Owners and operators of semi-trucks and other types of commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard than ordinary passenger vehicle drivers. They have a duty to maintain and operate their vehicles in accordance with federal and state commercial vehicle rules and regulations. Regulations are intended to protect bicyclists, pedestrians, and other motor vehicle occupants who share roadways with large trucks.
Truck accident investigation
Other people on the road are put at risk when truck drivers do not comply with rules and regulations and for truck accident lawyers, truck accident investigations often begin with looking into rules and regulation violations. The truck driver and trucking company violations may be used as evidence of wrongful conduct and liability in trucking accidents. Other important components of truck accident investigations include accident reconstruction, witness interviews, and evidence gathering.
Truck accident issues and factors
Common issues and factors in big rig accidents include the following:
- Semi-truck jackknife when the trailer of a truck swings out to the side of the tractor, usually due to a sudden stop in trucks traveling at a high rate of speed.
- Rollover accidents caused by unstable loads and trailers’ high center of gravity.
- Hazardous material spills bring in an extra layer of potential injury in truck accidents due to the dangers of coming into contact with these materials such as chemical burns and the inhalation of noxious fumes.
- Distracted driving is frequently a problem in truck accidents and that is why it is important to obtain the driver’s cell phone records leading up to and at the time of the accident.
- Fatigued driving is a common problem for truck drivers who spend many consecutive hours and days on the road.
- Improper loading and securing of cargo may cause materials to shift during operation resulting in loss of vehicle control.
- Hours of service violations are common when truck drivers are trying to meet tight delivery deadlines and turnarounds.
- Negligent truck maintenance can lead to accidents when required maintenance and safety checks are not performed.
- Safety training violations occur when trucking companies do not comply with training requirements putting untrained and inexperienced drivers on the road.
- Negligent hiring occurs when trucking companies hire drivers who have poor driving histories or criminal records related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When truck accident injuries are fatal, semi-truck accident attorneys help family members and beneficiaries of the deceased get the compensation that they deserve. In Pennsylvania, certain family members may recover for the losses they sustained as a result of losing their loved ones. Depending on the accident facts, survival actions may also be appropriate to compensate for the estate of the deceased for damages he or she sustained in the accident.