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Trucking Accidents Are Increasing In The US

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

Trucking accidents are increasing in the US. In the last twenty years, commercial truck accidents have increased by 20%—and these accidents inflict serious harm, more than traffic accidents between cars do because commercial trucks are bigger and much heavier. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2002, 4,897 individuals died and 130,000 people were injured in crashes involving a large truck.

The trucking industry is regulated at the federal level by safety and accountability standards. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the FMCSA enforce the regulations, which govern trucking companies, owners, and drivers. Each state also has a DOT and its own trucking regulations. After a trucking accident, many different entities may be held responsible for any accident fatalities and injuries. The truck’s driver, owner, and the person or company that leased the vehicle from the owner are all potentially liable; the vehicle’s manufacturer, the tire manufacturer, and the shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo (in accidents involving improper loading) are all possibly at fault. If an individual part on the vehicle failed, the manufacturer of this part can be called to account (faulty brakes are a major issue with semis).

For decades, trucking companies often tried to escape blame for accidents by distancing themselves from the driver, vehicle, and equipment; they leased equipment, tractors, and trailers from an “owner/operator,” who was not their direct employee, but an independent contractor. After an accident, the company argued (during the resulting lawsuits) that the driver was not their employee, so they weren’t on the hook for driver error, and they didn’t own the equipment, so they weren’t responsible for its operation, maintenance, repair, or inspection. Finally, federal laws caught up with this game; currently, any company owning a trucking permit is responsible for all accidents involving a truck that has its placard or name displayed on the vehicle.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Mike Agruss Law, for a free consultation at 312-224-4695. Mike Agruss Law, handles personal injury cases throughout Illinois. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you. This litigation strategy will provide you with the best possible compensation.

Lastly, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire our Chicago personal injury law firm–just the opportunity to seek justice. Call us today at 312-224-4695.

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