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There’s More at Play in Trucking Accidents Than What You May Think


When a large, commercial semi truck is involved in an accident, you may think it is just you, as the victim, and the negligent truck driver that has liability. But in a typical trucking accident, there are actually a lot more parties involved, because in trucking companies, there are a lot of outside companies that contribute to what it takes to move product across the country in a semi truck.

Driver Error?

Often, when a semi truck crashes or causes an accident, it is easy to blame “driver error.” And yes, often it is the fault of the driver. But driver error in a trucking accident can be a little bit different than it is in a typical car on car accident.

For example, imagine that a truck driver is negligent because he or she is tired or fatigued. It can be easy to blame the driver. But federal law has regulations about how long a driver can legally be on the road at any one time.

If the driver was fatigued because he or she was on the road for too long, without a break, the accident wasn’t only caused by the driver’s error—it was also caused by the company, which may not have enforced the mandatory rest requirements for truck drivers.

Improper Loading

What about a truck that flips over? Yes, you can blame the driver for poorly maneuvering the truck. But what about the load in the back of the truck?

Loading a large commercial truck with its cargo is actually a science and many companies will actually contract out with other companies, to do the loading in such a way that the physics are correct—that is, that the truck is loaded in a way that under normal conditions, the truck will not flip over.

But often, trucking companies either don’t rely on those companies, don’t take their advice, or just load too much cargo in the wrong places. So, although you could just blame the driver for the truck flipping over, it may well be the trucking company, or else, the third party company responsible for the packing and loading of the cargo area of the truck.

Maintenance of the Trucks

The same concept applies for mechanical failures on the truck, such as brake or tire failures. You can bet the trucking company will throw up their hands and say that they had no idea, and that they can’t control if there is a mechanical failure. They want the failure to seem as random and unanticipated as possible.

But in reality, trucking companies must use specially licensed mechanics, and follow strict federal regulations when it comes to maintaining trucks. Often, a mechanical failure isn’t that random—it’s the failure of the mechanics or the company to use the mechanics, the way the law says that they need to be used.

Injured by a commercial truck? Contact the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian and schedule a consultation today for help if you have been injured in any kind of accident.


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