Accidents involving large, commercial trucks are among the most serious and most lethal in the United States. Trucking accidents are a specialized area of practice. The Sweeney Law Firm has contacts with accident investigators, trucking safety experts, and accident reconstruction experts that can be sent to the scene of an accident to gather evidence. Serious injury cases involving commercial trucks require prompt action to investigate the crash, preserve evidence, and interview witnesses. There are many potential defendants and sources of recovery in cases involving semi trucks, tankers, tractor-trailers and other types of heavy-duty commercial vehicles. These defendants may include owners, drivers, shippers, lessees, lessors, loaders, brokers and other logistics providers.
In order for an attorney to handle a commercial trucking case, the attorney should be knowledgeable in both state and federal safety regulations that apply to trucks. Your personal injury attorney should also understand the complexities of commercial motor vehicle insurance policies. Trucking companies are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations regarding the tractors and trailers they provide to their drivers. Many trucking accidents are caused by equipment that is poorly maintained. Likewise, trucking companies are required to conduct background checks on drivers and limit the drivers’ hours of service. Driver fatigue is a common problem in the trucking industry. Many trucking companies violate Federal regulations regarding the number of hours their drivers spend behind the wheel. Commercial truck drivers are required to fill out “logs” of their driving activity. The driver’s logs often shed light on whether a driver was behind the wheel too long at the time of the collision. The Sweeney Law Firm has access to trucking safety experts who can interpret and explain the driver logs. However, trucking companies are only required to maintain driver logs for six months. Waiting too long to hire an experienced trucking accident attorney may deny the injured person (or the survivors of a person killed in a truck accident) access to the logs and jeopardize the case. Cases against trucking companies require prompt investigation and legal action.