Large commercial trucks are involved in thousands of fatal crashes every year throughout the United States. In most cases, vehicle collisions are the result of driver errors. However, when it comes to large trucks, mechanical errors frequently contribute to crashes. Of course, proper truck maintenance can prevent most of these incidents and keep truck occupants and everyone on the road with them safer. Sadly, in some cases, truck companies fail to perform the necessary maintenance on their vehicles. If you or someone you love suffered injuries because of a poorly maintained or defective truck, you might be able to recover compensation from the trucking company. Truck crashes are some of the most severe incidents on the road and often leave victims with debilitating injuries. The compensation available to you can help you and your family move on after a devastating truck accident. Call the Durham Law Group today at 813-333-6250 to speak to one of our dedicated Tampa truck accident attorneys.
Rules Related to Truck Maintenance in Florida
Trucking companies are required by law to carry out certain maintenance on their vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration creates rules and enforces regulations for commercial trucks. Some of those rules require specific maintenance, repairs, and inspections on all commercial trucks. At the beginning and end of the trip, truckers must conduct inspections of their vehicles to ensure that the brakes and other equipment are functioning as intended. Expert inspectors must also carry out periodic checks on the vehicles to identify any potential issues. If a flaw in the truck exists, the driver cannot operate that vehicle. Along with the brakes, drivers must check signals, lights, mirrors, tires, coupling devices, and safety equipment.
In some cases, trucking companies might avoid removing a truck from service even when it has certain defects. Of course, repairs and truck replacement can be costly, and some owners might wish to postpone or avoid those expenses. In avoiding replacing or repairing a truck, those companies are placing everyone on the road in danger. Studies have found that many trucks on the road violate safety regulations and that, most often, violations have to do with the brakes of the truck. This is a particularly dangerous issue considering the fact that trucks require a great deal of space to come to a stop even when their brakes are in good working order. Faulty brakes may lead to a greater chance of a truck being involved in a severe crash. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deadly crashes involving trucks and passenger vehicles result in fatal injuries to the person or a person in the passenger vehicle 96% of the time. Those numbers indicate that truck crashes are more dangerous for people outside of the truck.
Risk Factors in Truck Crashes
Because of their size, large trucks create serious problems for others on the road. However, the design of these trucks also leads to other issues. For instance, the height of the trailer of a truck is high enough for the front of a vehicle to become wedged beneath it, leading to often deadly results. For this reason, large trucks are required to have rails on their rear end. Failing to have such rails in place puts other motorists in danger and is a violation of federal regulations. Some safety advocates are pushing to have such rails required on the side of truck trailers as well.
In addition to issues with truck brakes, the IIHS also states that steering column flaws are common in trucks. It is important to remember that trucks are difficult to maneuver and that defects can lead to even greater challenges in operating trucks. When added to the fact that truck drivers are often overworked and tired, defects can compound the risks caused by these massive vehicles.
Recovering from Injuries After a Tampa Truck Accident
If you sustained injuries in a collision caused by a large truck, it is important to understand your legal rights and options for recovering damages. An inspection of the vehicle involved could indicate that the truck was not in good working order, which could have contributed to the cause of the accident. It is important that you have a legal advocate who can ensure that such investigations are completed. Your attorney should work to prevent the loss of any evidence.
If the company responsible for maintaining a large truck failed to abide by the regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, that failure would be evidence of negligence on the part of that company and driver. Speak to a dedicated Tampa, Florida attorney to learn more about proving liability on the part have the truck driver or company and about the damages that may be available in your case.
Call the Durham Law Group After a Truck Crash in Tampa
The attorneys at the Durham Law Group are dedicated to representing accident victims in Tampa, Florida. Call us today at 813-333-6250 to discuss your claim with an experienced truck crash attorney.