According to the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2002, 4,897 people were killed in commercial trucking accidents. Because of the sheer size of commercial trucks, the damage caused when they crash on the highways can be much greater than ordinary vehicle collision damages.
When you find yourself victim of trucking accident, you'll often wrestling with a ton of issues not common with an ordinary vehicle collision cases. Many times who is actually at fault is just one of the difficult questions one must answer when seeking damages. Often times in trucking accidents, getting to the bottom of who actually owns the vehicle and what precipitated the collision requires a lot of industry knowledge.
And having a good understanding of the typical causes of trucking accidents and the relationships that connect the truck, the load, the driver and the owner is paramount to determining whether you have a viable claim for damages and how your case should even be presented.
Fortunately, there are federal and state laws that regulate the trucking industry. They set standards for drivers, trucking companies and owners that frequently end up determining liability in a trucking accident. As a result of these regulations, it's not always the driver that bears full responsibility for damages in these cases. Among the possible defendants in these cases are the truck's owner, the trucking company that owns the truck or trailer involved, the lessee of the truck or trailer, the vehicle's manufacturer and even the shipper or loader of the cargo. And once these parties are involved, it takes quite the process to sort out whose insurance will actually cover the damages.
In times past, trucking companies have demonstrated a propensity to distance themselves from the drivers and the vehicles in these cases. But under current federal law, a company owning a trucking permit is held responsible for all accidents involving a truck displaying its own placard.
Because of the complexities involved in these cases, it is important that anyone involved in a trucking accident, after receiving immediate medical care, contact a practiced personal injury lawyer like the attorneys at Panio Law Offices. We understand exactly what steps should be taken to determine and prove liability in these cases. From obtaining reports for commercial truck inspections to determine the condition of the truck before the accident to determining how your claim should be presented, we understand the nuances involved in sorting liability and getting you the compensation you deserve.
If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim in a trucking accident case or any vehicular accident, please call (708) 928-8680. We can help.