After a commercial truck engages in a collision, many agencies including the local police department will investigate the incident to help determine why the crash occurred. Officials will look at a number of different factors when determining fault including whether the trucker was negligent, or careless. Some of the things officials use to determine whether a trucker or trucking company was negligent include:
- The condition of the vehicle. Truck drivers are required to inspect their vehicles before starting any job and must complete a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DIVR) at the completion of each day’s work [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration]. Trucking companies must also inspect their vehicle regularly to ensure they are in safe and working condition. If an officer determines that there is one or more pieces of equipment on the truck is defective, they could hold either the truck driver, the company, or both accountable for causing the crash.
- Whether the trucker was engaging in any type of negligent behavior. This might include:
- Driving while texting or talking on the phone.
- Reaching around in the cab to find something rather than keeping their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road.
- Falling asleep at the wheel.
- Traveling at unsafe speeds.
- Operating their vehicle recklessly when approaching sharp turns and curves.
- They will look into whether the truck driver was violating any state or federal rules and regulations. The state of South Dakota along with the FMCSA has set some very strict rules and regulations that truckers and trucking companies must comply with. One of those is the hours-of-service rules. Certain types of truck drivers are not permitted to operate a large truck after a set number of hours otherwise they are in violation of the FMCSA’s rule and are at risk of being cited and put out of service. Violating these rules and regulations can also lead to a trucker being held accountable for an accident.
- The level of training the truck driver has. If it determined that a truck driver was hired without undergoing the necessary training and failed to receive the required license to operate a large truck, not only might they be considered to be negligent but also the company who hired them. The fact is, trucking companies should only be hiring qualified and capable drivers who have the necessary credentials before allowing them to get behind the wheel of one of their vehicles.
There are plenty of other factors that police take into account when determining fault and whether a truck driver was negligent so if you were involved in a semi or tractor-trailer truck accident in Sioux Falls, SD, you will want to obtain the final report of the investigation. You will also want to contact a Sioux Falls, SD trucking accident lawyer who can help you fight for the maximum amount of compensation you need and deserve.
It is best you don’t delay in contacting an attorney as they must complete an investigation of their own so that they are able to gather all the necessary evidence needed to support your case. Now, because these investigations can take time to complete and you may already be facing certain financial obstacles as a result of the accident, it is best to contact USAttorneys.com to get connected with a truck accident lawyer in Sioux Falls, SD who is ready and available to help you.