Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

Southern California Personal Injury & Business Lawyers

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Increases in fatal truck accidents

Residents of California may be concerned with the increasing trend of fatal truck accidents since 2009. There are a variety of reasons for these troublesome trends, and they mean more people are likely to be involved in a truck accident. Lawsuits for commercial trucking accidents work differently than normal vehicle accident lawsuits.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is one of the government agencies primarily responsible for the oversight and regulation of commercial trucking. The agency routinely collects and analyzes crash and other important data related to the industry and shares this information with the public. One important part of the data involved trends in fatal trucking accidents. While trucking accidents overall have decreased from their peak in 2005, they have increased steadily since 2009.

Truck accidents often prove fatal and result in thousands of deaths per year on American roads. There are a variety of possible reasons for the steady increase. Modern truck drivers are often overworked or encouraged to work longer than they should. The high demand may also encourage employers to cut corners when it comes to selecting and training drivers and maintaining equipment. This results in fatigue and increased likelihood of an accident. Some experts have also blamed the government for putting less regulation on trucking or slowing the application of safety procedures that could disrupt the industry.

When a person dies in a truck accident, the surviving family may file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. This lawsuit attempts to reclaim damages for the surviving family as compensation for the loss of a provider. This may include amounts for their lost income and retirement benefits, the care and companionship they provided to family as well as other damages. Damages may be recovered from the truck driver, the trucking company or both depending on the nature and cause of the accident. An attorney may be able to help a client understand the damages they could recover and prepare a lawsuit strategy.

Source: CNCB, 'Truck accidents surge: Why no national outcry?" Eamon Javers, Jul 30 2014.

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