Truck Accidents – Statistics, Laws & Responsibilities
A truck accident is not as same as any traffic accident from the viewpoint of law. With multiple complications involved on a higher level, identifying the at-fault party and the causes of the accident are important and intriguing as well. For a Portland truck accident lawyer, it gets important to collect information as much as possible about everyone from the truck driver to the truck owner to pinpoint the wrongdoer and ensure justice for the victim.
Before filing a lawsuit, you need to know if the case has enough materials to make a valid claim. For that purpose, you have clear understanding of the common causes of truck accidents, the relationship among the victims and others in connection with the truck and the load. If you have decided to hire a lawyer – it is a must-do for you – the person will study your case and decide if it is possible to sue the suspected wrongdoer.
Statistics on Truck Accident Cases
The statistics gives us a staggering figure. The most alarming point is in the last couple of decades, the incidence of truck accidents in the USA has jumped up by 20%. As per a report presented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) back in 2002, 4, 897 persons succumbed to death and 130, 000 individuals suffered injuries in crashes involving large trucks.
The statistics also reveals that truck accidents count for only 3% of all motor vehicle accidents. However, that will not give you much of comfort as trucking accidents are more detrimental to the victims if compared with other traffic accidents. This is because, the trucks are heavy in weight and large in size.
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Truck Accident Laws
The trucking industry adheres to the Federal laws and regulations. These laws set up certain standards that must be met by the trucking companies, proprietors and drivers. The same laws apply to figure out the actual culprit in the event of any truck accident. The US Department of Transportation or DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA are among the agencies regulating truck driving. Every state in the USA has a separate department of transportation and its own trucking rules and regulations.
Identify the Wrongdoer
It has already been mentioned that the roles of several players are scrutinized in the event of a truck accident. Following is the list of the persons whose roles are investigated and examined ahead of filing a case:
- The owner of the trailer or truck
- The company or person who took a lease on the truck/trailer from the vehicle owner
- The loader or shipper of the truck’s cargo
- The manufacturer of the truck, its tires or other parts that may have caused harm to the plaintiff
After a truck accident happens, the trucking, leasing and hauling companies often get involved into an argument over how to compensate the victim. The point of argument is always about whose insurance will be used to make up for the victim’s injury.
Interestingly, Federal laws and regulations clearly state that the company owning the permit of trucking is responsible for all trucking accidents involving the truck having its name or placard written on its body.