Truck accidents can be among the most devastating kinds of wrecks that take place on U.S. roads. Trucks carry heavy loads, some as much as 80,000 pounds, with some being even higher than this. When a truck collides with a passenger vehicle, often the individuals who are injured are those inside the smaller vehicle. The trucking industry is big business. According to the American Trucking Association, the trucking industry made an estimated $726 billion in gross annual revenue. Yet, despite these revenues, individuals continue to get hurt in truck accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 3,852 people died in large truck accidents in 2015 alone. If another similarly large industry resulted in the deaths of so many people in the general public, there would be a public outcry. Yet, the trucking industry, which uses our roads, continues to operate largely without impunity. This means that when accidents happen, it is often up to the families and victims to fight for their rights and to hold truck drivers, companies, and shippers accountable. Trucks are required to abide by a host of federal and local laws. The truck accident lawyers at Heilman Law Group, P.A. in Jackson, Mississippi understand these laws and fight aggressively when truck companies violate them. We can help you and your family fight these large companies and receive the compensation you may deserve under the law.
Truck companies and drivers are required to follow certain strict federal and state laws. However, drivers or companies sometimes violate these laws in order to meet demanding shipping schedules or to protect their bottom line. When these laws are broken, the general public can be put at risk.
- Hours of service laws. Federal hours of service laws limit how long drivers can operate a truck in a given stretch of time or over the period of a work week. Sometimes drivers fail to log their hours as they are required to do so by law. Other times they may falsify their logs. When drivers break the law, they could be fatigued, making them more likely to make a mistake behind the wheel. It can be difficult to know if a driver was tired scientifically because there is no breath or blood test to determine fatigue. However, the semi truck accident attorneys at the Heilman Law Group, P.A. in Jackson, MS can review your truck driver’s logs, shipping schedules, and put these facts together to see if the truck driver violated the law.
- Vehicle maintenance. Truck companies are required to keep their trucks in working order. They need to maintain the tires, the brakes, and other equipment. Failed brakes and failed tires can result in devastating crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident due to a blown tire, the Heilman Law Group, P.A. in Jackson, Mississippi can review maintenance logs and see what kind of tires were put on the truck. Sometimes truck companies illegally use retread or used tires, putting all road users and their drivers, at risk.
- Truck driver health. Truck drivers are required to pass health examinations in order to maintain their licensure. However, these examinations may not occur often and drivers’ health conditions can change. Companies have a responsibility to monitor their drivers to ensure that their health is in good condition. Drivers sometimes take medication that can interfere with their attention behind the wheel. Other drivers may get behind the wheel with dangerous conditions like sleep apnea that can result in fatigue or other problems. If your driver wasn’t in good health, the truck company may be responsible for covering your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages from your accident.
- Overloaded trucks. In most cases, trucks should not exceed weights of 80,000 pounds. However, sometimes companies overload their trucks in order to ship more goods and improve their bottom lines. However, overloaded trucks pose a serious hazard to other road users.
There are many laws that truck companies must follow in order to operate. When companies fail to abide by these laws, everyone is put at risk. Unlike accidents involving passenger vehicles, truck companies have an additional set of laws they must follow. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, it is important to protect your rights. Don’t accept blame for the crash. It can sometimes be difficult to know whether a truck driver was in violation of the law at the scene of the crash. A qualified semi truck accident lawyer, like the Heilman Law Group, P.A. can investigate your case and hold drivers or companies accountable if they broke the law.
Protect Your Rights
Truck companies may have teams of lawyers fighting on their side, protecting their interests. If you’ve been in a wreck, you and your family may only have a limited amount of time to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. The truck accident attorneys at Heilman Law Group, P.A. in Jackson, MS understand the complexity of federal and local laws. We can identify all stakeholders involved and fight for your rights. In a passenger vehicle accident, often the people at fault are limited to the drivers in the accident. However, with truck crashes, many stakeholders may be responsible: from truck drivers, truck company owners, maintenance crews, or shippers. The Heilman Law Group, P.A. are semi truck accident attorneys in Jackson, MS who can review the entire operating practice of a company to find gaps and hold companies accountable. As federal regulations have relaxed, truck companies may believe that they can cut more corners. By holding companies responsible when they make deadly errors, families send an important message to these companies, owners, and drivers.