The potential for catastrophic injury or death resulting from an accident involving a semi-truck is great.
This is because these large vehicles weigh between thousands of pounds and several thousand tons. The truck itself weighs approximately 20,000 lbs, and this is before a trailer is attached. Most states put a weight limit on the combined weight of a semi-truck and loaded tractor-trailer at 80,000 lbs, but some exceptions allow for the transport of heavier loads.
Why Truck Accidents are Different Than Car Accidents
As you can imagine, the size and weight alone make these vehicles potentially dangerous, but many factors make semi-truck accidents different from regular car accidents. First of all, there are different types of truck accidents. Truck accidents can refer to 18-wheelers, dump trucks, garbage trucks, semi-truck or tractor-trailers, fire trucks or other emergency vehicles, oil tanker trucks, utility trucks, or even 15-passenger van accidents. The type of crash matters because there may be different regulations that govern the industry. A truck driver who operates a commercial vehicle that weighs 10,000 lbs or more is subject to a different set of rules than drivers of passenger vehicles.
Industry Specific Regulations
The trucking industry has specific regulations that are intended to prevent accidents. These can include the necessity of keeping accurate logbooks, hours of service rules, and rules regarding drunk driving and license revocation. Some trucks may be governed by federal laws, while in some cases, state laws also apply. State laws may dictate truck routes and how a vehicle must be safely loaded and maintained. Additionally, trucks that are loaded with hazardous materials are governed by even more stringent regulations.
Investigating a Truck Accident
For this reason, when an individual is involved in an accident with a large commercial vehicle, he or she must get in contact with an attorney who specializes in handling truck accidents. To obtain full compensation from the responsible parties (truck driver and trucking company) and to understand how and why the accident happened, a St. Louis worker comp attorney must get to work immediately to undertake an investigation.
It is imperative to investigate and determine whether a trucking company and/or driver is in violation of any of these regulations. Failing to abide by these rules puts many drivers and their passengers at risk of catastrophic injury or death, which is unacceptable.
Accidents and the aftermath can be costly for those involved. While an accident may be caused by a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, they will usually try to downplay their own responsibility. Because of this, fast action is required to obtain the necessary evidence to prove their liability.
Getting Help to Obtain Full Compensation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial truck accident, contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 as soon as possible. We can help you and your family secure a financial settlement or award that will alleviate financial stress and encourage the recovery process. We are well-versed in federal and state laws that govern the trucking industry and will be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
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