Semi-trucks are an important part of the nation’s economy. These big rigs and their drivers are tasked with transporting vast amounts of goods and services from place-to-place, thereby ensuring that manufacturers, suppliers and consumers are well-supplied. As a result, semi-trucks are prevalent on Michigan’s roadways. Motorists who find themselves intimidated by these massive vehicles have good cause. After all, an error in driving a semi-truck can result in a serious truck accident that can leave victims seriously injured or killed.
Yet, negligent driving is the only characteristic that can contribute to a truck accident. An improperly maintained truck, for example, can pose a substantial risk to other motorists. This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the maintenance and repair of big rigs. Those regulations specify that a trucking company must inspect, repair and maintain its fleet to ensure safety. This duty is primarily placed on trucking companies that must conduct annual inspections, but truckers have a duty, too. More specifically, they must complete post-trip inspection reports to help identify any defects that may necessitate repair.
These inspections are critically important. Even the safest driver may be unable to avoid causing a car accident when a vehicle’s brakes are worn, tires are defective or steering is faulty. By abiding by these regulations, truckers and their employers can truly save lives. Those who fail to do so can face fines, but they may also be subjected to civil liability.
What does this mean for those who have been harmed in a truck accident? It means they need to carefully consider the exact cause of their accident. Do not merely accept a conclusion that a wreck was accidental. By obtaining inspection reports, a victim may be able to identify errors that caused the accident. In these situations, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed against both the trucker and the truck company responsible for ensuring the truck’s safe operating condition. These victims can learn more about this legal strategy by speaking with a legal professional they trust.