Because of their size, weight, and limited maneuverability, semi-trucks pose a higher risk of causing or being involved in serious accidents. If you have been injured by a semi-truck—as a result of a negligent driver, a poorly maintained vehicle, or both—you can find the support you need at Smolen Law.
Evidence of maintenance or operator negligence can be difficult to prove, which is why our attorneys work with accident reconstruction and technical experts to examine trucking accidents carefully.
First Step: Gather Evidence
We know from past semi-truck accident cases that if there is not enough evidence to back up a claim, the case likely will be dismissed in favor of the truck driver or trucking company. That’s why we work quickly to gather evidence and capture pertinent testimony.
We work closely with experts to investigate and analyze all of the internal and external factors that contributed to the accident, including:
- Review of truck company records, including maintenance and driver safety records.
- Review of the driver’s logbook and the truck’s electronic on-board recorder (EOBR), if applicable, for information about truck speed at the time of the accident, the distance it had covered prior to the accident, and other details.
- Interviews and depositions of all witnesses and involved parties.
- Investigation of the accident scene.
- Examination of the truck to spot evidence of failed equipment, impact damage, and other contributing factors.
Each year, there are tens of thousands of non-fatal accidents involving semi-trucks. Injuries range from broken bones and whiplash to paralysis, amputation, and traumatic brain injury. If you were injured in a semi-truck accident due to the carelessness of a trucking company or its driver, let Smolen Law get you the compensation you deserve.
Having the Smolen Law firm on your team is especially important if you suffer a catastrophic injury—an injury that adversely affects your quality of life permanently or for an extended period. We will fight to ensure that your long-term medical and financial needs are met.
Federal Trucking Regulations
Truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to federal motor carrier regulations designed to ensure the safety of large trucks and the public. An accident often is a result of violating these federal regulations, and when it is, we will work hard to hold accountable the driver and/or trucking company for the damage and injuries they have caused.
Federal motor carrier safety regulations include:
- Hours-of-service limits, a provision designed to keep exhausted truck drivers off the road. In most cases, commercial truck drivers are limited to a maximum of 11 hours of driving per day, and at least ten hours between driving shifts.
- Alcohol and drugs: Commercial truck drivers are held to stricter DUI standards than other drivers. For example, if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.04 percent or higher, they are in violation of DUI laws. Also, they are prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle within four hours of consuming alcohol and are subject to other laws involving prescription drugs.
- Weight limits: On interstate highways, trucks have a maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds. This limit is not only for safety reasons, but also to protect wear and tear on the nation’s highways.
- Maintenance and repair: Federal regulations provide minimum inspection standards for commercial trucks, but some companies ignore routine safety inspections and fail to train their drivers to recognize signs of trouble. When building our case, lack of safety inspection and maintenance records can provide persuasive evidence of negligence.