Chances are, if you have been in an accident involving a semi-trailer truck, you have been significantly injured. When a commercial vehicle weighing 80,000 pounds goes up against a roughly 3,000-pound passenger car, the results can be devastating.
Truck drivers are bound under numerous local, state, and federal laws that regulate the ways in which they operate their semi-trucks. Both the equipment itself and the driver are regulated under a series of different laws. Due to the complexities of interstate commerce, federal laws have been established that apply from state to state. Agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) oversee and regulate truck traffic that crosses state lines. One of the most important federal laws is the one requiring that any truck crossing state lines carry certain amounts of insurance coverage.
Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
According to the USDOT, human error is the most common cause of a crash involving a semi-truck: “[d]rivers of large trucks and other vehicles involved in truck crashes are ten times more likely to because of the crash than other factors, such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance.”
One important standard in trucking regulation is the requirement of a logbook. The truck driver is required to log the number of hours driven, the route taken while working, and where and when the load was picked up and returned. These logs force truckers to exhibit accountability and can help prevent driver fatigue. These logs can also be used in an investigation after a crash. However, federal law allows truck logs to be destroyed after only six months, which means you need to hire an attorney quickly so he or she can gather evidence.
At Foster Wallace, we do everything we can to prepare a strong case, including an investigation of the crash site for evidence of negligence. This may include:
- Overweight truck or unsecured freight on the truck
- Improper maintenance (tires, breaks, lights, etc.)
- Violation of regulations on hours at the wheel
- Violation of laws (speeding, traffic violations, etc.)
- Driver fatigue or impairment
- Failure to adjust to changes in speed or traffic low
- Driver unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Illness of the driver
- Mechanical problems with the semi-truck
We Can Determine Who Is at Fault in Your Truck Accident Case
Because all semi-trucks should be covered by insurance, the big insurance companies that defend semi-truck operators know USDOT and FMCSA regulations very well. People injured in semi-truck crashes also need help from dedicated and tireless attorneys for these situations.
We at Foster Wallace will thoroughly interview witnesses and get all maintenance records and driver logs. If the trucking accident is complicated, we would likely work with a reconstruction expert to determine and prove how the accident occurred.
Our investigation will identify all the potentially responsible parties:
- Truck driver
- Trailer owner
- Trucking company
- Freight shipper
- Truck parts manufacturer
Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers Are Here To Help
Foster Wallace, LLC advises clients throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our legal services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds for you. Please note that you, as the client, may still responsible for certain expenses or costs associated with your personal injury case regardless of the outcome, but these will be clearly identified to you by Foster Wallace beforehand. Call our office today or fill out our online contact form to set up your free initial consultation.