If you have ever traveled along any of the thousands of miles of highway in the United States, you have almost certainly shared the road with a semi-truck or big rig at some point. According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were more than 1.5 million for-hire and private trucking companies in the country with more than 36 million trucks being used for business purposes. Truck accidents are unfortunately not uncommon; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported nearly 5,000 fatal truck crashes and around 116,000 crashes causing injury in 2017. While truck drivers are almost always responsible for a portion of the blame in accidents, trucking companies can also be held responsible in some cases. Here are a few ways trucking companies might be responsible for truck accidents:
Not Maintaining or Servicing the Truck
Commercial motor vehicles (CMV’s) are large and have a lot of different parts than other vehicles. The primary purpose of a CMV is business, meaning these vehicles travel thousands of miles every month and require much more service and maintenance than other vehicles. Federal trucking regulations state that every motor carrier is required to perform routine maintenance and inspection of their CMV’s to ensure all parts are in working order. If a CMV gets into an accident and it is found that the truck was partially to blame, the trucking company can be held liable for the accident.
Hiring Drivers Who Lack Qualifications/Experience
Because of the enormous size and weight of CMV’s, truck drivers are held to a higher standard of training and experience before they are permitted to operate a CMV. All drivers employed to drive CMV’s are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with the proper endorsements to be legally permitted to drive. It is the job of the trucking company to ensure their drivers have the proper training, experience, licensing and endorsements to drive a CMV. If they are lacking in any of those areas, the trucking company may be liable for the accident.
Forcing Drivers to Violate Trucking Regulations
There are quite a few regulations on both the state and the federal level when it comes to the trucking industry. These regulations are put in place for the safety of everyone on the road, which is why they are taken so seriously. Perhaps one of the most commonly violated trucking regulation is the hours of service rule. The hours of service rule sets limits on how much a driver can drive in a week, in a day and at one time. The rules also include regulations on breaks and mealtimes. These rules serve to prevent accidents due to drowsy driving and if it can be proven that a trucking company either pressured the driver into violating those rules or forced him or her too, the trucking company could be responsible for the accident.
Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact a Park Ridge, IL Truck Accident Injury Attorney Today
Truck accidents can cause some very serious injuries because of the size of the vehicles. If you have suffered injuries from an Illinois truck accident, you should contact a Des Plaines, IL truck accident injury lawyer as soon as possible. At the Quinn Law Group, LLC, we understand the impact that truck accident injuries can have on your life. Call our office today at 847-232-7180 to schedule a free consultation.