Tractor trailer accidents often cause catastrophic injury and death on major highways such as I-80 near Omaha where a driver of a semi-tractor trailer died when he lost control of his semi in January of this year. Wrongful death actions often depend upon proving negligence.
Commercial truck regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the rules and requirements for commercial drivers across the country. Each state has its own application process, but all states must adhere to federal requirements. Commercial trucks make up a large percentage of roadway traffic with interstate transport and local deliveries and sometimes accidents occur that cause catastrophic injury or death. According to the United States Department of Transportation Safety Administration, there are over 500,000 truck accidents every year involving multiple vehicles and causing highway fatalities, significant property damage and bodily injury.
Evidence to support negligence.
When a party is involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, it is important to collect evidence that supports a claim of negligence against an at fault driver. When a wrongful death occurs, it is imperative to hire legal counsel to build a case with supporting documentation such as:
Elements of Negligence.
Commercial vehicle violations.
Serious moving violations include speeding 15 or above over posted limits (in Nebraska, a CDL holder can have their license suspended for up to a year for speeding over 15 miles per hour), following too closely, reckless operation, erratic lane changes, texting while driving or driving a CMV without the proper clearances and licensing.
Railroad violations that include ignoring railroad crossing restrictions through device or enforcement official, not slowing down when required to, failing to stop if tracks are not clear, stopping before clearing railroad grade crossing, inadequate undercarriage clearance and a complete failure to stop.
Out-of-Service violations that violate a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting non-hazardous materials or hazardous materials required to be placarded; and operating a vehicle designed to transport 18 or more passengers, including the driver.
A CDL holder convicted of a first DUI loses their license for a year in Nebraska. A second DUI conviction causes the permanent revocation of the CDL. Nebraska does not allow CDL holders to attend driver improvement courses to reacquire their license after suspension or lessen their penalties.
Seek legal counsel.
Tractor trailer truck accidents involve multiple complex factors that require specific knowledge of the commercial trucking industry, extensive experience in civil injury laws, and sophisticated investigative capabilities to collect evidence and analyze it to most strongly support a negligence claim. A professional experienced attorney at Rensch & Rensch Law Office can be valuable after a truck accident involving wrongful death and severe injury.