18 wheeler accidents cause catastrophic personal injury every day. Even worse, 18 wheeler accidents can result in wrongful death! 18 wheeler accidents and the resulting lawsuits differ from standard car accident cases in that there are often many complicated legal issues surrounding 18 wheeler accidents. Hiring a good 18 wheeler accident lawyer is key, since 18 wheeler accidents can involve corporate interests and even federal regulations.
Around 5,000 Americans are killed every year in truck accidents, while over 150,000 serious personal, burn and brain injuries are sustained as a result of 18 wheeler accidents. 438 truck accidents, more than any other state occurred in Texas in 2003. 18 wheeler accidents are undoubtedly extremely dangerous. 75% of fatal 18 wheeler accidents involve collisions with other vehicles.
18 Wheeler Accidents Statistics and Causes
The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) preliminary national crash statistics indicate that over 60,000 personal injuries were sustained in crashes with 18 wheelers in 2010.
18 wheeler accidents are more dangerous than car accidents. The legal weight for an 18 wheeler in the US is currently 80,000 lbs or 40 tons without overweight permits. The average car weighs around 5000 lbs. A truck weighing around 40 tons can cause a tremendous amount of damage and personal injury.
There are many factors that can contribute to 18 wheeler accidents including:
- Driver error
- Defective tires
- Driver fatigue
- Brake failure, defective brakes or overheated brakes
- Mechanical malfunctions
- Poor Safety Measures
18 wheeler accidents can occur if loose cargo is unstable and results in the driver losing control. The economic incentives in the trucking industry also weigh in on the problem. The 18 wheeler driver might not have undergone proper training, or he or she could be driving under the influence or without sleep. Incentives in the trucking industry often make it appealing for drivers to skip sleep so they can make more deliveries. Since federal and state regulations regarding the time 18 wheeler drivers can operate the truck exist, these 18 wheeler accidents can be much more complex than standard car wreck cases. This is why it is necessary to hire a 18 wheeler accidents lawyer with expertise in the field.
Act Fast to Protect Your Legal Rights
You may be entitled to compensation, but time is running out. Your case could be subject to the statute of limitations, so act now! The thing to look for in an 18 wheeler accidents law firm is experience. Your 18 wheeler accidents lawyer should have plenty of experience working on personal injury cases. If you have been the victim of 18 wheeler accidents, contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC. Your initial consultation is free and in most cases you pay nothing until you win.
Call or contact us as soon as possible, or submit your case today for a free personal injury consultation.
U.S. Department of Transportation Rule to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue
March 15, 2013 – Truck Accident Lawyer, Darren Miller reminds trucking companies and drivers that the deadline to comply with the new hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements is approaching.
“Commercial truck accidents are the most serious of all vehicular accidents often causing life-threatening injuries or death,” said Attorney Miller, owner of D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, “and while certain factors are beyond the driver’s control, such as weather and road conditions, driver fatigue is preventable. An eighteen-wheeler can become a deadly rig if the driver is overtired. “
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has addressed this safety issue by crafting a final rule revising the HOS. The new HOS safety requirements for commercial truck drivers will ensure that they will get the rest needed in order to prevent fatigue-related mistakes and hopefully, save lives.
Under the old standards, commercial rig drivers were allowed to work up to 82 hours within a seven-day period. The new rule limits the hours to only 70 within the same time period. Also truck drivers are to take a break of at least 30 minutes after working eight hours. The existing 11 hour daily driving limit remains unchanged for now.
The final rule also allows drivers to use the “34-hour restart” provision only once during any seven-day period. This allows them to restart the clock on their work week if they are off duty for at least 34 consecutive hours.
Big rig crashes can cause more severe injuries than other vehicles. Companies and drivers that do not comply with the HOS requirements will be held accountable for any damage and injury caused as a result of non-compliance.
If you are involved in a truck accident, it can be difficult to determine all the factors in the crash. According to Attorney Miller: “It is crucial that anyone injured as a result of a commercial truck accident contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in truck accident litigation.”
For more information on the HOS final rule, please visit the FMCSA website at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOSFinalRule.