Were you injured in an accident involving a big rig, semi-truck, 18 wheeler or other large commercial truck? The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus is ready to help you fight for maximum financial compensation. Our truck accident lawyers have taken pains to understand the commercial trucking industry, federal and state trucking regulations, and the types of negligence truckers are most often guilty of. Some of these trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, far outmatching the average passenger vehicle in both size and weight. Accidents between the two can be catastrophic.
Statistically, there are 500,000 accidents in the United States every year that involve a commercial truck. This lead to, on average, 140,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths. To prevent these types of accidents, commercial trucks are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). If you were involved in this type of accident, one of the things we will look for is whether the trucker or his/her employer violated any of these federal safety regulations.
While there are an unlimited amount of factors that could cause an accident between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, some are more common than others.
Federal regulations to prevent truckers falling asleep at the wheel can be found in the Hours of Service (HOS). These regulations are getting stricter all the time, and include things like maximum on-duty times, mandatory resting breaks and mandatory sleep hours. Unfortunately, many truckers falsify their logbooks so they can cut out these breaks and get their cargo to its destination faster.
Adverse Weather Conditions
It takes large commercial trucks and big rigs much longer to brake, which is why truckers must drive extra cautiously in adverse weather conditions. Unfortunately, due to time constraints on cargo delivery, truckers often still speed and follow too closely in poor weather such as rain, hail and fog.
Semi-trucks must be monitored constantly to make sure the mechanics are in good working condition. Employers and truckers alike are responsible for making sure repairs are made. For example, truckers are periodically stopped at weigh stations/truck scales. Law enforcement at the scales can check things like tires, lights and brakes.
There are strict regulations to prohibit intoxicated and drugged driving among truckers. For example, the max BAC is lower for truckers (.04 percent rather than .08 percent). Unfortunately, many truckers use drugs and alcohol to cope with long hours on the road alone.
Commercial trucks carry cargo (if they're not passenger vehicles). Cargo must be properly loaded to avoid shifting during transportation. Improper loading is dangerous for two reasons: 1) Shifting cargo can cause the truck to lose balance and jackknife and 2) Accidents can cause the cargo to spill onto the highway.
Speeding and Unsafe Lane Changes
Just like drivers of passenger vehicles, big rig truckers can speed and drive recklessly. These types of negligent driving are dangerous no matter the type of vehicle, but the consequences can be much more devastating when truckers drive carelessly.
If you or someone you love was wrongfully injured in a commercial truck accident, please don't hesitate to contact our firm. The Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus are experienced when it comes to handling big insurance companies and corporations. We'll help you stand up against the opposition to get you the money you deserve. Call today for your free consultation.