You may not be aware of the important role that the trucking industry plays in the country’s economy, but chances are you are aware of the number of trucks on America’s roads every day. Truckers are responsible for moving goods from one side of the country to the other, and, were they to go on strike, life, as you know it, would be dramatically impacted.
However, there is another side to this vital role that truck drivers play and it has to do with accidents in which they are involved, generally with vehicles that are much smaller than theirs. Suppose you or a loved one have been injured in an accident due to truck driver negligence. In that case, the team of Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers at the Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky law firm is ready to listen to your story and help you fight for your legal rights. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with our truck accident lawyer, and let us offer you the legal guidance you need.
Most Common Truck Accidents
Truckers must follow federal laws overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA has established how many hours a truck driver can be behind the wheel without taking a break, how heavy their loads must be, and many other aspects of a trucker’s duties while driving.
However, despite all these rules and regulations, trucks are often involved in serious accidents. Although some of those may be the fault of car drivers, others are caused by the truck drivers themselves, mostly due to their negligence.
Many of the mistakes that truck drivers make are due to:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Texting while driving
- Aggressive driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving with a load that is too heavy for their trucks
Holding a Truck Driver Accountable for Your Injuries
It is a widespread truth that mistakes can and do happen. However, negligence is something completely different. Truck drivers need to be aware of the size and weight of the vehicle they are driving, particularly when compared with the many smaller vehicles around them on the road. They should also be aware that this increased size and weight pose serious dangers to those around them.
If you are injured due to the negligence of a truck driver, your accident attorney from the law firm of Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky in Pittsburgh must prove that the truck driver was responsible for the collision. To prove that there was negligence, your attorney will gather and provide evidence that the following elements were present:
Duty of Care
This means that the truck driver had a duty to drive responsibly and follow the law. Additionally, the trucking company must use safe loading and maintenance routines.
Breach of Duty
If the truck driver fails to uphold the duty of driving responsibly, they may be found liable for their actions. This is defined as a breach of duty.
This means that the negligent actions of the truck driver were what caused your injuries and the damage to your personal property. Your accident attorney must prove that it was the negligent driver who was responsible for the accident.
If you were injured or suffered harm as a result of the truck driver’s negligent actions, your attorney will have to prove that these actions caused actual damages as a result of the above causation.
How We Can Help
Your truck accident attorney will conduct an investigation into the accident and gather all the evidence available to build a strong case for your defense. An important part of the evidence is the truck driver’s qualification file or DQF. The DQF must include:
- The full accident history of both the truck and its driver, with all the vehicle’s driving records.
- The driver’s employment history.
- Results of the drug and alcohol tests that the driver has received.
- Road test results
- Records of the driver’s service hours
- Training certificates
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Copies of licenses of the driver
- Records of annual reviews of the truck’s maintenance
- Any medical certifications the driver has received
- Employment applications
It is crucial to have legal help when trying to obtain the DFQ since trucking companies may be reluctant to hand over this information. However, an experienced attorney will work hard for you and get the documentation needed for your defense.
Liability in a Truck Accident Case
When a truck is involved in an accident, there may be other parties that are also responsible for the crash. It may be whoever hired the driver without making sure that they had the right training and qualifications, the trucking company, whoever loaded the truck’s cargo, the person who leased the truck or the truck’s manufacturer, or the manufacturer of parts of the truck such as tires, brakes, and others.
You may find that the trucking company is not willing to admit liability. They may claim that the driver was an independent contractor, not working for their company, or that they do not own the truck and are therefore not responsible for any accident that involves this vehicle.Let the experienced truck accident attorneys at the law firm of Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky in Pittsburgh take care of the legal aspects of your accident and fight to get you the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovering your health. Schedule a consultation today.