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Posted By Danny On May 20, 2009 @ 8:07 pm In | No Comments
Every year, nearly 500,000 large trucks (tractor-trailers or “semis”) are involved in traffic accidents in the United States. Approximately 5,000 of these accidents involve tractor trailer trucks and result in fatalities. In fact, one of every eight traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a large truck. Most deaths that occur in these accidents are the passengers of the automobiles. Drivers of trucks typically remain uninjured.
The attorneys of Oshman & Mirisola, LLP have seen the devastation that truck accidents can cause, and we are proud of our successful record of helping truck accident victims. We strive to create an environment where every client’s case is handled as the most important one in the firm.
Trucking litigation involves claims against negligent truck drivers and the companies who hire them. Under the law, a driver of a large truck is considered to have an even greater standard of care than other drivers, because of the injuries that their large trucks can cause. Collisions caused by a trucker’s negligence can lead to the most catastrophic injuries on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsored a study that concluded approximately twice as many car drivers would die in collisions with light trucks than in similar collisions involving cars of the same weight as the light truck. For the same reasons, occupants of passenger cars and light trucks have much higher fatality rates than occupants of large trucks and buses.
Examples of truck negligence generally fall into two categories: driver error and vehicle maintenance failure. The most common cause of driver error is fatigue, which can cause clouded judgment, drowsiness, and falling asleep at the wheel. Driver error can also be due to inexperience, improper driver training and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (whether prescription or illegal). Deregulation of the trucking industry has resulted in an increase in speed-limit violations among tractor-trailer drivers as well.
Truck accident lawsuits tend to be far more complex than other vehicle accidents for several reasons, so it is best to consult with an attorney immediately who will look out for your best interests. The difficulty of these cases is largely due to the following factors:
* Trucking companies and insurance adjusters realize the potential for major lawsuits when a truck accident is involved, so immediately following an accident they quickly gather evidence and experts and immediately begin to prepare their case.
* Determining the defendant can be extremely difficult and complex, as follows:
o Driver Fatigue - this would likely be the driver’s fault.
o Overloaded Freight – this would likely cause the company the driver works for to be involved in the lawsuit.
o Excessive Speed – this could cause the driver and the company to be listed as co-defendants, if strict and unreasonable deadlines were set on the driver.
o Equipment Malfunction – this could cause the manufacturers to be defendants.
o Defective Tires – this could also cause a tire manufacturer or distributor to be named as a defendant.
o Failure to Follow State and Federal Regulations – this would normally name the company and driver to be co-defendants.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a truck accident, Oshman & Mirisola, LLP wants to help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on healing from your injuries. Contact us today at 1-800-400-8182, or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We are always available to speak with you, and if you are unable to come to our offices for an initial case sign-up, we will send someone to you, whether at home or in the hospital.
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