Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions
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Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident: Carrier or Driver?
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you might be wondering whether the truck driver or the truck carrier is liable for your injuries and damages. In most cases, if the driver is negligent, the company will be liable for the driver's negligent actions.
At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz P.C., we can help you establish that the truck driver’s negligence caused your accident and resulting injuries and that the trucking company is also liable for its employee’s negligent actions. If we successfully establish liability, causation, and damages, you may recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related costs. Call us today at 404-474-0804.
Establishing Truck Driver Negligence
Truck drivers must follow the rules of the road that passenger vehicles follow, as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s truck driving regulations. If a driver fails to follow these rules, they will have breached their duty to other motorists on the road. This breach of duty constitutes negligence.
Our attorneys can establish that a truck driver is liable for your injuries and damages if we can show that their negligence caused your injuries. To prove our claim, we may present the following evidence:
- Logbooks and delivery records – The FMCSA requires drivers to keep records of their hours on the road to ensure that they do not drive too many consecutive hours on the road. However, some drivers will falsify their records to drive for longer hours and make their deliveries quicker. Delivery receipts and log records can show that driver drove too many consecutive hours and was therefore “fatigued” at the time of the accident. Driver fatigue is a form of negligence.
- Videos, photos, and records – In-truck cameras and data recorders and other data from onboard systems can show that a truck driver engaged in distracted driving, speeding or other negligent behaviors at the time of the accident. Photos of the scene of the crash, videos of the crash and cell phone records can also provide evidence of negligence.
- Driver records – Truck drivers must have the appropriate qualifications, licenses, and training to operate their trucks. The driver’s file may indicate if the driver lacked the appropriate training or licensure to drive the truck.
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance records – Vehicles must undergo inspections and regular maintenance to ensure they continue to meet federal standards. Failure to conduct these inspections may result in failed brakes, tire blowouts and other defects that cause accidents.
- Loading records – Load and cargo evidence may indicate an overloaded truck.Overloading a truck may result in brake failure.
- Witnesses and experts – Eyewitness testimony from people who saw the accident may testify as to what happened at the time of the crash. Medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and other experts can testify regarding the mechanics of the accident, the nature and severity of your injuries, necessary medical treatments, what caused the accident and other important parts of the case.
By proving negligence, causation, and damages, we can show that the driver is liable for your accident-related injuries and damages.
Proving Truck Carrier Negligence
Proving truck carrier negligence is different from proving truck driver negligence. If a company is cutting corners, they should be liable for victim’s injuries. Truck carriers may be liable for:
- Hiring incompetent or unqualified drivers
- Failing to provide training for drivers or supervisors
- Failing to conduct proper vehicle inspections and maintenance
- The negligent actions of their drivers
But even if the truck carrier was not directly negligent, it may be vicariously liable for your injuries if the truck driver caused the accident. Under the theory of respondeat superior, the truck carrier may be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of the truck driver (e.g., speeding, failing to yield, distracted driving). Respondeat superior protects the victim and holds companies responsible for the actions of their employees.To establish liability of a truck carrier under this theory, we must show:
- The truck carrier employed the truck driver – The law does not consider independent contractors and truck drivers who work for third-party companies as employees of the truck carrier. In many cases, truck carriers will contract with a third-party company and use their trucks and employees for their deliveries. If this is the case, truck accident victims may file claims against the third-party or contracting company instead of the truck carrier.
- The truck driver was driving within the scope of employment – If a truck driver was conducting business to benefit the trucking company at the time of the accident, and their actions were within the scope of their employment, the trucking company may be liable for damages. If an employee was running a personal errand with the truck and got into an accident, the truck carrier will not be liable for the crash. Courts will consider many factors, including the driver’s general job description, to determine whether the driver was acting within the scope of employment.
Both truck carriers and truck drivers - and other parties - may be liable for truck accident victims’ damages and injuries. The attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R.Schultz P.C. could assist you with your claim against both parties. Call 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation with an attorney.
Which Parties May Be Liable for a Truck Accident?
Depending on the circumstances, the driver or the driver's employer, and even the truck manufacturer may be liable for causing your accident.
The truck accident lawyers at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. can help you figure out who is liable for your wreck and file claims against them on your behalf. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to talk about your situation.
Who Is Liable for Your Truck Accident?
If we pursue damages on your behalf, we may file a claim against any party who contributed to the accident. One or more of the following parties may be liable:
Our attorneys file most truck accident claims against the truck driver.Truck drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles safely and by state laws. When a truck driver operates his or her truck negligently or recklessly and causes an accident, they may be liable for any resulting injuries and damages. Negligent truck drivers may engage in one or more of these behaviors behind the wheel:
Fatigued Driving: Truck drivers may have to drive through the night to ensure their deliveries reach their destination on time. Because of this pressure, many drivers do not adhere to the federal trucking regulations that require them to take frequent breaks and end up falling asleep at the wheel. When the driver falls asleep, the truck may veer into oncoming traffic and cause a serious collision.
Distracted Driving: Truck drivers drive for long stretches of time. Some drivers may find it difficult to focus and resort to checking their phones, texting, adjusting the radio, reading, eating or engaging in other distracting behaviors. However, taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can have catastrophic consequences.
Drunk Driving: Truck drivers that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of an accident may be liable for the victims’ damages. Alcohol and drugs may impair the driver’s decision-making abilities, slow reaction times and cause blurred vision.
Failing to Follow Traffic Laws/Driver Errors: The law holds truck drivers to a higher standard than drivers of passenger vehicles due to the risks posed by their large vehicles. Truck drivers who do not have proper training or enough experience are more likely to make errors behind the wheel. Truckers must adhere to all trucking regulations and state traffic laws. The most common violations include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Disobeying traffic control devices such as red lights and stop signs
- Making sharp turns
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Failure to apply brakes
To file a negligence claim against a truck driver, we will establish the following:
- The driver acted negligently by breaching a duty owed to you.
- The driver’s negligence caused your accident.
- You suffered damages in the accident.
Truck drivers are not the only ones responsible for an accident victim’s injuries and damages. We may also file our claim against the trucking company that employs the driver.Trucking companies may be liable under the following theories:
- Respondeat superior – Under this theory, the trucking company is vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employee, as long as the company, in fact, employed them and they acted within their scope of employment at the time of the accident.
- Negligent hiring – If a trucking company hires a driver without investigating his or her background, it could be liable for accidents the driver causes. For example, a company that hires a driver who does not have a commercial license can be liable for negligent hiring.
- Negligent supervision – Companies must train their supervisors and drivers adequately according to federal trucking regulations. Failure to properly train employees may constitute negligent supervision. Trucking companies that encourage drivers to violate trucking laws to make deliveries on time may also be liable.
- Failure to inspect – Trucking companies and drivers must conduct regular inspections to make sure their trucks are working properly. If a company fails to inspect a truck and a defect causes an accident, they could be liable for damages.
In addition to truck drivers and trucking companies, truck manufacturers may also be liable for your truck accident. Tire blowouts, faulty brakes, defective steering and other mechanical defects can cause truck accidents. If a truck malfunctions and that malfunction causes an accident, the truck manufacturer and the manufacturer of the faulty part may be liable for damages if we can establish that the defect caused the accident. However, drivers and trucking companies also may be liable if they did not conduct regular inspections of the vehicle.
File a Claim Against Liable Parties in Your Accident
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident, talk the attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz P.C. We can evaluate your claim, determine who is liable for your injuries, and pursue compensation on your behalf. For more information, call 404-474-0804.
What is a jackknife accident?
Simply put, it is any vehicle that is towing a trailer where the driver loses control (for a variety of reasons) and the trailer moves at a faster speed than the truck cab that is towing it. This causes the trailer to “fold” toward the towing vehicle –through an uncontrollable skid – which causes the cab to “fold” backward into the trailer. The most serious injury-related jackknife accident occurs with large semis (18+ wheelers) because of their tremendous size and weight.
What causes an 18-wheeler truck/trailer to jackknife?
There are a variety of reasons for jackknife truck accidents. But generally, they happen when a truck's drive train wheels (the four sets of double wheels at the rear of the cab) lock because the driver suddenly tries to stop. This causes the driver to lose control and the trailer – traveling at a faster speed – “yaws” forward, bringing the cab to the same side that the trailer is moving.
Like cars, trucks must slow down when roads are wet or covered with ice or snow; as skidding is a heightened danger. Windy conditions can also affect semis; especially those pulling high-profile trailers. Tandem trailers (a cab pulling two trailers) are especially susceptible to skids that can cause a serious jackknife accident.
Speeding and Sudden Stops
A truck topping a hill on an Interstate at 75 miles an hour that suddenly encounters an accident backup forces the driver to slam on the brakes. Only the most experienced drivers can do this safely; if they have enough distance to stop. Otherwise, the trailer’s speed is too high; especially if the brakes on the trailer might be in need of servicing.
Generally, a truck driver has three “sudden stop” options.
- Lock the steering axle brakes; that keep the rig moving in a straight-ahead direction; regardless of which direction the driver is steering.
- Secure the drive shafts; which should only be done at very slow speeds (and used when the truck is backing up). This is how a lot of jackknife accidents occur.
- Lock the trailer axles (or both if the rig is a tandem). But the driver loses directional control and can go into an uncontrollable skid; causing the semi to either jackknife or overturn.
Sometimes as the truck just begins to skid, the driver will overcorrect (either steering too much into the skid or in the opposite direction).
Sometimes a truck is dangerously overloaded, which places greater strain on the trailer axle’s braking system. This is especially dangerous if the trailer’s brakes need servicing.
If the cargo is not properly secured it can shift. This effect’s the trailer’s balance so badly it could tilt or move; often causing a jackknife accident.
Jason R. Schultz fights for injured motorists’ rights when a negligent truck driver causes harm. Contact our office today: (404) 474-0804.
What is 'squeeze play' in a Peachtree City truck accident?
Squeeze play is when a truck making a right turn squeezes the car in the lane behind it against a curb or barrier. If you've ever driven near a semi truck for any length of time you may have noticed that turning is not as simple as it is in a regular passenger vehicle. The unique design and movement of the cab and trailer combination make right turns a bit more difficult, and the maneuver can often be deceiving to nearby drivers.
How a Semi Tractor-Trailer Makes a Right Turn
When a semi truck begins a right turn, the cab often starts to turn left first, positioning the cab slightly in the left lane and the trailer diagonally between the left and center lanes. Diagonally-positioning the cab is done to allow the truck enough room to swing the trailer wide sufficient to make the right turn. Unaware vehicles traveling behind the tractor-trailer may be caught in what is known as 'squeeze play' if they do not drop back in their lane and allow the truck to complete their turn.
Semi trucks weigh thousands of pounds, and the crushing force can completely demolish a small car, causing serious or fatal injuries. To avoid squeeze play truck accidents, never follow a semi truck too closely. Watch for turn signals along the cab and trailer and when you see a truck starting to turn, back off to a safe distance to allow the vehicle to complete the maneuver. Never attempt to speed up and overtake or pass a semi, as they may not be changing to the left lane, but rather preparing for a right turn.
What To Do If You Were Hit By a Trucker
If you were caught between a semi truck and a barrier or other object in a squeeze play accident, contact The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. We provide legal support to Peachtree City residents who suffer serious injuries, like head injuries, or the loss of a loved one because of truck accidents. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation regarding your legal options. 404-474-0804.
Where Are a Truck's Blind Spots?
A blind spot is an area around a vehicle that has limited visibility. If you are in another vehicle’s blind spot, the driver cannot see you in his mirrors. A truck’s blind spots are unusually large because the drivers sit up much higher than the drivers of cars, the vehicles are long, and the trailer portion of the rig blocks the truck driver’s view.
Where Are a Truck's Blind Spots?
Trucks have four blind spots. If you are in a truck’s blind spot, you are invisible to the driver. These spots include:
Front Blind Spot on a Truck
If you are in a small car or a motorcycle and you zip in front of a tractor-trailer, the driver will not be able to see you. A truck driver cannot see approximately 20 feet in front of the cab.
Back Blind Spot on a Truck
This area leaves both you and the truck driver blind. You cannot see what is on the road ahead, so you have little time to react if the truck swerves or slows quickly. The rig driver cannot see you through the trailer. Many people do not realize that a truck’s rear blind spot can extend up to 100 feet behind the back of the trailer.
While that number sounds surprising, Consumer Reports says passenger cars can have rear blind spots up to 24 feet, SUVs up to 31 feet, and pickup trucks up to 50 feet. The longer the vehicle, the larger the blind spot.
Left Side Blind Spot on a Truck
The driver can only see you if you are even with the cab or the driver’s side door. If you are driving alongside the truck at other spots, the driver will be unlikely to see you, especially in the front half of the trailer.
Right Side Blind Spot on a Truck
The right side of a truck is no man’s land. Not only can the truck driver not see you at all if you are riding alongside on the right, the driver also cannot see the people in the lanes on your right. A tractor trailer’s right side blind spot can include three entire lanes to the right of the truck.
How Can You Avoid a Truck's Blind Spots?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) warns drivers to stay out of all four blind spots of large trucks. FMCSA calls these “No Zones.” It also urges extra caution when cars and trucks are passing each other. FMCSA offers this tip: “If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her side mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.”
If you are in the lane to the left of a truck, you should not cruise alongside the truck. Either stay even with the front half of the truck cab or lag well behind the truck and one lane over to the left.
If you are in the same lane as a truck, you should stay more than 20 feet in front or more than 30 feet behind the truck, according to the FMCSA. Be aware that some experts recommend staying at least 100 feet behind large trucks. Never tailgate a truck. If a truck tailgates you, change lanes as soon as it is safe to do so.
While in the lanes to the right of a truck, the only safe spot for the lane next to the truck is at least 30 feet behind the truck. If you are two lanes to the right of the rig, you can avoid the truck’s blind spots by staying slightly ahead of the truck or at least 20 feet back.
Never pass a truck on the right. You could end up with catastrophic injuries from a squeeze play accident (i.e., when the truck makes a right turn and crushes you between the trailer and the shoulder, another car, a wall, etc.). If the truck is moving too slowly and you need to pass it, safely change lanes behind the truck and pass on the left.
When changing lanes in front of a truck, ensure you can see the entire cab in your mirror before changing lanes. Once you have pulled in front of the truck, maintain speed to avoid ending up in the front blind spot.
And remember, trucks also have limited visibility when they are turning, backing up, or changing lanes, according to the FMCSA. You should give the vehicle wide berth in these situations.
Call Jason R. Schultz For Help
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may have a claim for your injuries. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. today at 404-474-0804, and we will set up your free, no-obligation consultation.
Who do I sue for a truck accident in Atlanta: the driver or truck company?
In most situations, if you are in a truck accident, you will file a claim against the trucking company. This is because companies are usually vicariously liable for the actions of the employees when their employees cause an accident while on duty.
Know Who to Sue for a Truck Accident and Damages
In most personal injury truck accident claims, the company is the one that is responsible for paying for the victim's damages. Georgia follows a doctrine known as “respondeat superior.”
This doctrine, detailed under O.C.G.A. § 51-2-2, states the following: “Every person shall be liable for torts committed by…his servant by his command or in the prosecution and within the scope of his business, whether the same are committed by negligence or voluntarily.”
This essentially means that so long as an employee is acting in the scope of his employment, the company can be liable for the damages caused by the employee.
Trucking companies have a duty to ensure their drivers are well-trained and fully capable of acting responsibly on the road. If one of their drivers causes an accident, the trucking company that employs the driver will have to foot the bill. More accurately, it’s usually the company’s insurance company that will pay for the victims’ damages.
There are some exceptions to the rule, such as the following.
- If the driver was self-employed
- If the driver wasn’t on duty
- If the accident was caused by a defective component on the truck (in this case, the proper party to file against might be the parts manufacturer)
Still, review the details of the accident with an attorney to determine liability.
Truck Accident Attorney in Atlanta
Which party should be liable really depends upon the circumstances of the accident. Your best bet will be to speak to a local truck accident attorney to review your case and advise you accordingly.
For legal advice regarding a truck accident in Atlanta, contact Jason Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804 to schedule a free consultation today.
How often should there be truck inspections?
Truck drivers are expected to inspect their trucks prior to every trip, just as trucking companies are expected to regularly and systematically inspect their fleet. Routine proper inspections are vital to preempt accidents and make drivers and carriers aware of defects, or parts in disrepair, and fix them before they cause an accident.
Truck Inspection Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) doesn’t specify how frequently trucking companies need to make truck inspections.
FMCSA regulations provide that the following be upheld.
- “Every motor carrier and intermodal equipment provider must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.”
- “Parts and accessories shall be in safe and proper operating condition at all times.”
- “Pushout windows, emergency doors, and emergency door marking lights in buses shall be inspected at least every 90 days.”
Companies have to keep all their inspection and maintenance records for the entire time they own the vehicle and for 18 months after they’ve sold it. Drivers also have a duty to make frequent truck inspections. Rule 49 CFR § 396.13 states: “Before driving a motor vehicle, the driver shall be satisfied that the motor vehicle is in safe operating condition.”
This means that before each and every ride, drivers must make truck inspections to make sure it’s safe. These truck inspections include loads. Drivers must also stop to check their loads within the first 50 miles of the trip, and after they’ve driven for three hours or 150 miles, whichever happens first.
Need a truck accident attorney? Call Jason Schultz
If you were involved in a truck accident, you can contact our injury attorney, Jason Schultz to discuss you legal options. Contact the office at 404-474-0804 to schedule a free consultation at your convenience.
Can I sue the manufacturer if the tractor-trailer involved in my truck accident was defective?
Those injured in a truck accident may sue a truck manufacturer if the tractor-trailer involved in an accident was defective. Of course, this depends on the actual cause of the crash and other extenuating circumstances of the trucking accident.
Manufacturer’s Liability for Defects in a Tractor-Trailer
Defects in themselves don’t warrant pursuing legal action against a manufacturer. It would first need to be determined if the defect caused the accident or was a contributing factor. If not, then it would be very difficult to hold the manufacturer liable.
One common type of defect involving trucks is the brakes. If they wear prematurely, fail or otherwise malfunction and it prevents the driver from safely stopping, it could be considered a significant factor in a tractor-trailer accident.
Another common defective part is a truck’s steering. If it goes out or one of its components breaks down, this may be a factor in the accident if the driver had no ability to control the tractor-trailer. Or if the tire blows because of a defect in its design and it causes an accident, the manufacturer may be liable.
But if there were other circumstances surrounding the crash, the defect may only partially impact the case. An example would be brake failure. Although that would certainly be an issue, if it’s discovered the truck driver had also been speeding, then both would likely be considered contributing factors to the accident.
Truck Defects That Worsen Injuries
It may not necessarily be a defect that causes an accident. It could be one that contributes to the severity of someone’s injuries.
Let’s say there is a chain reaction crash and a vehicle is pushed into the back of a tractor-trailer. If the rearguard on the truck is defective and as a result, the vehicle slides underneath, the injuries suffered may be more severe than would have been otherwise. This could allow the injured party to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Liability in truck accidents can be complex. Get legal guidance from Jason R. Schultz – call 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation.
What Are Some of the Common Types of Truck accidents That Can Cause Serious Injury?
Almost everyone knows truck accidents are dangerous; however, there are a few specific types of truck accidents that often cause serious injury. They include:
- Jackknife accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Squeeze play accidents
- Underride/override accidents
- Head-on truck crashes
A large truck can jackknife when it backs up improperly, takes a sharp turn, fish tails, or brakes suddenly. The driver cannot steer because the cab gets caught in an impossible “V” angle with the trailer, similar to a pocket knife that is closing.
As the trailer careens off in a different direction from the tractor, any vehicle in its path is in danger. The truck driver will not be able to control the trailer while it is jackknifing. The trailer might strike a vehicle, crush the vehicle between the trailer and cab, or push the vehicle — and its occupants — into oncoming traffic.
Rollover Truck Accidents
When a large truck takes a curve too fast or jerks the wheel to avoid a wreck, the truck can roll over, landing on its side. If the truck lands on a car, anyone riding inside the vehicle is unlikely to survive.
Squeeze Play Truck Accidents
Tractor trailers need more room to make a right turn than cars do. This means the truck might veer to the left immediately before turning. Sometimes cars will try to slip into the open space and pass the truck as it merges left.
However, when the driver executes his turn, the truck can crush the car in between the side of trailer and the shoulder. This is known as “squeeze play.”
Underride and Override Truck Accidents
An “underride” is when a car slides underneath a truck, either from the rear or the side. An “override” is when a truck slides over the rear of a car. Underride and override accidents are often devastating. The car driver and passengers are frequently decapitated or suffer severe head injuries, as the truck often shears off everything beneath the bumper height of the cab or trailer.
Underrides happen when:
- The truck brakes suddenly, and a tailgating car does not have enough time or space to stop.
- A speeding car speeds forward in slow or stopped traffic.
- A distracted or impaired driver does not notice a truck ahead until it is too late.
- A car runs a red light into cross traffic, striking the side of the truck and sliding underneath.
Overrides happen when:
- The truck driver does not have enough time to stop, either from fatigue, distraction, impairment, speeding, or tailgating.
- A passenger car drivercuts in front of a truck and suddenly stops or slows drastically.
Head-on Truck Crashes
Head-on crashes occur when the front bumpers of both vehicles collide. These crashes are especially deadly for the passenger car driver and passengers as both vehicles are usually traveling at speed. The passenger car will either slide under the front of the cab or slam into the front cab, causing catastrophic or fatal injuries for the occupants.
What Types of Injuries Are Common in Truck Accidents?
While the injuries depend on the specific type of accident, the injuries are often severe because of the size difference between trucks and passenger cars. Common truck accident injuries include:
- Crushing injuries
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding
- Fractures and broken bones
- Fatal injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Seat belt and airbag injuries
How Can I Avoid Being in a Truck Accident?
There are quite a few things you can do to avoid a truck accident:
- Give large trucks a wide berth.
- Always stay out a truck’s blind spots and never pass a truck on the right. If you see a truck veering left before an intersection, do not attempt to pass the truck. Slow down to ensure you are not in the truck’s blind spot.
- Do not tailgate trucks, and do not cut in front of them. Remember that they need far more time and distance than cars do to stop safely. You should always wait to change lanes until you can see the entire cab in your rearview mirror.
- Always focus on the road around you. Do not drive while intoxicated or fatigued and avoid using your phone whenever around large trucks.
Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. For Help After an Accident
You should always be careful when sharing the road with large trucks. Unfortunately, this is sometimes not enough. If you or a loved one ever suffer injuries in an accident that was not your fault, contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. for help recovering compensation for your injuries: 404-474-0804.
What are the truck license requirements for truck drivers; do they require a special license to carry hazardous cargo?
Yes, the truck license requirements cite that a truck driver must have a special license to carry hazardous cargo. Trucking industry regulations oversee this regulation, along with special rules enforced by the Georgia Department of Public Safety to help avoid hazardous cargo accidents.
Laws Surrounding Transportation of Hazardous Cargo
In Georgia, commercial trucks are subject to regulation for a number of reasons, including truck license requirements when carrying hazardous cargo. Examples of cargo that require a special permit include liquefied natural gas, polychlorinated biphenyl or radioactive materials.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) as part of its truck license requirements. The three main categories in which these materials generally fall are explosives, non-flammable gas and organic peroxide.
It is up to the driver and the motor carrier company to determine if cargo being carried is hazardous. If not, it could result in a fine of up to $27,000, with the possibility of jail time. Of course, if someone is injured in a crash and hazardous materials are involved, this could increase liability. Whether or not the truck license requirements were followed may factor significantly into a claim.
A Hazardous Material Safety Permit is required for certain types of cargo, based on amounts. This includes toxic by inhalation materials, methane, radioactive materials and explosives.
There are numerous requirements for carrying hazardous cargo, including training, registration, placards and labels. There may be other rules that apply as well, but it is up to the driver and motor carrier company to ensure these prerequisites are met.
Seeking Legal Help after an Accident with a Commercial Truck
Although any type of accident with a truck can be catastrophic, this is especially true when hazardous material is involved. Such an accident could result in severe injuries caused by a fire or inhaling toxic fumes.
Talking with an attorney can help determine if the truck driver or company is liable. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz may be able to help with a claim. An Atlanta truck accident attorney may be able to investigate the cause of the crash and determine if the truck license requirements were met for carrying hazardous cargo. Accidents can be prevented.