Trucking is a big business. According to the U.S Department of Transportation (“DOT”), trucking accounts for 70% of the total tonnage and 71% of the value of all goods shipped in this country, and many truckers travel at least 600 miles to get to their destination. That puts a lot of trucks on the road for long distances.
In Louisiana alone, each year, the average number of fatalities from tractor-trailer accidents is over 100, while injuries from trucking accidents are over 3,000.
Big Accidents, Catastrophic Injuries.
Big rigs are more likely to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle crashes—(as opposed to single-vehicle crashes)— than are passenger cars.
The sheer tonnage of an 18-wheeler or semi-truck means that when commercial trucking accidents occur, the injuries to those involved are often catastrophic.
Trucking Accident Litigation.
It may not surprise you to learn that not only are trucking accidents different from passenger car accidents because of the tonnage of the vehicles and the seriousness of the injuries but litigating a truck accident case itself is different from a car crash case.
Trucking cases are different from passenger car accident cases in two main ways:
- the trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal government; and
- the number of responsible parties is greater.
The extensive federal regulations governing every aspect of the trucking industry and truckers means that today’s trucking cases require extensive knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations, common law negligence principles, trucking caselaw, as well as wrongful death and tort reform statutes. That’s a lot more law than is generally involved in a passenger car accident case. This is one of the factors that make truck accident litigation more complicated than passenger-injury accident cases.
With regard to the number of potentially responsible parties, there are far more than just the truck driver and/or the carrier he works for. In many cases, truck drivers are not the employees of the trucking company but are independent contractors hired to haul a load. In truck accident cases, potential defendants can include any number of people like the tire or brake manufacturer (depending on what might have failed and caused or contributed to the accident), the motor carrier that leased the company to start with, the vehicle manufacturer, the trailer manufacturer, the loading company, and many more.
Like the big rigs themselves, trucking accident litigation is unique. It has its own set of rules and is far more complex to investigate and litigate than passenger car accidents. That’s why we believe that anyone injured in an accident with a big rig should consult competent and experienced trucking accident counsel.
Truck Safety Laws Exist for a Reason.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a commercial trucking accident, call the Day Law Group. We are experienced trucking accident attorneys dedicated to getting our clients the compensation they deserve. We offer free consultations, and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Contact us ToDay or call (225) 465-1232.