When a commercial truck is involved in an accident, proving negligence can be problematic. Both companies and individuals can own large commercial trucks, and truck drivers often don’t own the vehicles they’re driving. Furthermore, a third party often owns the trailer.
In a semi or large truck accident, any number of people or entities could be held responsible for damages. Responsible parties could include: the truck’s driver, the owner or owners of the truck or trailer, the manufacturer of the vehicle, the person or company who leased the truck/trailer, the makers of the tires or other parts that could have contributed to the accident, and even the company that loaded the truck’s cargo, if the cargo's shifting during transport played a role in the accident.
Unfortunately, large truck accidents are becoming more common in Florida and throughout the rest of the country. During the past two decades, the number of large truck accidents increased by twenty percent.
Federal and Florida laws require that a certified truck inspector visit the scene of a truck accident to examine the truck and trailer involved. The inspector is typically the member of state or local police and is trained to identify any mechanical issues that could have contributed to the accident.
These reports are typically held by state agencies and are not included in police reports, yet they can be pivotal to proving a semi truck or tractor trailer case.
Trucking companies are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations concerning their equipment and their drivers' hours of service.
When "driver fatigue" is involved, an examination of records after an accident may show serious violations of Federal and State safety regulations. The law mandates that trucking companies need only maintain these records for six months, which can make it difficult to build a case afterwards.
If you’ve been injured in a accident involving a large, commercial truck, contact our law firm to see if you have a case.