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Domina Law Group pc llo - Wrongful Death: Big trucks; tractors and trailers; commercial truckers; 18 wheelers. What to do in a collision. Part 2

Semi-trailer trucks are involved in crippling or fatal collisions for many reasons, some are common, and their root causes and legal underpinnings are well known to the experienced lawyers at Domina Law Group pc llo. The firm has handled tractor trailer collisions on major highway routes from the Border States to the Upper Midwest.

These are among the major reasons why an injured party might have a case against a trucker or a trucking company, even where the circumstances do not automatically make it clear that help for the injured family may be available through the legal process against the trucker:

  • The trucker’s negligence is the employer’s negligence. In most states, and under federal law codified at Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, an employer is liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior for negligent acts and omissions, or wrongful conduct, of a commercial truck driver. Nearly all states have adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standards. They cover fitness, rules of practice, minimum levels of financial responsibility, safety, driver qualifications, actual driving, hours of service and logbooks, equipment, parts and accessories, inspection, repair and maintenance, and other areas. 49 CFR §§ 381 et seq.
  • Driving that might be acceptable from an ordinary driver is not necessarily acceptable from a professional truck driver with a CDL license. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes “a higher standard of care” which must be complied with. 49 CFR § 392.2.
  • For example, driving while impaired or likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or other cause so as to make it unsafe for a driver to begin or continue a trip, violates the law. 49 CFR § 392.3.
  • Operating a commercial trucking vehicle requires extreme caution when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, or mist adversely affect visibility or traction. The driver has a duty to suspend or discontinue operation of a vehicle, not drive to a convenient stopping point, in these circumstances. 49 CFR § 392.14.
  • A driver must turn in logbooks which comply with the law and account for all the driver’s time. The owner must collect, maintain them, and be sure they are truthful.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, prohibited substances is strictly forbidden. 49 CFR §§ 392.4 et seq.
  • Equipment condition and currency of inspections, service and serviceability, including service and serviceability of brakes, steering mechanisms, lighting devices, reflectors, tires, horns, windshield wipers, rearview mirrors, coupling devices, etc., are mandatory. Failure can cause terrible collisions. 49 CFR § 392.7.
  • Prompt investigation to understand and evaluate the facts, supported by a quality investigation team, are essential to assure a responsible outcome and secure critical evidence in truck collision cases.

See Part 1 Here

See Part 3 Here

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