New Haven Trucking Company Negligence Attorney
Accidents involving large commercial trucks are often extremely serious because of the significantly larger sizes of the vehicles involved. The injuries suffered by individuals involved in these accidents are some of the most severe and disabling of all the accidents that occur on our roadways.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates safety. There are strict regulations that trucking companies and truck drivers must follow to ensure that commercial trucks safely share our roads. If a trucking company cuts corners by ignoring repairs, improperly training drivers, or improperly loading cargo, then they can be liable for the results of their negligent actions.
If you have been the victim of a large truck accident, Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries, especially if the trucking company acted negligently. You shouldn’t wait to take action on your case. Our New Haven trucking company negligence lawyers will provide you with a full evaluation of your case with no upfront cost to you when you call (203) 397-1283 for your free initial consultation.
Elements of Negligence
Several factors make up a commercial truck negligence case. In court, you must be able to prove that these four elements of negligence were contributing causes to your accident and the injuries you suffering in the accident.
- There was a duty of ordinary care. There are often multiple parties involved in a commercial truck accident. However, usually the trucking company is accountable for making sure that their trucks are well-maintained and that their drivers act safely and responsibly.
- There was a breach in the duty of ordinary care. A breach could include any number of actions or failures to adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s standards. These can include, but are not limited to, poor truck maintenance, speeding, or driver fatigue.
- The breach of duty caused you to suffer injuries. You were injured in an accident that was caused by the negligent actions of a trucking company and both you and your property may have suffered damages.
- The harm resulted in monetary losses. The injuries resulting from your crash caused you to lose income, suffer an injury or disability, and suffer physical and emotional pain.
How to Prove Negligence
To prove that there was negligence involved with your case, you must show that there is concrete evidence that the trucking company or driver acted in a way where their failure to adhere to best practice resulted in your accident.
Was the driver speeding? Was the truck maintenance up to date? Was the driver well rested and physically able to drive at full competency? These are all examples of important questions that must be answered to prove negligence in your trucking accident case.
There are many things that can go wrong when with commercial truck operation. The trucking company may have pressured truck drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines, resulting in driver fatigue. Perhaps the truck driver was speeding, carrying an oversized load without a proper permit, or the load was not secured properly.
Your accident could have been the result of any number of issues, but the simple fact is that if the trucking company violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rules, then you may be entitled to compensation.
To prove your case, you must first obtain records, interview witnesses, and gather any and all evidence. This may prove difficult if you lack legal experience, or don’t know what to look for within these documents.
The trucking company may also make it difficult for you to even obtain records relating to your accident. It is not in their interest to allow you access to these records, and they will go to great lengths to prevent you from accessing them.
If you are recovering from a serious injury, you shouldn’t have to worry about the details of your case, or about obtaining evidence. Instead, you should focus on your recovery and allow Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to gather the necessary evidence related to your case, to analyze what happened, and to pursue the maximum settlement that you are entitled to.
The Duty to Maintain, Repair, and Inspect Trucks
Commercial trucking companies must ensure that the trucks they operate are properly maintained and inspected. These vehicles travel hundreds, or even thousands, of miles daily and suffer more wear and tear than most other vehicles.
Because of this, trucking companies are required to adhere to specific and detailed maintenance schedules for their trucks to make sure that fellow motorists remain safe on the road.
Many of these inspection, maintenance, and repair duties of trucking companies are outlined in federal regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCAS). If a company fails to adhere to these regulations, then they may be subject to sanctions by the FMCAS, as well as be considered liable for any personal injury lawsuits stemming from accidents involving their fleet of commercial trucks.
The Duty of Hiring Safe Drivers
Trucking companies must take reasonable care to hire responsible, qualified, trained, and safe drivers. This duty goes beyond simply checking that a candidate holds a valid commercial driver’s license. Under FMCSA’s regulations, trucking companies must conduct an extensive investigation into all candidates that they are considering hiring, including:
- Investigating the candidate’s performance history and safety records with other trucking companies for the past three years
- Conducting necessary interviews, letters, drug and alcohol tests, and other good-faith efforts to gain background knowledge of a candidate
- Investigating each state where the candidate has held or holds a driver’s license for the past three years
If a company fails to follow any of these steps, then it may be liable for negligence if the commercial truck driver caused the accident while acting in their official capacity.
Retaining Safe and Responsible Truck Drivers
Once a trucking company has hired a driver, it has an ongoing duty to ensure that they are qualified and safe drivers. FMCSA regulations require companies to conduct an annual review of a driver’s record, which includes checking if the driver has had any traffic violations in the last twelve months, and if any of these violations are disqualifying by law, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Trucking companies are also responsible for providing ongoing training regarding safety and other necessary aspects of on the job duties. They must keep records of driver safety courses, certifications, and any other professional development training that the drivers participate in.
If a trucking company fails to properly ensure that their drivers are trained regarding new equipment, trucks, or laws, it may be liable for injuries that are caused by that failure.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Because commercial trucks are so large, they pose an even bigger threat to other motorists when they are improperly loaded. The Association for Advancement for Automotive Medicine reports that dangerous errors in cargo loading are most closely tied to rollover accidents. Improper loading can affect a commercial truck’s center of gravity, and overloading can be a significant factor in rollover accidents.
The overloading of commercial trucks can also have negative effects on the handling of the vehicle. Such improper loading techniques can result in tire blowouts, consequently resulting in a truck driver’s inability to control their vehicle.
Cargo is an essential element of the commercial trucking business, and when it is improperly secured, it can have dangerous consequences for all other drivers on the road. Cargo has the potential to fly off the truck’s bed, resulting in serious injury for anyone in its path.
Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining safe loading systems and for implementing safety checks on these systems to ensure that their commercial trucks are loaded correctly every time. If a company fails to make sure that all of these standards are consistently met, then they are negligent in the safe storage of their cargo.
Trucking is very time-sensitive. Trucking companies have to move a lot of products within very strict deadlines. However, there are also strict regulations governing how many hours a truck driver is allowed to spend behind the wheel.
Any abuse or violation of this regulation would be considered negligent on behalf of the trucking company. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set rigid driving limitations for commercial drivers:
- Commercial truckers are limited on the total number of driving hours they can accumulate in a week.
- Commercial drivers must confine their driving to 14 hours within one period of duty, and within this timeframe, they can only do one 11-hour stint of uninterrupted driving (which must incorporate a 30-minute break for every 8 hours of driving).
- The 14-hour limit per day must include all breaks and gas stops (these can’t be subtracted out of the total time spent driving).
When drivers are pushed passed these regulated limits, they often face serious fatigue, which can seriously impair their decision-making and their ability to drive. Trucking companies are required to ensure that they don’t negligently push their drivers past these limits and to supervise the hours that their drivers work behind the wheel.
Contact a New Haven Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have sustained injuries or suffered loss as a result of a commercial trucking company’s negligence, then you should speak to a New Haven truck accident lawyer with Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. Our firm will take all the necessary steps to establish the trucking company’s negligence and to ensure that you receive the maximum level of compensation that you are entitled to.
Call (203) 397-1283 today to schedule a free consultation. If your accident was caused by truck company negligence, we will vigorously work to prove that and to get a favorable outcome for you.