Semi-Truck Accidents Question & Answers
1. What are some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents?
In an accident involving a semi tractor-trailer, there may be many reasons why a semi-truck accident occurred. Some of the most common reasons for truck accidents are:
- Lack of training
- Alcohol/drug use
- Trucks that are overloaded or improperly loaded
- Failure to yield right of way
- Poorly maintained brakes
- Trucks that are oversized
- Abusive driver behavior
- Poor visibility
- Bad weather conditions
- Driver history
- Lack of reflectors, lights and/or other warning devices
2. Is the trucking industry regulated by the government?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes the regulations and rules which govern commercial motor vehicles along with the corporations who operate them. The trucking industry is heavily regulated.
3. Are trucks required by Federal law to carry insurance?
Federal law requires commercial vehicles traveling in interstate commerce have at least $750,000 of insurance for personal injury and property damage.
4. Is an investigation needed in a semi-truck accident case?
Absolutely. In most situations, trucking companies or their insurance company will perform an investigation immediately after the accident. This puts injured people at a disadvantage. It is important that you retain an experienced semi-truck accident attorney who has the resources to immediately investigate the case. We have consulting semi-truck accident investigators and engineers who we utilize.
5. What should I know about trucking companies and their insurance companies after a semi-truck accident?
You should understand that you are not on an equal playing field when dealing with a trucking company following an accident. Trucking companies are skilled at semi-truck accident investigation and claims practice. These claims adjusters work for the truck company. They do not represent you. Do not give a statement of any kind or sign a release before you have spoken to a semi-truck accident attorney.
6. Who can file a lawsuit in a semi-truck accident causing injury or death case?
Anyone who is injured or has had a family member killed in a truck accident can file a lawsuit. This includes adults and children by way of their guardian.
7. Who would normally be sued in a semi-truck accident case?
Anyone who was at fault for the accident. This might include the truck driver and the trucking company, the owner, or the shipper. It is not uncommon for multiple people or companies to be at fault.
8. Is an attorney necessary to litigate a semi-truck accident case?
Absolutely. A semi-truck injury victim will need to retain an attorney to establish liability against anyone potentially at fault and help maximize your recovery. This usually involves filing a lawsuit. The trucking company will have its own lawyers, usually provided by the insurance company. Their job is to prevent or limit your recovery.
9. What damages can be recovered in a semi-truck accident injury or death case?
An injured person may be entitled to recover all of his or her past and future medical expenses; past and future loss of income; past and future pain, suffering, and emotional distress. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant. When a person is killed because of a semi-truck accident, additional damages are available to compensate the family.
10. What does your firm charge for legal fees?
You pay nothing unless and until we recover money for you. Our fee is a percentage of the recovery.
11. What are some internet resources regarding commercial trucks?
www.fmcsa.dot.gov – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
www.nhtsa.dot.gov – National Highway Traffic Safty Administration
www.fhwa.dot.gov – United States Department of Transportation
www.fhwa.dot.gov – Federal Highway Administration
www.dot.gov – U.S. Department of Transportation
www.bts.gov – Bureau of Transportation Statistics