Accidents involving semi-trucks are some of the most catastrophic. The sheer size and weight of a tractor-trailer make any collision involving one much more dangerous than those between two passenger vehicles.
The investigation into semi-truck accidents may take time due to the critical elements involved. However, since these crashes often result in catastrophic injuries or death, getting the outcome right is important. Find out why these investigations may prove complicated.
Truck driver liability
The investigation into a semi accident begins on the roadway. Depending on the severity of the crash, local authorities may need to coordinate efforts with federal investigators. A fair share of truck accidents occur because of driver fatigue. Even with hours of service regulations limiting the number of hours a driver may remain on the road before taking a lengthy break, drivers may still drive when tired. Therefore, the initial investigation will involve determining if the truck driver was negligent and caused the crash.
Truck company liability
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a list of requirements that trucking companies must maintain to comply with federal laws. After a crash, authorities may take a close look at the practices of the trucking company to determine if there is some measure of liability passed onto the corporation. The measures investigated include records such as:
- All driving records for the truck and the driver
- A current copy of the driver’s license
- All toxicology tests on the driver
- Maintenance logs for the truck
- Prior accident reports
With so many variables, finding fault in a truck accident may take time. With many variables in the mix, including weather, road conditions, grading and mechanical functions, the injured party may have to wait for a determination.