Truck Accidents & Liability
In the United States, it is estimated that there are more than 100,000 collisions annually between large trucks and smaller vehicles. With a commercial truck weighing more than 80,000 pounds and an average size vehicle only weighing 3,000 pounds; the difference is immense. It’s no surprise that when traveling at highway speeds, automobile victims in trucking accidents are likely to suffer life-changing injuries or even death.
Pursuing a legal case in an accident involving a large semi or truck is generally much more complicated than an average auto accident. In addition to dealing with the severe injuries that typically result in these accidents, even determining who to bring a claim against can be complicated.
Depending on the circumstances of the tractor-trailer accident, you may be capable of pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against any or all of the following:
The truck driver: Speeding, driving too many consecutive hours (and lying about it in log books), failing to properly inspect the vehicle, cargo that is not properly secured and causing a truck to roll and driving while distracted or fatigued are just some of the things truckers do that can lead to serious accidents. When a truck driver's negligence or recklessness causes or contributes to an accident, the truck driver can be held financially liable for injuries and/or fatalities.
The trucking company: Negligent corporate policies may be contributed to the cause of the accident. For example, paying truck drivers by the mile is a policy that by its very nature influences truckers to speed. Truck companies can also be held responsible for negligent hiring practices, inadequate training, negligent driving of its truckers, improper maintenance to avoid brake failure, tire blowouts, and trailer attachments and other commonly malfunctioning truck parts that can cause serious, fatal accidents.
The insurance company: The law requires that trucking companies carry a minimum amount of insurance that is much higher than that of passenger vehicles. This insurance comes into play when the trucking company is sued for damages in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit following an accident. However, unlike lawsuits following any other type of motor vehicle accident, the trucking company's insurance company can be sued directly for compensation following a serious or fatal trucking accident.
Another reason trucking accidents occur is the result of driver fatigue and the practices of trucking companies. Some trucking companies push their drivers to the limit and force them to drive long hours without a break. The result of having a tired and fatigued driver is mistakes are made while driving which put other motorists at risk. When a driver is fatigued their decision-making skills and reaction times are slower. In some cases, the driver may fall asleep completely. On average, one out of four semi truck drivers’ falls asleep at the wheel once in a period of one month.
In order to combat fatigued driving, responsible trucking companies enforce Hours of Service (HOS) regulations designed to limit the number of consecutive hours a truck driver may spend behind the wheel before taking time to rest. Unfortunately, many companies do not strictly follow HOS regulations and put the safety of their drivers – as well as countless other innocent motorists – in serious jeopardy.
By working with some of the country's best investigation and trucking experts, we are able to not only identify the causes of trucking accidents, but also demonstrate clear liability in order to maximize the compensation our clients receive. At Lebell, Dobroski, Morgan & Meylink, we are experienced in accidents involving large trucks and semi-trucks and have the knowledge necessary to handle your claim.
While no amount of compensation may be able to repair injuries and suffering, we can ensure that you receive the financial resources to obtain the best medical treatment, deal with lost income during recovery, or provide the family with financial stability now and into the future. We will aggressively defend your rights and find who can — and should — be held financially responsible for the harm they have caused. To discuss the potential of filing a truck accident lawsuit with an experienced lawyer, contact our law firm online or call 414 276 1233
Truck Accidents & Liability