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How Can Truck Drivers and Companies Be Held Responsible for Accidents?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Larimer County trucking accident attorney

Many motorists take extra caution when driving around trucks on our country’s highways. Colorado citizens and truck drivers alike can make mistakes while on the road that can cause an accident. Although they are not often a part of a physical aspect of a crash, truck driving companies may be responsible for collisions, too. Regardless of the cause of a truck accident, if a truck driver or a trucking company is found to be negligent, they should be held responsible for any damages and suffering inflicted on other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Below are some of the ways a trucking business may be held liable for personal injuries sustained in a truck collision. 

Liability for Truck Accidents

When a truck collides with other vehicles, the occupants of those vehicles are much more likely to be injured than the truck driver. In 2018, semi-truck accidents in the United States resulted in the deaths of 678 truck drivers or occupants, but they led to the deaths of 2,786 passenger vehicle occupants. Because of the size and height of truck cabins compared to other automobiles, a truck driver is less likely to suffer fatal injuries when involved in an accident with a passenger car. 

When pursuing compensation, a truck accident victim may need to demonstrate that negligence by the truck driver or trucking company was the cause of the collision and the resulting injuries. Here are a few examples of negligence for which truck drivers and companies can be held responsible: 

  • Fatigued Driving: Rules and regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) determine how long interstate truck drivers are legally allowed to operate. Drivers must log their time, and they cannot work more than 60 on-duty hours over a seven-day period. Before a driver can be on duty again, he or she must have 10 consecutive hours of being off-duty. Drivers can be on duty for 14 hours after this rest, but only 11 can be driving hours. These regulations ensure that truck drivers receive adequate rest that will allow them to drive safely without being too tired. If drivers do not follow these regulations, or if companies encourage drivers to exceed their limits for safe driving, they can be held liable for accidents that occur as a result. 

  • Poor Maintenance: Trucks go through a lot more wear and tear than standard vehicles. Improper maintenance of a truck can cause a truck driver to be unable to control their vehicle safely, and both the company and the driver may be held responsible for injuries suffered in accidents resulting from equipment breakdowns or malfunctions. Something as simple as a broken tail light can lead to a truck merging into another lane without alerting the surrounding drivers. Companies should ensure that their fleet of trucks is properly maintained and safe to travel long distances. Additionally, truck drivers should keep tabs on the operation of their vehicle throughout a trip. Not checking brake pads and tires can lead to a runaway truck or a blowout, and the resulting crash could potentially cost someone his or her life.

Contact a Larimer County Personal Injury Lawyer

Truck accidents can cause serious injuries, including head trauma, broken bones, back injuries, and death. If you have been involved in a collision that occurred because of the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, contact an experienced Fort Collins truck accident attorney at Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. as soon as possible. Find out how you can receive the compensation you need and deserve by calling us today at 970-225-2190 to schedule your free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/large-trucks

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Drivers%20Guide%20to%20HOS%202015_508.pdf

https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/sw/overview/index.htm

 

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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