Placing the Blame on Truck Drivers and/or Trucking Firms during Truck Accidents

Every year, semi-trucks or big rigs transport close to 70% of all goods in the U.S., (this includes raw materials and finished products) from manufacturing plants to distribution centers. This flow of business creates about $671 billion; it helps keep the U.S. economy alive, as well as clearly show the major role played by semi-trucks in the nation’s economy – major reasons why, despite being threats on roads and highways, truck operation will continue to go on.

Of the more than 15 million trucks operating in the US., about two million are semi-trucks. Due to their very large size and very heavy weight, these can cause major property damage and serious or fatal injuries in the event of accidents. For this reason, the federal government requires that those who will operate a truck should have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which can be earned only after going through a special training and education, and a series of tests that deal with the proper operation and handling of this types of vehicle.

Once a driver earns a CDL, he/she and his/her employer are expected to comply with all federal laws enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation. A few of these laws, which are meant to ensure the safe operation of trucks and the avoidance of road crashes, include:

  • Regular maintenance checks on trucks;
  • Use of standard parts, especially the tires and brakes;
  • Strict observance of the hours of service, which is the maximum number or driving hours drivers are allowed to drive, and the required number of hours of rest;

Despite all the laws, truck accident continue to amount to 500,000 every year, causing injury to more than 100,000 individuals and killing, at least, 4,000 others. Many studies show that fault in truck accidents can be blamed on drivers of smaller vehicles most of the time; however, this finding is contrary to the FMCSA’s own findings, which show that at least 90% of accidents, where trucks are involved, are the fault of truck drivers.

Factors that often contribute to truck accidents are truck driver fatigue, driving too fast for road conditions, impairment due to prescription or over-the-counter-drugs, not being familiar with the road or the truck, inattention and driving distractions, improper way of attaching the trailer, failure to double-check blind spots, and failure to ensure that the brakes are in good working condition.
As pointed out by Wausau injuries lawyers, truck accidents, far more than other types of automotive accidents, can often result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries, causing victims and their loved ones to face devastating consequences. This is why it is often possible for those who have been injured in a truck accident to take legal action against the party responsible for their suffering. Proving that a truck driver or a trucking company is liable in an accident will never be easy, however, with help from a seasoned personal injury lawyer, proving this, as well as pursuing compensation may be more possible.