Trucks are a vitally important part of commerce in the United States. With huge swaths of the country inaccessible by boat or train, semi trucks are responsible for transporting huge amounts of consumer goods, medical supplies, food, and other essentials. This takes a lot of trucking, and there are indeed 33.8 million trucks registered in our country, which move over two-thirds of the freight that travels around the United States.
Unfortunately, this also means that truck accidents are an inevitability. There are too many trucks on the road and too many cars using the same road, that it’s impossible to prevent every potential accident. And that’s a reality that truckers and normal drivers alike should take very seriously.
Truck Accidents: A Serious Risk
Because trucks are so much larger than cars, this creates unique problems for truck drivers. On the road, trucks cannot stop or react to hazards as quickly as cars can. However skilled a professional truck driver may be, he or she may end up in an accident caused by another driver. There are legal issues at play, too, as one driver may be compensated through a long personal injury lawsuit (or in the case of the truck driver, workers’ compensation).
Truck accidents can also, of course, be fatal. Nearly 4,000 people were killed in large truck accidents in 2016. These sorts of accidents have legal consequences as well as their obvious and heartbreaking human tolls.
Truck Accidents and Legal Fallout
The legal side of truck accidents can be very important to both victims and trucking companies alike, and laws differ by state. If you’re injured in an accident that was not your fault, a truck accident lawyer in California might explain how you can recover certain damages and expenses from a negligent driver. You should speak to an attorney about your case, as only an attorney can give you the legal advice specific to your situation and location.
On the other hand, trucking companies should consider this same legal reality from a different perspective. When you own a trucking business, drive a truck, or even work to repair trucks, you need to be conscious of legal liabilities. And more importantly, you need to know how to minimize your risk.
Legal Liability and Your Trucking Business
When you’re in the trucking business, you have an interest in minimizing the risks of truck accidents and the legal liabilities that come alongside them. Business owners should make sure they have insurance policies that cover liability. They should also have attorneys on hand who specialize in the business side of legal accidents, just in case.
Trucking companies, truckers, and repair shops should also make sure they follow every relevant regulation and best practice. Shops should use heavy-duty truck repair shop software to track jobs and ensure that everything is done perfectly, so they can build their reputation while limiting the number of potential risks for their truck on the road. Trucking companies should follow rules about truckers’ hours on the road, truck maintenance, and more. Truckers, of course, should practice their best driving and follow all the rules of the road and of their profession.
There are a lot of accidents on the roads of the United States, but there are ways to protect yourself and your company from the dangers of truck accidents. Take the threat seriously, and work with experts to ensure that your company is properly insured and as protected as possible from legal liability.