Washington DC Truck Accident Lawyer
Large commercial trucks significantly outweigh most of the passenger vehicles on DC’s roadways. A crash involving a commercial vehicle that may exceed 80,000 pounds can lead to devastating and often catastrophic consequences. When these bodily injuries occur due to negligence, the occupants of the passenger vehicle could have a viable injury claim.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident, you have the legal right to set forth a claim for damages from all at-fault parties. Federal and state safety regulations and law regulate the trucking industry, and a skilled Washington DC truck accident lawyer could assess all potential avenues of compensation following a collision with a tractor-trailer.
Roger Gelb has developed a track record of recovering millions of dollars on behalf of accident victims. At Gelb & Gelb, P.C., vehicle accidents are our main focus, and we have handled thousands of personal injury cases on behalf of clients throughout the D.C area. Our personal injury attorneys are committed to making sure that you understand your legal rights and obligations, and that you remain informed every step of the way.
Understanding Federal Truck Regulations
Due to the dangers that are inherent in operating large commercial vehicles, the federal government has created extensive regulations for truck drivers. These regulations go well beyond the rules of the road all drivers must adhere to.
When a commercial driver is involved in a crash, whether they were in compliance with federal regulations could serve as evidence of negligence. A seasoned tractor-trailer collision attorney could review the facts of the accident as well as the truck operator’s records to determine if a violation occurred. Some of the regulations that apply to federal trucks include:
- Driver’s log requirements
- Special speed limits for large vehicles
- Rest requirements for long-distance drivers
- Maintenance standards
- Licensing and training requirements
Holding All At-Fault Parties Legally Responsible for a Truck Accident
Truck collisions can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from driver negligence to mechanical issues with the commercial vehicle. Common types of truck accidents include head-on collisions, rollover accidents, jackknife collisions, and underride collisions. Trucks also have blind spots due to their size, and can crash into pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles when making turns.
Following a truck accident, it is important to conduct a thorough investigation of all potential causes. More than one party could be held accountable for the crash. The truck employer and driver may be at fault, and a victim could pursue a legal claim against all negligent parties.
Product and Mechanical Failures
Mechanical truck issues that contribute to a crash can take different forms, and can result in the manufacturer or the trucking company being held legally responsible for any resulting harm. The rationale is that with proper care, mechanical problems can be avoided. For example, brake issues, tire blowouts, and breakdowns that cause a serious accident can result in liability for the parties that are responsible for maintenance. If a defective truck part caused a crash, then a product liability claim may be appropriate. A seasoned truck accident attorney serving the DC area could assess whether a design or manufacturing defect may have played a role in causing the plaintiff’s injury.
Often, these accidents result directly from the negligence of the truck operator.
Negligent or careless driving is also a main contributor to truck collisions. Due to a commercial truck’s large size and weight, maneuvering it is challenging and requires specific training. To properly turn and brake, drivers must pay attention to the road, anticipating the distance they will need to come to a complete stop. An overloaded truck, or one that is improperly loaded could affect the ability of the driver to stop. Additionally, federal Hours of Service rules regulate the number of hours a driver may operate their truck, as a fatigued driver is often unable to respond and operate their vehicle appropriately.
Other examples of negligence that can contribute to an accident include truck drivers speeding, violating hours of operation requirements, speeding, driver inexperience or even driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Negligent Trucking Company
The trucking company is another common defendant in these cases. As long as the truck driver was operating within the scope of their employment, an injured driver has the right to hold their employer responsible as well. Claims against a trucking company could also result from their failure to properly train or hire their drivers. Additionally, the failure to maintain a truck in a safe working condition could also result in a negligence claim.
Identifying the right defendants is the first step in the truck accident claims process. An experienced tractor-trailer collision attorney in the area can investigate and identify all negligent parties responsible for causing a truck accident.
Contact a Washington, DC Truck Accident Attorney Right Away
Truck accident injuries can lead to lifelong pain, suffering, and medical complications. When your future is adversely impacted by a truck crash, it is vital to protect your legal rights. By pursuing a personal injury claim in a timely manner, you could secure compensation for the debilitating injuries stemming from a truck accident.
A Washington DC truck accident lawyer could help you investigate your claim and make an informed decision on proceeding with a lawsuit. Attorney Roger Gelb is proud to provide clients with personal, effective legal representation for their personal injury claims. Those injured in a truck or other vehicle collision can rely on the experience and dedication of Mr. Gelb and the team at Gelb & Gelb, P.C. Schedule an initial consultation right away to discuss your options.