Passenger vehicle occupants involved in crashes with tractor-trailers and other heavy commercial trucks are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or die. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established in 2000 with the major purpose of preventing these collisions.
Nevertheless, traffic accidents between large commercial trucks and much smaller passenger vehicles continue to occur at an alarming rate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 95,000 people were injured and 3,964 were killed in traffic crashes involving large trucks in one recent year. Occupants of the other vehicles (not the large trucks) accounted for 71 percent of those fatalities.
There are many different reasons why these accidents happen. Truck driver error is often a factor, as well as issues with the way the truck is loaded and maintained.
At Kraft & Associates, P.C., our legal team investigates accidents involving heavy trucks to determine what the real cause was and who should be held responsible for the victims’ losses. Our team of attorneys has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for injured people over our decades of legal practice. We represent victims in truck accident cases, as well as families who have lost loved ones in accidents involving tractor-trailers and other big trucks.
Let the law offices of Kraft & Associates, P.C., advise you about your rights after an accident caused by a negligent trucker. You should seek legal advice immediately – before you discuss the matter with an insurance adjuster and before you sign anything.
The FMCSA and NHTSA conducted a nationwide, multi-year study of the contributing factors in large truck crashes. In a report to Congress on the study, FMCSA lists the top contributing factors to large truck and passenger vehicle two-vehicle crashes, along with the percentage of accidents associated with that factor on the part of the large truck or its driver. The factors include:
FMCSA notes that while legal drug use was a common factor, driver conduct dominates the list. In fact, truck drivers drove too fast for conditions almost 50 percent more often than passenger car drivers. More than a quarter of trucks accidents investigated involved truck brake issues. Other contributing factors include brake failure, cargo shifts, weather conditions, dangerous roadways, illegal drug use, and alcohol consumption.
Truck accident cases are generally more complex than accident cases that involve only cars. Because death or catastrophic injuries often result from large truck crashes, the stakes are much higher in this type of claim. In addition, because large trucks are usually operated by drivers who are employed by trucking companies, and the trucks are manufactured, repaired, leased and loaded by other companies, trucking claims often involve multiple potentially responsible parties besides the driver. That can mean more sources of compensation for victims, but also several teams of insurance companies and lawyers fighting the claim.
At Kraft & Associates, P.C., we want to help with your truck accident legal issues. We have the resources necessary to fully investigate the crash and determine its true cause. Our friendly, lawyers are easy to talk to and have decades of experience handling all types of commercial vehicle accidents.
Talk to us before you talk to an insurance adjuster or sign any paperwork from an insurance company.