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Trucking Company Negligence Lawyers

Trailer truck When a truck accident occurs, the first thing that comes to mind is driver error. You may not even consider the liability of the trucking company. However, trucking companies are responsible for more than just transporting goods. They are also responsible for ensuring their trucks are in good working order and well-maintained, and that their drivers are following the law, operating safely, and not posing a threat to others on the road.

Because trucking companies are governed by state and federal law, they must follow a host of regulations set down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. Many of these are time-consuming and expensive to comply with, so trucking companies may be tempted to cut corners and ignore the requirements for driver training, hours of service, truck maintenance, and more. When these regulations are not followed, accidents resulting in serious, life-threatening injuries may occur.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a truck, you need an experienced truck accident attorney on your side, determining whether the crash was caused by trucking company negligence. At The Collins Law Firm, we know how to investigate truck accidents, prove who was at fault, and get justice for our clients.

How Can a Trucking Company be Responsible for an Accident?

It is the responsibility of the trucking company to do everything reasonably possible to prevent accidents from happening. When a trucking company fails to live up to this responsibility and behaves negligently, the risk of an accident drastically increases, and the company may be found liable. Here are some examples of how trucking company negligence can cause an accident.

Neglecting Maintenance and Inspections

Trailer maintenance Whether a trucking company has a few trucks or a fleet of hundreds, it is responsible for ensuring that their trucks are safe to operate. Trucks need regular maintenance and frequent inspections to detect problems and prevent accidents. Responsible trucking companies inspect their trucks regularly and perform necessary repairs before allowing any truck back into service. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. In 2019, during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance International Roadcheck, inspectors conducted 67,072 inspections on commercial vehicles. 12,019 vehicles (or 17.9%) were removed from service due to inspection violations, including problems with the brake system, cargo securement, coupling devices, exhaust system, turn signals, taillights, suspension, steering mechanisms, tires, fuel systems, headlamps, driveshaft and more. Failing to perform necessary inspections and maintenance can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, truck accidents. When that occurs, the trucking company may be liable for their negligence.

Improper Hiring Practices

The trucking company is responsible for hiring drivers who are qualified to operate vehicles of this caliber. Not conducting proper background checks, failing to properly train drivers, or simply hiring a driver who is unqualified, can all have serious, if not fatal, consequences for anyone driving near that truck. When hiring, truck companies should take several steps to ensure their drivers will not pose a risk to other drivers:

  • Review all applicants’ driving histories for traffic tickets, violations, and reckless behavior.
  • Run a criminal background check on all applicants to uncover any dangerous behavior or a history of substance abuse or driving under the influence.
  • Ensure that all drivers have the proper license and training to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • Require drivers to pass a medical evaluation to ensure their fitness to drive.

Failure to follow these steps may open the trucking company up to liability if an unqualified or risky driver causes an accident.

Improper Supervision of Employees

Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers are operating safely and following all safety regulations. In addition, they are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to conduct random drug and alcohol testing of drivers before and during their employment. Unfortunately, some trucking companies fail to properly supervise their employees by ignoring failed drug or alcohol tests, encouraging drivers to drive longer than they should, or ignoring employees’ dangerous behavior or violations of the law. Allowing these employees to continue driving poses a serious threat to other drivers. Moreover, if a trucking company fails to take action against an employee who engages in this kind of risky behavior, it can be deemed liable for damages if the driver causes an accident.

Disregarding Federal Regulations

Federal regulations set limits on the length of time that a truck driver is allowed to drive. These limits are in place to prevent driver fatigue, which can lead to terrible accidents. Even with regulations in place, driver fatigue is implicated in 13% of large truck accidents, according to federal statistics. Despite this danger, some trucking companies ignore hours of service limits in order to maximize their profits. This is a classic case of trucking company negligence and leaves the company vulnerable to a lawsuit.

Improperly Loading Trailers

Cargo load The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the correct way to secure loads based on years of research on cargo securement. Trucking companies are responsible for following these FMCSA rules for ensuring that trailers are loaded safely. However, every year hundreds of accidents are the result of improperly loaded cargo. Overloading, improper loading, and unbalanced loading of trailers all increase the risk of accidents. When cargo is not properly loaded and secured on a tractor-trailer, there is the risk that the load will shift, causing the truck to lose balance, eventually causing the truck to jackknife or tip over. Unsecured cargo may also fly off a truck and strike another vehicle, causing an accident. Any parties who participated in the loading or inspection of the cargo may be held liable in such accidents.

We Can Help You Prove Trucking Company Liability

After an accident--especially a serious one that involves a truck--it can be hard to determine whether you have a case and whether trucking company negligence may have played a part. That’s where The Collins Law Firm can help. Our team of experienced truck accident attorneys knows how to thoroughly investigate your case to determine whether your accident was the result of the trucking company’s negligence. Moreover, we have the financial resources necessary to hire the experts necessary to prove who was at fault and get you the justice you deserve.

If you’ve been in a truck accident caused by trucking company negligence, you need a team of experienced truck accident attorneys on your side as soon as possible. Our dedicated attorneys will fight to ensure you receive proper compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Call The Collins Law Firm today at (630) 527-1595 or fill out our contact form for a FREE consultation.

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