The FMCSA reports that semi truck drivers are 23 times more likely to cause a semi truck collision if they are texting while driving as it is often more difficult to control a semi truck due to the vehicle’s weight and size. In fact, distracted driving is one of the most common causes of semi truck collisions throughout the U.S. Although texting or browsing the Internet is one of the most severe forms of distracted driving, any action in which the driver’s attention is focused away from the road may result in severe, devastating accidents that can leave others injured or killed.

Have You Been Involved in a Semi Truck Collision?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi truck collision and need legal counsel, contact the American Injury Attorney Group today to receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We can review your case and connect you with an affiliated attorney who can handle your semi truck collision lawsuit and help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.