Personal Injury Attorneys : Truck Accident Law
While all motorists are required to know the rules of the road before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, truck drivers are in a very special situation. For one thing, the vehicle being driven is heavier and more cumbersome than an automobile, and if it is involved in accident it can cause more damage.
It is a more complex piece of machinery than an automobile and it takes greater expertise to understand how it operates and to drive it. On most occasions when being operated, it is engaged in a business purpose, and consequently the truck driver must abide by rules and regulations required by state and federal regulatory agencies and by state laws governing the operation of trucks and trailers. More information on this website
Truck drivers spend more time on the highway than most any other type of drivers. Many of them engaged in long-distance hauling sleep in and live out of their trucks. These types of drivers, in particular, are under enormous pressure to deliver their cargo in a timely fashion.
They encounter every type of road hazard conceivable and weather conditions of the most extreme variety, requiring them to drive in a sharp, clear-headed fashion, or otherwise risk disaster.
A lapse of judgement or momentary carelessness translates too often into an accident.
Under the law, the truck driver’s act or failure to act may raise an interference of negligence or create a presumption of negligence.
On occasion, a truck driver’s negligence is so egregious that it reaches a different plateau in the realm of negligence classification and, depending upon the facts, the driver and his employer may be exposed to punitive damages. This conscious wrongdoing, traveling under the name of gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct, constitutes negligence of a greater magnitude.
Its viability as a cause of action is becoming greater as attorneys begin paying increasing attention to such industry-wide problems as driver fatigue as a cause of accidents and the conscious decision by truck owners and shippers to insist on performance from the driver that cannot be accomplished without violating federal maximum driving hour regulations.
Carriers have been held liable in the following situations for other acts of improper loading which include overloading, traveling on the highway with a protruding load, and hauling a load that was too high:
A dump truck loaded with asphalt mix beyond its rated capacity rear-ended a car stopped in traffic. The court held that the company that overloaded the truck was liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.
There was a failure to display a red flag.
There was a failure to have lights burning at the rear of a load of pipe.
Triangular steel girders were transported in such a manner that there was eight feet of overload extending over the center line of the highway.
Carrying a load that was stacked too high in violation of state statute resulted in its striking an overpass, dropping into the highway, and causing a collision between the other motorists.
A shipment of steel beams protruding from the rear of a tractor-trailer was not secured with the proper number of chains required by federal safety regulations and lacked either a flag or lights, as required by state law.
We have recovered millions of dollars for wrongful death and severely injured victims from truck accidents. If you have lost a family member to a truck accident or you or your family have been injured by a truck accident, please call our office for a free consultation.