18 Wheeler Truck Accidents
Nationwide Truck Accident Lawyers 800-948-5066
Truck accidents are usually the most serious accidents due to the sheer mass of the vehicle involved. When you see a motor vehicle accident involving a truck or 18 wheel tractor trailer accident, you can expect the highways to be shut down and can usually count on someone being seriously injured. When an 18 wheeler hits a car or passenger vehicle it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a 26,000 pound vehicle will wreck the average car. The average passenger car, truck, or SUV can easily be absolutely destroyed in a trucking accident. If you’ve been lucky enough to survive a truck accident, the injuries are often life threatening may require ongoing medical treatment as well as a lifetime of medical care.
If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident it is very important that you know your legal rights. Herbert & McClelland LLP can provide you a free assessment of you truck accident claim and may be able to help you seek the maximum compensation for injuries and damages.
Tractor-Trailer wrecks can create mass destruction, catastrophic injuries, and even the cause death. The drivers of tractor-trailers are regulated by the US Department of Transportation, the State of DOT where they originate, and various other laws and regulations depending of the cargo, freight, or loads being transported. Many tractor-trailer drivers and the trucking companies that employ them are required to abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, as set out in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Even before a trucking company or motor carrier can even start interstate operations, the carrier has to file an application with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), obtain a number from the US Department of Transportation commonly referred to as a DOT number. Carriers are further required to obtain an “operating authority” from the FMCSA. 49 C.F.R. §390.3(a) states that the Federal Regulations are simply a minimum standard for safely operating tractor-trailers. That minimum is exactly that because in addition to federal regulations and State laws, truck drivers are guided by the commercial drivers license (CDL) manual from the state in which they obtain their CDL.
Tractor-trailer drivers have to follow the rules of the road and are subject to the DOT guidelines and regulations. When a tractor trailer accident occurs a determination needs to be made as to whether or not the truck driver was negligent in their driving as well as their duties under the DOT regulations. In today’s high-pressure fast moving commercial trucking industry, truck drivers operate their tractor-trailer rigs for longer hours in order to move their cargo and freight as quickly as possible to increase the bottom line for their employers. Many trucking companies give bonuses for early deliveries, so many truck drivers are motivated to be faster which can often be at the expense of other drivers. Although truckers may be offered incentives to be early, truck drivers are required to operate within the Hours of Service (HOS) guidelines set forth by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Part 395. This doesn’t always happen. Unfortunately, the pressure to move more freight as quickly as possible often results in truck drivers operating “over hours”. Over hours isn’t like working overtime because the law sets forth how many hours a truck driver can actually drive. Truck drivers are limited to a specific amount of time they can drive in a 24hour period before having to take a mandatory break. Truckers who break the law and don’t take the required breaks often suffer from fatigue, tend to drive recklessly, and their reckless fatigue can cause truck accidents.
If you have ever been to a truck stop you may have noticed the various “stay awake” stimulants and energy drinks to keep truck drivers awake. Truck driver fatigue is one of the most frequent causes of trucking accidents. In fact, many truck accidents, jack-knifes, head-on collisions, truck rollovers, and other truck-related accidents are caused by fatigued truck operators or a negligent truckers. Either way, truck drivers have a duty to obey the laws and regulations set forth and enacted to protect other motorists.
When you a family member have been involved in a tractor-trailer wreck, or if a loved one has died a wrongful death or sustained a serious injury due to a tractor-trailer accident, our truck accident attorneys want to help you. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries and damages arising from the tractor-trailer crash.
Herbert & McClelland LLP helps those involved in truck accidents to seek the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a free initial consultation.