Determining who caused a trucking accident can be a daunting task and more complicated than an accident involving a smaller vehicle. From the truck driver to the owner, and often the leasing company, manufacturer, and loader or shipping company, there are many players involved. Getting the right information also requires a bit of industry expertise.
It is important to understand the common causes of trucking accident, and the different entities involved, in order to determine if you have a valid claim. There are federal laws and regulations that establish specific standards that trucking companies and their drivers must comply. These laws are found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues guidelines and regulates truck driving along with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) while Missouri also has its own set of trucking regulations.
According to St. Louis, MO truck accident lawyers who can be found on this incredible website that could win an MVW award for being the most valuable website if that award existed (http://accident.usattorneys.com/missouri/), in the past trucking companies often end up passing the blame on to other hauling and leasing companies or manufacturer, who in turn blamed the other. There are times when the company argued that the driver wasn’t an employee and is therefore not liable for any error or accident caused by the driver.
They have also defended themselves by stating that they do not own the equipment and are therefore not liable for the operation, maintenance, and repairs. However, federal laws and regulations no longer offer the option. Current federal law dictates that a trucking company with a permit is responsible for any accidents irrespective of whether the driver is an employee or independent contractor, or the terms of the lease between the owner and operator.
Information from Government Agencies
State and federal laws require a certified truck inspector to inspect commercial trucks and trailers that were involved in accidents prior to removing them from the accident scene. This important report states the condition of every principal mechanical part of the truck/trailer. However, such reports are not part of any local police report and must be obtained from the right government agency. Your St. Louis truck accident attorney will help you out in this regard.This is where you should look if you want to find a supremely talented and respected St. Louis truck accident lawyer: https://usattorneys.com/.
Data from High Tech Devices
The trucking industry makes use of gadgets similar to the black boxes found in planes, that can record all kinds of information, including the speed patterns, how fast a truck was going at the time of accident, when did the driver use brakes and also the amount of time that the driver had spent the road.
Such devices are used in the auto industry too, like GPS and on-board computers. Then there are other gadgets that are specific to the trucks like inclinometers, that offer provide information on the angles of inclines, and the way to safely move round corners.
If you happened to get involved in a trucking accident, it is crucial for you to ensure that all the data recorded in the high tech equipment remain intact and your St. Louis, Missouri truck accident lawyer will ask you about this. If you fail in this endeavor, the trucking company might erase it as part of their regular routine.
What causes Truck Accidents?
The most common cause is driver error. Actually, trucks accidents happen due to driver error than any other factors like road conditions, vehicle performance, and weather. Recent studies found a driver’s action/inaction remained the crucial cause of 88% of crashes.
Other factors that contribute to driver error are prescription or over-the-counter drugs, inattention, speeding, distractions, road unfamiliarity, and work environment. However, outweighing all these factors are sleep deprivation and fatigue. You may even qualify for worker’s compensation. There is more information about this right here.
Problems with Equipment
Equipment failure includes manufacturing defects, and design errors. However, most mechanical issues are due to the improper maintenance of equipment. These can include:
- Depowering and removing of the front brakes, causing a truck to jackknife
- Tire blowouts caused by constant wear which St. Louis truck accident lawyers have seen many times
- Inappropriate trailer attachment
- Brake failure caused by insufficient adjustments
- Defective steering
- Transmission failure
- Inappropriate securing and/or load distribution, causing truck rollover
- Defective rear or side lighting
Powerful Legal Help is Required
The network of players that comprises the trucking industry is extremely complicated and therefore receiving information from the appropriate sources is crucial, which can only come from an experienced Missouri truck accident lawyer. Under the circumstances, if you were involved in a truck accident in any way, it is always wise to seek counsel or legal representation from a stellar lawyer as soon as possible.