How Common Are Truck Accidents?
Truck Accidents are far too frequent in America and cause billions of dollars in damages annually. These types of cases require attorneys with experience and a special skill set.
What Types of Vehicles Are We Talking About When We Discuss Truck Accident Cases?
Any work truck, including dump trucks, cement trucks, garbage trucks, and most frequently, 18-wheelers or semi-trucks.
Is There a Certain Type of Truck That Is More Involved in Accidents Than Others?
Accidents involving all types of trucks are pretty common, but seasonally active trucking industries can be especially dangerous. For instance, oil and gas field trucks are some of the worst. When these oil or gas fields get active, there is financial pressure to get the oil in and out quickly while the price of oil is high. Oil companies may cut corners they should not in east Texas and Louisiana. Logging is another seasonal industry that relies on semi-trucks and often hires transient truck drivers looking to make quick money.
Are Commercial Trucks Subject to Different Rules and Regulations?
Yes. Big heavy trucks have to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (“FMCSR”). Within the FMCSR, special rules apply to any tractor-trailer carrying hazardous material. These are usually very strict rules. There are also rules that apply to interstate trucking, from Louisiana to Texas, or Texas to Oklahoma, for example. Additionally, there are some rules that only apply to intrastate trucking. Sometimes 18-wheelers only travel within 50 miles and do not cross state lines. Even those tractor-trailers have rules they must follow within the FMCSR.
Further, most states have their own set of rules for semi-trucks and 18 wheelers. These often include special rules on transporting and driving a tractor-trailer in specific situations. For instance, in the state of Louisiana there are specific procedures in place to prevent tractor-trailers from getting stuck on railroad tracks and causing a train/truck collision.
What Are the Most Frequently Violated Regulations That Lead to Trucking Wrecks?
The most frequently violated regulations that lead to trucking wrecks are drivers falsifying their logs to cover driver fatigue and owners failing to do background checks of the truck drivers before putting them behind the wheel. When a truck company hires a tractor-trailer driver, it is supposed to call the applicant’s former employers for the last 7 years and ask if their applicant was a good driver. The good companies will do a thorough check. They’ll call all the prior employers and if they do not get a response, they will do a follow-up call. The bad companies will either just not call or maybe call once. Another frequently violated regulation is the hours of service. Truck drivers are only allowed to drive a certain amount of hours in a week to avoid driver fatigue. Usually when they violate these rules they falsify their log books to avoid getting caught.
What Are the Most Common Causes for Accidents Involving Trucks or Semi-Trucks?
The number one cause of trucking accidents from my perspective is trucking companies hiring drivers that should not be driving an 18-wheeler. I have had cases where the truck company hired convicted felons, which it would have known had it looked into the lies listed on the truck driver’s application. I have also seen cases where the truck driver ended his prior employment on bad terms and the truck company still hire him/her. Many mom and pop trucking companies have bad oversight. They may hire a family member even though they do not qualify under the “FMCSR”.
In What Ways Do Trucking Wrecks Differ From Other Automobile Accidents?
The problem with a semi-truck versus a car in a wreck is that the sheer weight of the truck will cause severe damage to the car. I have multiple pictures of my clients’ cars that look like Godzilla stepped on it. Tractor-trailers weigh up to 50,000 pounds, whereas a car weighs a fraction of that amount.
In addition, industrial trucks are subject to special regulations as noted above. This is just one of the reasons you need a trucking accident attorney who is familiar with the specific laws trucking companies must adhere to.
What Are Some of the Severe Injuries People May Sustain in Semi-truck Accidents?
Some severe injuries that people may sustain in trucking accidents are spinal fractures, paralysis, burns, and broken bones, including shoulders, knees, backs, and necks.
For more information on Trucking Accidents In Texas and Louisiana, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (281) 819-3746 today.
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