Truck accidents are more likely to result in a fatality than automobile accidents if for no other reason than the size of the truck. During 2013, 8.5 percent of fatal accidents on Maine roadways involved large trucks, according to a report updated in June 2015 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis. That year, 18 victims lost their lives in 189 large truck crashes on Maine roadways.
When a Personal Injury Lawyer is Necessary
When you review the data in the report more carefully, the statistics can be revealing. Many people are unaware that truck operators are more likely to have had prior speeding convictions and that greater than 15 percent of truck drivers have had previous accidents. Sadly, about 2 percent of truck drivers were intoxicated at the time of their accidents. For some victims, an accident could have been prevented. There may be a basis for a civil suit for injuries.
How a Attorney Can Assist Victims
Even when a truck accident victim survives an encounter with a large truck, the potential for injury is significant. Across the United States, 95,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks. No matter how minor the accident, the sheer size of a tractor trailer leaves automobile drivers, bike riders and pedestrians at a disadvantage.
A personal injury lawyer can help victims by reviewing accident scene data, talking to witnesses, reviewing police reports and helping identify who is responsible for the accident. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence or fault, an attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Who Can Be Held Responsible?
Maine’s state legislature and several federal organizations have specific regulations by which truckers must abide when they are on the road. Companies that employ truckers are required to ensure that drivers have proper rest periods, that the vehicles are properly maintained and that drivers are well-trained. Responsibility can be broken out as follows:
- Truck driver – Drivers are not allowed to drive for long periods of time without proper rest breaks. They must obey all traffic laws.
- Company that employs drivers – Companies are required to ensure that they have advised all drivers of the necessary rest periods required under the law and make sure that their drivers are properly trained and licensed. They must also have a no-drug, no-alcohol policy. In addition, they are responsible for ensuring that their trucks are properly maintained to avoid brake failure and other problems that can cause accidents.
- Truck manufacturers – When a manufacturer fails to inform a company or driver of potential safety issues that could result in an accident, it could be held partially responsible for an accident.
Until the specific circumstances of a trucking accident are reviewed, it is often impossible to determine who is at fault. This is one reason why victims or family members who have lost a loved one in a truck accident should seek the guidance of a truck accident attorney.
If you or a loved one are among the hundreds of people who have been injured in a truck accident, call Fales & Fales, P.A., for a free consultation. Remember, unless we win an award for your injuries, you owe us nothing.