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What Makes Truck Accident Lawsuits So Complex?

Dec 17, 2021 - Truck Accidents

Accidents involving large commercial trucks are not only exceptionally dangerous but are also complicated. Commercial trucks tend to dominate the highways. The easiest way to confirm this is to drive on an interstate highway during off-peak hours, say, from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 a.m., and you’ll see that a large majority of the vehicles on the road are large commercial trucks.

Along with the number of large trucks on the highways come many accidents involving these trucks. Your initial reaction may be that there should be only a small number of trucking accidents because the drivers are professionals. Driving trucks is typically all they do, day and night. However, being a professional driver has its own set of unique challenges and stress-inducers. For example, commercial truck drivers are required to deliver their cargo on time, which means they can’t always pull over and grab a hotel room if they feel tired or sick. The demands on truckers’ driving hours became so unreasonable that the hours eventually had to be regulated by law.

Unfortunately, accidents between large commercial trucks and standard passenger vehicles are by far more dangerous to the vehicle’s driver and passengers because large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. or more, and a typical passenger vehicle weighs only around 4,000 lbs. The sheer force of impact is almost always absorbed by the passenger vehicle.

Furthermore, the laws and regulations govern many other aspects of commercial trucks, including: 

  • Weight limits on cargo
  • Regulations on how cargo is loaded
  • Limitations on the number of hours a driver can drive per day and per week
  • Driver sleeping requirements
  • Driver licensing requirements
  • Maintenance standards
  • Recordkeeping
  • The transportation of hazardous materials

Liability for Truck Accidents

The second main reason truck accidents are so complicated is that it can be challenging to know who to sue and how much responsibility each involved party carries. Responsible parties may include:

  • The truck driver
  • The truck owner
  • The trucking company
  • The truck manufacturer
  • The truck maintenance company
  • If the truck is leased, whoever leased the truck from the owner
  • The shipping or loading company
  • Any number of third-party independent contractors

Along with vehicle inspections, maintenance, and repairs, federal and often state laws help regulate truck accidents. Along with any given state’s transportation department, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration help determine and enforce trucking rules and regulations.

How a Bethlehem Truck Accident Attorney Can Help if You’ve Been Involved in a Truck Accident

Commercial truck accidents are extraordinarily damaging, especially to the motor vehicle they collide with. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident or even lost a loved one, a Bethlehem truck accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis will immediately begin preserving evidence that may show violations of trucking laws and negligence. We will represent you to any insurance companies involved and help determine who may be held responsible. Then, we’ll begin preparing your case for trial, even if a favorable settlement seems imminent. Contact us today for your free consultation before any evidence is compromised.

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