For obvious reasons, collisions with 18-wheelers tend to leave occupants of passenger vehicles with serious injuries. Large trucks carry massive payloads throughout Florida, and each year families here have their lives permanently changed because of crashes with large commercial vehicles.
Federal regulations are in place to protect motorists from the inherent dangers of 18-wheelers, but truck drivers and other parties to the trucking industry often fail to comply with the rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Briefly, let's consider some of those regulations and how failing to comply with them can result in devastating injuries.
The basic safety requirements for truck drivers include having a clean driving record and passing drug and alcohol testing. If a trucking company fails to ensure that a driver is properly trained, has a clean record and doesn't pose a threat of intoxicated driving, then any resulting accident could mean that the driver and the trucking company are liable.
Truck drivers must also limit hours of service, keep a log of those hours and take breaks to avoid fatigue. After an injurious truck accident occurs, it is extremely important to commence a full investigation that includes gathering the truck operator's hours-of-service records, verifying the accuracy of the log, checking for any violations of FMCSA rules, and conducting an accident reconstruction. In some cases, truck drivers or trucking companies have destroyed or altered key records to avoid liability, so it is important to begin investigating in a timely manner.
Multiple parties may be liable for a single truck accident. The trucking company, the truck driver, the manufacturer of truck parts and the company that loaded the truck could all be notified of their potential role in a crash. Other drivers of smaller vehicles could also be at fault.
Lawyers at Salpeter Gitkin, LLP, handle negligence claims for victims of motor vehicle accidents. To learn more about trucking liability, please visit our truck accident overview.