Accidents of any kind that happen on our streets and highways can be devastating and affect many people. Accident lawyers deal with cases that pertain to many different types of accident causes; however, those that involve heavy trucks have significantly different results than many car accidents. There is the potential that this type of collision can cause more injuries or damage, which often makes them a more complex legal case. Anyone who is involved in an accident with a heavy commercial vehicle needs to understand the importance of retaining qualified truck accident lawyers who have experience with accidents involving big rigs.
Car and Truck Accidents – Not The Same Thing
Heavy trucks and big rigs operate under different regulations than the average passenger car; they operate under commercial transportation rules that dictate specifics about how trucks must be used, maintained, and operated as well as the qualifying road restrictions and dangers that they face. Because of different specifications and laws, truck accident lawyers advise that accidents involving big trucks require extensive investigation and can result in substantial penalties if the driver, trucking company, or even the manufacturer of the truck is found to be liable in a related way.
Potential Contributing Factors
When it comes time to research what happened and reconstruct the event to determine liability, investigators closely examine any potential contributing factors, which is why it is essential to work with experienced truck accident lawyers. Following are some factors to consider about big rig accidents:
Vehicle Maintenance – Any vehicle on the road must be appropriately maintained, especially large trucks. Because of their greater size and weight, trucks face extreme wear and tear on routine maintenance parts, such as brakes and tires. Trucking companies are required to keep all vehicles properly maintained; failure to do so is a common cause of truck accidents and harsh penalties can be assessed if a company is non-compliant.
Driver Records – Another important factor in trucking accidents is whether or not the driver complied with the rules regarding how many hours they can drive in a certain time period. Drivers who drive excessive hours and are on the road longer than allowed often suffer from fatigue and become more easily distracted, which decreases driver performance and increases the possibility of driver error, a major cause of collisions per truck accident lawyers. Alcohol consumption and health records are investigated, especially if drivers use prescription medication with cause side effects that could lead to an accident.
Road and Operation Rules – Following specific rules of the road, including class restrictions, speed limits, and other regulations is essential, as not doing this is a common cause of trucking accidents. How a truck is used and the way its cargo is loaded and restrained can cause loss of control – and an accident. The use of cellphones and other similar distractions while driving may also be considered, as many states have laws prohibiting such actions while driving.
Considering all these factors, it is no wonder that accident cases involving commercial trucks can become so complex. With many rules and regulations to follow, the research done by truck accident lawyers can be very detailed and complicated in terms of determining liability. Many of today’s newer trucks contain vehicle recorder “black boxes” just for this reason.
Anyone who has been involved in a traffic accident involving a heavy truck should discuss the accident facts with an experienced and qualified truck accident lawyer. Whether you are a driver or company involved with a truck accident, finding an attorney who is experienced in handling accident cases involving trucks is essential!