You shouldn’t have to worry about whether you, your family and loved ones will arrive safely and without incident during a road trip. Tragically, too many people experience dangerous travel as a result of an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicles, which may be fatal or life-threatening, including traumatic brain injuries, amputations, paralysis and spinal cord injuries.
Whether a truck accident is caused by a distracted driver or a truck not meeting the mandatory, minimum safety guidelines, it’s important to know your legal rights.
Accidents involving large commercial trucks (vehicles with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds) – semis, 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers – are complex and devastating tragedies that usually involve multiple vehicles. The crash investigations that follow are also complex and require knowledge of current commercial trucking regulations, laws as well as forensic crash experience.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a commercial trucking accident and suffered fatal or life-threatening injuries you may have a potential claim. You may contact transportation attorney and former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo or attorney Kevin Dean at 1.800.768.4026 or by email.
Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers
Motley Rice transportation attorneys represent injured passengers and the families of those who have suffered tragedy as a result of commercial trucking accidents. Our catastrophic personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to investigate and resolve cases involving large trucks, and to represent people who have suffered from serious injury and wrongful death, including reaching a settlement to resolve an interstate trucking claim. Our client, a 60-year-old married father of five, suffered severe, life-threatening injuries when his Mazda MX3 was struck by an impaired trucker on a two-lane stretch of State Road 81 near Erwin, Tenn. Motley Rice took prompt action for the victim and his family, pushing for compensation and reaching a settlement within months.
*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
As Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo oversaw investigations into many commercial trucking issues, including driver fatigue, motor carrier safety inspections, drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs as well as NAFTA-related problems with trucks from Mexico.
Kevin Dean has more than a decade of experience investigating vehicle defects and experience analyzing all the technical aspects involved in a variety of crashes.
Commercial Trucking: A Federally Regulated Industry
Commercial vehicles, such as tractor-trailers and other large trucks, are regulated by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Other federal agencies also regulate trucks if they have regulatory control over contents of the shipment. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has additional regulations for loads that contain hazardous materials. These federal government agencies are responsible for setting the minimum standards for a motor carrier to operate on public roadways.
Truck Crash Causes
Our attorneys approach each case with a set of criteria to examine on top of any additional concerns particular to that crash. Our crash reconstruction experts rarely conclude that a single factor caused an accident. Most often multiple factors end up contributing to the cause of the accident. Some factors that may be involved include:
- Design, manufacture, and maintenance of the vehicle itself and its parts, including brakes or tires
- Driver training
- Highway conditions
- Traffic signals
- Truck driver negligence
- Alcohol or over-the-counter or prescription drug use
- Distracted driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarly with the roadway
- Trucking company negligence
- Weather conditions
When a major truck accident occurs, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is the public agency responsible for the investigation of the accident. Once the NTSB investigation is complete, it publishes a final report with its conclusions. The NTSB compiles all accident data and publishes its Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements relating to highway safety concerns.