Not every attorney is familiar with the nuances involved in trucking accidents. At Foran & Foran, P.A. we are experienced truck accident attorneys. There are several state and Federal Statutes particularly applicable to truck accidents. Some things that an experienced truck accident lawyer will look for in a trucking accident include conduct of the driver that a jury might find offensive, improperly maintained vehicles, inadequate training and or safety programs in place at the trucking company. Congress passed the "Motor Carrier Act" in 1935 to set forth the obligations of a motor carrier in a national system of rules and regulations. Now the Interstate Commerce Commission has jurisdiction over motor carrier transportation. There are various liability theories against trucking companies. Obviously, driver negligence is the initial theory that will be brought. Many of the same aspects of law that control negligence cases against automobile drivers also control accidents involving trucks. Driver fatigue is often a factor in truck accidents. Thus, obtaining a copy of the manifest for the truck indicating its routes, stops, deliveries and other requirements is important. Daily driving logs become important in establishing driver fatigue. One of our experienced truck accident lawyers can help develop your theory of liability.
Another theory involving truck accidents is negligent employment of the driver. Driver applications, which are quite extensive, often indicate the prior accidents involving the driver as well as prior violations and license suspensions. If the employer has not conducted a proper investigation into the background of the driver it could open a claim of improper hiring against the employer. Moreover, a negligent supervision or negligent entrustment claim against a company may be applicable if proper procedures are not followed. Sometimes, a person leases equipment and a driver to another company which could bring separate entities into the litigation.
ICC regulations require mandatory equipment for trucks that could also open up liability theories against trucking companies. These could include failure to provide lighting devices, reflectors, other electrical or emergency equipment, mandatory brake requirements and the like. There is an entire set of hazardous material, driving and parking regulations that truckers must obey. There are also minimum standards for inspection, repair and maintenance of equipment that must be provided and kept. In the event another person or entity performs maintenance and/or repairs on a truck involved in an accident, that company might be responsible for damages if the maintenance or repairs were faulty. Under some state and other governmental regulations, companies are also required to maintain accident reports for a designated period of time which could prove to be helpful in litigation as well. The experienced trucking accident attorney knows how to obtain these records in discovery.
For several years, trucking companies attempted to avoid responsibility for accidents by leasing vehicles. Congress closed this loophole and now authorizes the ICC to require trucking companies to be responsible for trucks certified to them. Every lease now has required provisions that require the trucking company leasing a truck to be responsible for the operation of the equipment for the duration of the lease. There are also insurance requirements that apply for accidents.
Often, trucking companies have associated companies that can be brought into litigation. Either through an agency theory, joint venture or joint enterprise theory or by attempting to pierce the corporate veil, there are multiple ways of approaching a particular trucking accident where other parties may also be involved.
The experienced trucking accident attorney understands the special language used in the trucking industry. The experienced trucking accident lawyer realizes where a tractor-trailer is involved in an accident it could lead to multiple defendants including not only the driver of the tractor but also the owner of both the tractor and trailer, lessors and lessees of the tractor and/or trailer, agents, servants and/or employees of both the tractor and/or trailer, manufacturers of both the tractor and/or trailer, and/or maintenance persons or service persons for the tractor and/or trailer. Moreover, the experienced truck accident attorney realizes and understands the nuances of the interstate commerce law, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, truck insurance policies (especially the MCS-90 endorsement), log retention requirements, and spoliation of evidence issues.
The truck driver has a unique standard of care because of the various issues that arise while operating a truck or tractor-trailer. Driver fatigue, jacknifing, deadheading, unsecured loads, underrides, defective brakes and other products present separate issues for the truck accident attorney. Similarly, loading docks, forklifts, and the duty to provide a safe workplace present important issues for the truck accident attorney to investigate. Liability for spillage of a load or explosion of hazardous cargo create yet other special circumstances that an experienced truck accident attorney knows how to handle. Tire pressure monitoring systems are now in effect for many trucks. Under-inflation of truck, tractor and/or trailer tires causes many accidents. Often, trucks are equipped with sensors to advise the driver of any tire pressure problems. The experienced truck accident attorney knows how to obtain the records of these sensors in discovery. Moreover, there are various trailer tracking systems installed on tractor trailer rigs that can tell where a particular rig is at any given time. If there is a dispute as to whether a tractor trailer was at the scene of an accident because the driver escaped from the scene and could not be caught but enough information was obtained to identify the vehicle, an experienced truck accident lawyer will know how to obtain this information as well.
Trucking accidents are more complicated than normal motor vehicle accidents. Frequently, an accident reconstruction expert will be involved in these accidents which presents the necessity to have an attorney who understands the language and mathematics of accident reconstruction studies, equipment testing, speed calculations, braking calculations and all sorts of other technical data. You should not give your trucking accident case to an inexperienced attorney or to one who has not handled significant trucking accidents.
Have you or a loved one ever been a victim of an accident involving a commercial vehicle such as a truck, tractor trailer, or bus? The law offices of Foran and Foran, P.A. based out of Greenbelt, MD, have more than 60 years of combined experience you need to get you what you deserve. Often truck driver, tractor trailer drivers and bus drivers work for a commercial motor vehicle company. There are thousands of commercial vehicle companies in Maryland. Sometimes, the drivers of these commercial vehicles are not qualified to operate the vehicle, which often leads to reckless driving. This sort of reckless driving is not excusable and can lead to devastating consequences. Examples of these types of consequences as a result of a truck or tractor trailer accident are head and neck injury, back injury, spinal cord injury, soft tissue injury, severe burning, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones. In many instances, people have to miss time at work due to injuries caused by a truck accident. If you live in the Prince Georges County Maryland area and you feel as though you have suffered from one of these injuries resulting from a truck or tractor trailer accident, please call the law offices of Foran and Foran, P.A.
There are countless reasons why accidents happen on the road, but most of the time, the main reason is due to unsafe, reckless or careless driving. Examples of this type of dangerous driving include violations such as speeding, improperly changing lanes, and failure to stop at a traffic light. Another major contributor to reckless driving in commercial vehicles, trucks and tractor trailers is driving while fatigued. Many truck and bus drivers operate their vehicles during odd hours, and their schedules often include shift work. Long shifts and late night driving causes drivers of commercial vehicles to become over tired, which accounts for numerous accidents on the road. Also, drivers of commercial vehicles are regulated to be driving under a certain number of maximum hours of service during each trip. Many times, drivers violate these regulations in order to complete the job more quickly and to get the trip over with. By exceeding the maximum number of hours of service, drivers often become fatigued behind the wheel, which leads to more accidents. If you feel as though you have been a victim of an accident involving a commercial vehicle, the law offices of Foran and Foran, P.A might be able to help you.
Unfortunately, drivers of commercial vehicles, trucks and tractor trailers may sometimes lean on harmful substances such as drugs or alcohol in order to stay awake. In addition, some drivers misuse prescription or over the counter drugs in order to ward off sickness caused by fatigue or shift work. Any of these substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, or illegal drugs can easily impair a driver’s ability to operate a commercial vehicle. If you or anyone you know has ever been involved in a commercial vehicle, truck or tractor trailer accident that was not your fault, it would benefit you to call the law offices of Foran and Foran, P.A.
Another contributor to certain truck and bus accidents is due to the driver of the vehicle being unprepared to drive because of lack of training and experience. Some companies who hire these drivers fail to ensure a proper commercial driver’s license. Also, certain drivers may not be medically qualified to operate a commercial vehicle. Examples of medical issues that could effect a driver’s ability to properly and safely operate a commercial vehicle include but are not limited to: vision problems, sleep disorders, cardiovascular issues, respiratory issues, psychiatric issues. The commercial vehicle companies must ensure that the drivers they hire are safe and medically qualified to operate a commercial vehicle. If you or anyone you know has ever been involved in a truck or bus accident, you should consider calling the law offices of Foran and Foran, P.A.
Other factors that contribute to truck and bus accidents are the maintenance of the vehicle as well as cargo issues. Failing to maintain the overall safety of the commercial vehicle can lead to serious problems, which can cause severe accidents on the road. Examples of routine maintenance include things such as brake issues, lighting, fluid levels, repairs on any parts, and electrical or mechanical problems. Most importantly, has the truck or bus been properly maintained and serviced? Furthermore, what type of cargo is the truck carrying and is it safe and secure on the truck? Failure to properly secure cargo on a truck can lead to devastating consequences. Many factors contribute to the proper securement of cargo on trucks, and it is the truck company’s responsibility to ensure that these factors are all met before a driver starts the trip and gets behind the wheel. If you or someone you know has been a victim of an accident involving a commercial vehicle, the law offices of Foran and Foran P.A. are here to assist and educate you.
Overall, an accident involving a commercial vehicle such as a truck or a bus should be taken seriously and deserves a great deal of attention and care. There are so many factors to consider and the expert attorneys at the law offices of Foran and Foran, P.A. are willing to get you what you deserve. Our law office is conveniently located off of the Beltway near cities such as Bowie, Laurel, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Clinton, Suitland, Landover, and Chillum. Too many innocent people lose their lives due to trucking companies who failed to ensure that the operator of their vehicle was driving under the safest conditions. The law offices of Foran and Foran based out of Greenbelt, MD specialize in helping innocent victims or families of victims who have been devastated by such tragedies in the trucking world.
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