Cedar Rapids, IA – Collisions involving a truck often have serious health and financial consequences, which is one of the reasons why trucking is so heavily regulated by the government. Part of these regulations include regular inspections and repairs of the vehicle, to ensure that it will operate properly on the roads and people in and around the vehicle will remain safe.
Specifics of federal maintenance requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set out general guidelines, which say that any vehicles or equipment under the control of the company must be “systematically” inspected, repaired, and maintained. The guidelines are universal, which means that the size of the company or its fleet is irrelevant. The individual carrier has discretion to set up its own guidelines, as the administration does not give specific details about what kinds of inspections and repairs must be done on any individual vehicle. The guidelines also include a statement about how all accessories and parts on the vehicle must be in safe and proper working condition. Roadside inspections are really the only enforcement mechanism that the government has to ensure that vehicles are being maintained properly. There are also safety audits that are conducted at intervals that tend to last between six and eighteen months.
In practice, there are no guarantees than any truck operating on the road is in compliance with these regulations unless it has recently been inspected or repaired. If there is evidence that the company that owns the truck was in violation of these guidelines when a crash occurred, this is strong evidence of negligence that can be used by the victim in a civil lawsuit. If the violations are severe enough, a judge assigned to the case may offer punitive damages to the victim, which are meant to punish the company for reckless actions.
Determining the damages associated with a collision
When someone is hurt by a truck driver, they should report the accident to the police and their insurance company. In most cases, there will be some kind of compensation available to pay for things like hospital bills and missed time from work. However, it is also important to realize that the insurance process does not always pay for all losses caused by the accident, and the trucking company may have its own defense attorneys who will try to avoid paying the victim.
Finding out if legal action is necessary
Anyone who has been involved in a collision with a truck or commercial vehicle should take some time to explore their legal options and find out if they are eligible to receive compensation. Eells and Tronvold Law Offices is an experienced firm in Iowa that assists accident victims throughout the state.
Firm contact info:
1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400