Approximately every 16 minutes a person is injured or killed from a truck accident on a U.S. Roadway.  Most of the time the truck accident is caused by a passenger vehicle and approximately 16% of the time the fault falls with the driver of the truck due to violations of speeding, tailgating, driving under the influence of prescription and illegal drugs, driving while fatigued, and driving too fast. Contact an attorney for assistance if you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck.

 

Truck size factors in.

Trucks fall into two classes, those weighing 10,000 pounds or less, and those weighing more than 10,000 pounds which may move them to the Commercial Motor Vehicle category and change some of the laws and damages to be sought after in personal injury situations. Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles under riding trucks in crashes. Truck braking capability can be a factor in truck crashes. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes.  All of these factors can significantly increase damages to an injured party of a truck accident. Trucking companies are required by law to perform background checks on their drivers, but sometimes these background checks are flawed and some trucking companies’ have unethical practices that force drivers to falsify logbooks, drive with defective equipment, and drive long hours.

Regulations.

The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) is the regulating agency for the commercial trucking industry in charge of motor carrier safety regulations and the administration of economic regulations governing all commercial motor vehicle operations in Kansas. Kansas Highway Patrol and Motor Carrier Inspectors enforce the regulations through roadside inspections, staffing inspections and weigh stations on major highways. Special investigators from the Kansas Highway Patrol and KCC offer safety compliance reviews and in-house audits of motor carriers to make sure activities align with state and federal regulations.  You are considered a regulated carrier if you operate a vehicle of more than 10,000 pounds, and transport for hire, or haul material to further your own commercial enterprise.  A regulated carrier must follow all motor carrier safety regulations including:

  1. Limiting hours on duty to avoid fatigued driving.
  2. Undergoing medical examinations every two years.
  3. Meet minimum age restrictions for driving.
  4. Ability to secure loads based on proven safe methods.
  5. Understanding of safety hitches.
  6. Knowledge of braking systems.
  7. Inspection of tires.
  8. Proper emergency equipment on board.
  9. Pass periodic and annual inspections.
  10. Show required markings and USDOT number on truck.

Steps to take after an accident with a truck.

If you are in an accident with a tractor trailer in Overland Park Kansas, you should:

  1. Check on the condition of the people involved in the accident;
  2. Call the police or emergency responders if needed;
  3. Get a written accident report;
  4. Remain at the accident scene;
  5. Exchange driver and insurance information;
  6. Get witness contact information;
  7. Call your insurance company to set up a claim;
  8. Seek out medical treatment if necessary;
  9. Take pictures of the scene, and the vehicle damages;
  10. Get a Kansas State Trooper report for Commercial Vehicle Trucks.

Hire a lawyer.

Hiring a legal professional to assist with the burden of collecting and analyzing the data related to the above list is a viable solution to this overwhelming task if you are an accident victim.   Determining the percentage of fault is a matter for those who have reviewed police reports, witness reports, car damages, roadway marks and other factors present at the time of the accident.  It is necessary that the truck accident attorney fully investigate the causes of the accident so that the injured person and their family can receive full and fair compensation through a settlement. This may require an expert accident reconstructionist and review of the trucking company’s documentation to determine how and why the accident occurred. It is important to obtain this information as quickly as possible before it is lost or destroyed by the trucking company.

Sources:

http://www.kcc.state.ks.us/images/PDFs/statutes-regulations/4_082_82-Corporation_Commission_2009_KAR_Vol_4.pdf

https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/SASStoredProcess/guest

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks