Tag: Truck accident

Violations of Trucking Regulations in Truck Accident Cases

Violations of Trucking Regulations in Truck Accident Cases

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for regulating the trucking industry. Trucking companies across the country must comply with a long list of regulations established by this federal agency, but many of them fail to do so. Sadly, violating one of these regulations puts everyone on the road at risk. Here’s what you should know about trucking regulations in truck accident cases:

Examples of Trucking Regulations

The FMSCA has established countless trucking regulations. One regulation sets a maximum driving time for drivers who are transporting goods in a commercial vehicle. According to this regulation, a truck driver cannot get behind the wheel unless he has had a minimum of 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Truck drivers also are not allowed to continue driving if it has been more than 8 hours since they took a break that lasted at least 30 minutes.

There are also regulations that require trucking companies to frequently inspect their trucks and make any necessary repairs. Most trucking companies are also required to keep a record of the inspections and repairs performed on each truck. The record should include the date of the inspection or repair and a detailed description of the work that was performed on the vehicle.

Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list of regulations in the trucking industry. Since there are so many regulations, it’s best to work with a personal injury attorney to determine if a regulation has been violated in your case.

How Trucking Regulations Affect Liability

The FMSCA put these rules in place for a reason: they keep the roads safe. Unfortunately, accidents often occur when a trucking company or truck driver fails to comply with these regulations.

For example, consider the restrictions on the number of consecutive driving hours mentioned above. This regulation was established to prevent truck drivers from drowsy driving, which is the leading cause of truck accidents. If a trucking company violates this regulation by forcing a driver to work longer hours, the driver’s fatigue could lead to a collision.

This type of regulation violation can help truck accident victims determine who is liable for their injuries. It is often the case that the party who violated a regulation is held liable for the victim’s injuries. In the example above, evidence that the trucking company forced a driver to violate a federal regulation could be used to hold the trucking company liable.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury attorneys will immediately conduct a full investigation to gather evidence that can be used to prove liability. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Types of Truck Accidents

Common Types of Truck Accidents

Due to the size and weight of a commercial truck, a truck accident can cause serious and often fatal injuries. There are thousands of trucks on the road at any given moment, which makes it hard to avoid driving near one. But, by learning about the different types of truck accidents that can occur, you may be able to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Here are some of the most common types of truck accidents:

Jackknife Accidents

The term “jackknife” is used to describe a truck accident that occurs after a truck driver slams on the brakes too hard. When this happens, the truck’s cabin will come to a stop, but the trailer will turn outwards until it has formed a 90-degree angle with the cabin. The driver will not have any control over the truck during this type of collision, so he will not be able to move the truck to avoid crashing into other vehicles.

Wide Turn Accidents

The larger a vehicle is, the harder it is to turn, which is why truck drivers must exercise caution when attempting to make a turn. Truck drivers swing the truck slightly to the left before making a right turn, however this maneuver often leads to a crash. Drivers that are to the left of the truck may be caught off guard by the truck moving in their direction. On the other side, drivers may be hit if the truck driver does not successfully make the turn or if the truck starts to roll over.

Under Ride Accidents

Drivers may not have enough time to safely come to a stop if a truck driver suddenly slams on his brakes. As a result, the driver may collide with the back of the truck and get stuck underneath the trailer. This is one of the most fatal types of truck accidents, which is why it’s so important to always leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the truck in front of you.

“No Zone” Accidents

A truck driver’s blind spots are often referred to as “no zones” because no driver should ever drive in these areas. If a truck driver cannot see you, he may change lanes or turn and collide with your vehicle since he doesn’t know that you’re there.

Unfortunately, these are just some of the many types of truck accidents. If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury attorneys will immediately launch an investigation to determine who should be held liable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How A Truck Driver’s Health Could Cause Truck Accidents

How A Truck Driver’s Health Could Cause Truck Accidents

The federal government heavily regulates the trucking industry in order to keep our roads safer. For example, one regulation that was designed to eliminate drowsy driving limits the number of hours that truck drivers can operate a truck without taking a break. One topic that is not addressed in these regulations is a truck driver’s health, which could cause truck accidents according to new research.

Researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine set out to determine if there was a link between a truck driver’s health and his risk of being involved in a truck accident. The team analyzed medical records from nearly 50,000 truck drivers and identified certain conditions that could be linked to poor driving performance. Some of these conditions include heart disease, high blood pressure, low back pain, and diabetes. Sadly, over one-third of the truck drivers analyzed in this study had at least one of these conditions.

But, having one of these conditions may not be enough to increase the driver’s risk of being involved in an accident. Researches found that the rate of accidents involving injuries among all drivers was 29 for every 100 million miles traveled. The rate of accidents did not significantly increase until researchers began looking at drivers that had three or more medical conditions. These drivers were involved in accidents with injuries at a rate of 93 per every 100 million miles traveled.

What does this tell us? Drivers may be able to control their health problems if they only have one medical condition that needs to be treated. But, if they begin to develop additional health problems, they could put others on the road in danger.

Based on this research, it is clear that trucking companies need to pay attention to their drivers’ health. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for drivers to take care of themselves given the fact that they spend so much time confined to a small space, must adapt to less than ideal sleeping patterns, and typically do not have many healthy food options while on the road. This presents a unique challenge that truck drivers, trucking companies, and federal government agencies may need to address in order to prevent tragic accidents.

A truck driver’s health isn’t the only thing that can cause a truck accident. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will immediately begin to investigate the case to identify the parties that can be held liable. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Mechanical Errors That Lead to Truck Accidents

Common Mechanical Errors That Lead to Truck Accidents

Commercial trucks travel thousands of miles every year, which means they require constant maintenance. These trucks must be inspected on a regular basis to identify and correct issues that could be dangerous. Unfortunately, trucking companies often fail to maintain their trucks, which puts everyone on the road in danger. Here are some of the most common mechanical errors that lead to truck accidents:

Brake Problems

Brake problems can be traced back to either an issue with the design and production of the part or an issue with maintenance. If the brakes were designed or produced poorly, the manufacturer is to blame for any accident that occurs. However, many accidents occur due to the trucking company’s failure to maintain the brakes.

Before hitting the road, drivers are required to inspect their brakes to look for loose or broken components and to listen for air leaks. If these inspections are not done, problems could go unnoticed and the brakes may begin to malfunction. Brake problems can also occur when the weight of the truck’s cargo is not evenly distributed. An uneven distribution of weight can cause the brakes to overheat and malfunction, making it difficult or impossible for the driver to stop the truck.

Tire Problems

Tire problems are another type of mechanical error that could lead to disaster on the road. Similar to issues with the brakes, tire problems can be caused by either defective design or production or inadequate maintenance. During the pre-trip inspection, truck drivers must examine their tires to check the air pressure and look for signs of extreme wear and tear. If the air pressure is way off or the tires are rapidly deteriorating, they could easily blow out once the truck is in motion. A sudden tire blow out can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, meaning it is very likely that a collision with another vehicle will occur.

Tire problems can also occur if the trucking company chooses to use tires that do not match each other or meet the Department of Transportation’s requirements.

Sadly, tire and brake problems often occur together. This is because companies that do not inspect the brakes probably don’t inspect the tires either, and vice versa.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? Get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We will thoroughly review the details of your case to identify the liable parties. Then, we will aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Dangers of Unsecured Cargo

The Dangers of Unsecured Cargo

Any cargo that is loaded into a commercial truck must be properly secured before the driver hits the road. During the trip, the truck driver is responsible for checking on the cargo to ensure that it is still securely in place. Why? If the cargo becomes loose, it could cause serious injuries or even fatalities. As a driver, it’s important to understand the dangers of unsecured cargo so you protect yourself as much as possible.

Unsecured cargo is dangerous for several reasons. The first is that loose cargo can easily fly off of the truck and collide with another vehicle on the road. If it hits a windshield, it may be traveling fast enough to crash through the windshield and injure the driver. If it hits another part of the vehicle, it would still cause damage and distract the driver, which could lead to her losing control of the car.

Even if the cargo does not hit a vehicle as it’s flying off of the truck, it will still land in the road. Other drivers will have to quickly swerve out of the way in order to avoid colliding with the cargo, so this puts everyone in danger. Motorcyclists must be especially careful since hitting a piece of cargo on the road could be enough to throw them off of their bikes.

Unsecured cargo can still be dangerous even if it never leaves the truck. Whoever loads the cargo into the back of the truck must ensure that the weight is evenly distributed. If it’s not, the truck will be incredibly difficult to steer. Cargo that is not secured properly will shift from one side to the other as the truck is in motion, thus throwing off the weight distribution. This means one side of the truck will be heavier than the other, which could lead to the truck turning on its side the next time the driver tries to change lanes or turn.

Who is liable if you are injured by unsecured cargo? It depends. You will need to work with a personal injury attorney who knows how to investigate these cases to determine who was responsible for loading the cargo in the truck. The truck driver may also be to blame if he failed to check the cargo to make sure it was secure.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? If so, get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will immediately launch an investigation to determine if unsecured cargo played a role in the accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Investigate A Truck Accident

How to Investigate A Truck Accident

Truck accident cases can be complex partly because of the number of parties that may be liable for the victim’s injuries. Identifying the liable parties is one of the first steps that a personal injury attorney will take in a truck accident case, but it’s not easy. In order to determine liability, the attorney will need to conduct an investigation to gather more information on the cause of the accident. Here’s how an attorney will investigate a truck accident:

Obtain the DQF.

Federal regulations require trucking companies to keep driver qualification files, or DQFs, for every one of their drivers. After an accident, an attorney can obtain a copy of the driver’s file to see if he had a history of reckless driving. An attorney will also ensure the driver was qualified to operate a truck. If the driver had a history of reckless driving or was not qualified, the trucking company may be liable.

Demand the black box recordings.

Every truck has an electronic on-board recorder that is referred to as the “black box.” This device records information that may be vital to your case, including the speed the vehicle was traveling, whether the brakes were used, and steering changes. An attorney can use this information to determine exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.

Inspect the truck.

Attorneys will also inspect the truck that was involved in the accident with the help of accident reconstruction experts, professional inspectors, and mechanical engineers. The inspection will help piece together the events of the accident and reveal if the truck was maintained properly. If the truck was poorly maintained, the trucking company may be liable.

Consider the cargo.

Overloading or improperly loading cargo onto a truck is dangerous and can lead to accidents. That’s why an attorney will need to determine how much cargo the truck was carrying at the time of the accident and how it was loaded.

Contact witnesses.

Attorneys will reach out to people who were involved in the accident and those who witnessed it to hear what they believe happened. Bystanders can often provide valuable information on the conditions of the road, traffic signs or signals that the truck driver failed to obey, and the speed at which the vehicles were traveling. Witnesses may have also noticed that the truck driver seemed intoxicated or extremely drowsy after the accident, which is information that your attorney will need to know. Their statements play an important role because they are not involved in the accident and therefore do not have anything to gain by blaming the truck driver.

In some cases, an attorney will also reach out to the police officer who responded to the scene of the accident.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our attorneys will immediately begin to investigate to determine the cause of the accident and identify the liable parties. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How a Truck Accident is Different From a Car Accident

How a Truck Accident is Different From a Car Accident

Truck accidents and car accidents both involve collisions that occur on the road, but the similarities may end there. It’s important that you understand how a truck accident is different from a car accident so you understand the need to hire a personal injury attorney if you are ever involved in a collision with a truck. Here are several of the key differences between these two types of tragic accidents:

Federal Regulations

The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal government. Regulations cover everything from how a truck is maintained to how many hours drivers spend on the road before taking a break. If an accident occurs because one of these regulations was violated, the trucking company can be held liable. These regulations are unique to the trucking industry and will not affect your case if you were involved in a collision with another car.

More Severe Injuries

Semi-trucks weigh around 80,000 pounds, which is significantly higher than the average weight of a car. These trucks can do a great deal of damage when they collide into a vehicle. As a result, truck accident victims often sustain far more serious injuries than car accident victims. Some of the most common injuries include fractured bones, spinal cord damage, and traumatic brain injuries.

Larger Insurance Policies

Car and truck accident victims typically recover compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But, the amount of compensation that you can recover from an insurance company is limited based on how much coverage the insurance policy provides. For example, if the at-fault driver in a car accident has a $25,000 insurance policy, this is the most you will be able to recover from the company. But, the insurance policies are much larger on trucks, so you may be able to recover much more than you would with a car accident claim.

Liability Challenges

Usually one of the drivers involved in the car accident is found liable for the collision. But, liability is a bit more complicated in a truck accident. There are a number of parties that may be held liable for a truck accident, including the truck driver, trucking company, parts manufacturer, and the company that loaded the cargo. Identifying who is liable is challenging, which is one of the many reasons why you will need an attorney if you are involved in a truck accident.

If you have been injured in a truck accident or car accident, seek legal representation at once. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.