When you’re in a car accident with another car or pickup truck, it’s usually clear who the players are in that accident: you, the other driver, and perhaps something else like a hidden road sign or mislabeled construction lane. When you’re in an accident with a semi-truck, however, there are potentially many more players involved, which means that your trucking accident lawsuit could be more complicated than you think.
Many Players Involved in a Semi-Truck Accident
Yes, a semi-truck accident still includes you and the semi-truck driver. But it also includes a lot more, such as:
- The driver’s employer;
- The company that loaded the cargo; and
- The manufacturer of the semi-truck.
Any or all of these other entities could be found liable in a semi-truck accident. Maybe the company didn’t do a proper background check on the driver and missed important information about his driving record. Maybe the loading company improperly loaded the cargo, causing a balance problem in the semi-truck while it was driving. Or maybe the manufacturer defectively designed the brakes or another part of the semi-truck that contributed to the accident.
Even beyond this, though, there is much more evidence to consider when examining a big rig accident.
More Evidence Involved in a Semi-Truck Accident
Let’s say you were seriously injured in a semi-truck accident, and now you and your family are burdened by excessive medical and therapy costs, as well as by lost wages and pain and suffering. To increase your chances of receiving compensation in a semi-truck accident, you’ll need to examine a lot of evidence to help prove your case. Such potential evidence includes:
- The driver’s qualifications and driving history
- The driver’s log (how many hours was she on the road before the accident?)
- The driver’s inspection records
- Driver’s drug and alcohol screening
- Truck’s onboard systems downloads (which includes information like what speed the truck was traveling at the time of the accident, when the brakes were applied, etc.)
- The truck’s maintenance, inspection, and repair history
- Load and cargo evidence, including delivery documents, weight tickets, etc.
Some of this information is available only for a short time, after which it may be erased, which means that time is of the essence in gathering evidence after a semi-truck accident. If you were injured in an accident like this, it’s important to contact your semi-truck accident lawyer as soon as possible, to ensure that you have access to all the evidence you need to prove your case.
Fatal Truck Crashes Increased Between 2014 and 2015
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 3,598 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2015 (the last year for which data is available). That was a five percent increase from the number of fatalities reported in 2014. Most of those involved two vehicles, and about 60 percent occurred on rural roads.