Truck Accident Attorney Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How are truck accident cases different from accidents involving passenger cars only?
Trucking companies and commercial semi-truck drivers are subject to special rules and regulations set forth by the federal motor carrier safety administration (FMCSA), the national highway traffic safety administration (NHTSA), and the state department of transportation (TXDOT) office of motor carrier compliance (OMCC). Among the regulations are limits on how many hours a truck driver can drive, the type and weight of the load, and inspection and maintenance requirements. Truck drivers also have special training and licensing requirements. More on this website
Are trucks required to carry insurance?
Federal law requires commercial vehicles involved in interstate commerce to carry at least $750,000 in bodily injury and property damage insurance. Most trucking companies also have additional insurance coverage, called excess coverage.
What factors contribute to truck accidents?
Because they are heavier, larger, and more difficult to brake and steer than passenger cars, large trucks are more likely to lose control and cause severe damage in traffic or highway accidents. Because of their more significant weight and momentum, large trucks have greater difficulty recovering from problematic circumstances, especially in wet weather. Improper maintenance can compound the problem.
Why are trucks more difficult to break?
Passenger car brakes are mechanical/hydraulic systems. Because most truck braking systems use pressurized air, it takes time for the air to travel through the hoses to the brake shoes, creating a slight delay before the brakes engage. Because of their added weight, trucks also require greater stopping distances. Often, you can hear an 18-wheeler making a loud, unique sound when stopping and starting, which is the sound of the air brakes releasing air through the rubber tubing.
How are weight restrictions on trucks enforced?
Weight limits on trucks are implemented by using weigh stations along interstate highways. Some modern weigh stations weigh trucks as they roll over devices located under the road. A transmitter on the truck allows weighing station authorities to identify it.
Are there devices that are used to limit a truck’s speed? Some companies install such devices, known as governors in their commercial trucks. These are often installed on more local commercial delivery trucks, such as box trucks. Most trucking companies do not install speed governor devices, knowing that their drivers will sometimes speed to meet a deadline.
Are multi-trailer trucks more dangerous than single-trailer trucks? Multi-trailer trucks are 2-3 times more likely to be involved in a road accident. The additional connection, or coupling, points between the first trailer and the second trailer make these 22-wheeler, 24-wheeler, and 26-wheelers more challenging to handle. Such multi-trailer tractor-trailers cause greater instability, leading to trailer swing and jackknifing, among other problems. Examples of such trucks we most commonly experience are commercial trucks operated by overnight delivery carriers.
Who can be held liable in a truck accident lawsuit? Parties that may be held responsible in a truck accident lawsuit include:
owner of the trailer
owner of the tractor
cab truck company whose logo or markings are on the trailer
owner of the contents, or load in the trailer
in some circumstances, the facility that loaded the contents onto the trailer
insurance company failing to act in good faith
As an accident attorney, I have experience and knowledge of federal and state regulations that apply to truck drivers and trucking companies. Please contact us if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident or if you have additional questions or need a truck accident attorney.