Posted on February 27, 2015 in Personal Injury
One of the most harrowing experiences in life is being involved in a trucking accident, as standard vehicles are no physical match for a tractor-trailer rig or other commercial carriers. Even accidents involving buses can be just as dangerous, and sometimes more so because of the number of people involved. In addition, trucking accidents have a tendency to cause pileup crashes in congested traffic. While the dangers these vehicles present to other motorists is extensive, transportation companies and independent drivers alike will still skirt the rules of the road when transporting cargo in an effort to increase profit margins.
Hours of Service
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has set strict rules on the number of hours a truck driver may be behind the wheel per shift. Hours of service must be properly logged according to Department of Transportation regulations. Drivers often use two log books and alter the times in order to continue driving. This action can result in exhausted drivers who cause serious accidents and extensive personal injury, including death. In addition, there is a 34-hour work week restart law for those companies that transport continuously, which can also be manipulated by the carrier.
Truck drivers are required to make regular inspections of their rig and keep logs on those inspections. Trucks are also to be inspected by the DOT at official weigh stations. Transportation companies will regularly instruct drivers to avoid weigh stations when possible, and independent divers with rigs in need of repair may do the same thing. While this may not necessarily be illegal activity, it is illegal if the truck happens to be overloaded with freight. This is a common practice in the trucking industry.
Speeding and Moving Violations
Speeding tickets and moving violations are trouble for a truck driver, but commercial vehicle operators still constantly exceed the speed limit in many cases. And, traffic officers will sometimes give them the benefit of the doubt when traffic flow is part of the speed necessity. However, excessive speed in congested traffic situations is more than dangerous. It can be deadly, and the number of fatal accidents involving big trucks is evidence. Even when truckers are driving within the speed limit range, moving violations near blind spots for the driver is commonly the cause of many terrible accidents.
Prior Fines and Accidents
Company policy can sometimes be determined by examining the track record of fines and accidents their drivers have caused. While all big rigs owners and operators in an accident are not necessarily negligent, it could be an indication of company instruction and driver experience requirements. Even companies that comply with the laws will have an accident and fine record. It comes with the industrial territory. Companies that consider fines as a necessary cost of doing business can be more susceptible to being found negligent in a trucking accident case, and the record can bare this out.
Filing a personal injury claim against a transportation company can be complicated and frustrating endeavor. Many states have written legislation that favor the trucking companies when legal action is taken for personal injury and negligence. This is especially true in states with vibrant economies like Florida where the trucking industry is so crucial to the state. It is important to have an experienced trucking accident attorney who is willing to represent your case even through the possibility of a jury trial because of punitive damage potential. Settling out of court for injuries suffered during a trucking accident is not always the best decision, especially when multiple parties are negligent. Always get an effective and dedicated attorney with a good personal service results record.
If you live in the St. Petersburg Florida area and have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck and have questions visit our website at: http://www.GetMeJustice.com/st-petersburg