Truck accidents don’t comprise a large volume of vehicular crashes every year, but they tend to be much more serious than other kinds of auto accidents due to the size of the vehicles involved. They also tend to be a lot more complicated than other kinds of accidents because the responsible party can be tough to nail down. Education is vital in getting the compensation you deserve. Learn why an injury case is far more serious after a truck accident, and why a truck accident lawyer is necessary to deal with big trucking companies.
Truck Accident Numbers
Over the past twenty years, the number of accidents involving big trucks has actually gone up by 20 percent, a shocking figure released by the FMCSA, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While trucking accidents only comprise less than 5 percent of overall accidents resulting in injury, the level of harm they cause is much higher than other vehicles.
Truck laws are regulated by federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FMCSA. In addition, each state has its own laws under its DOT, and these laws can be tricky to navigate.
The key to getting compensated in a personal injury case is determining fault for the accident, and with a truck incident this can get complex. Very often, truck operators don’t own their vehicles outright, but lease it or drive a company truck. When it comes down to assigning responsibility, the driver may not be the only party. Others could be held liable, including the trucking company, the truck’s owner or leasing agency, the parts manufacturers, shipping or loading companies, or others.
Where it gets murky is when these different parties start fighting amongst themselves and shifting blame. This can create problems getting compensation through, and can drag out proceedings for a long time if someone doesn’t cut through the tape.
Part of the key in uncovering fault in a trucking accident is knowing the most common causes and figuring out which ones apply to your case. These causes can range from driver error to equipment malfunctions to improper loading of a haul that sends the truck off-balance.
More than ever, big rig operators function as independent contractors rather than as direct employees of a company. Sometimes, companies use this fact to try to distance themselves from responsibility. Fortunately, there are federal laws in place to stop this from happening, but it’s important to have someone in your corner who knows these laws and how they are exploited against you.
Hiring an Attorney
In the end, there’s one way you can make sure that your rights are protected and that you get all of the compensation to which you are entitled, and that’s to talk to a qualified trucking accident attorney. Experts in these kinds of accidents know how to stop the in-fighting and delay tactics, how to deal with insurance companies, and how to make sure you get the full compensation you need to recover and recuperate from your injuries. Read a bit more about trucking accidents in West Texas, and drop us a line for a free consultation today.