A Guide to Basic West Virginia Trucking Laws
Tractor-trailers are staples of the American economy and provide a much-needed
service to businesses in each state. We depend on these vehicles, but
unfortunately, there are some very real risks inherent to tractor-trailers.
The Risks of Tractor-Trailers
The sizes of these vehicles are an obvious concern. A fully loaded tractor-trailer
can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and is several times larger than most
other typical passenger vehicles on the road. There are several federal
and state laws surrounding trucking to ensure the risks inherent to these
vehicles are mitigated as much as possible because of their size, the
amount of time they spend on the road, and the frequency they are driven.
Trucking Problems That Lead to Cases:
Preston & Salango has handled a multitude of trucking cases involving
serious bodily injury and death. Trucking companies are often at fault
by imposing unreasonable expectations on drivers and by failing to properly
train their drivers. Further, drivers are often at fault by ingesting
drugs or alcohol, speeding, being distracted while driving, etc. Regardless
of the cause, our team will thoroughly investigate each case.
Tractor-trailers carry large amounts of cargo, and it’s important
for trucking companies to balance loads properly. An imbalanced load can
cause a tractor-trailer to tip over while making a tight turn. Some types
of cargo also require specialized safety mechanisms and security fixtures.
Lumber, framing studs, construction equipment, concrete pipe segments,
and other large cargo must be stowed safely and in accordance with federal
and state laws.
When you read a text or talk on the phone while driving, you’re not
giving the road and the vehicle your full attention. Even diverting your
eyes from the road for just a few seconds can mean your vehicle is travelling
hundreds of yards essentially blind – this is a serious hazard,
especially if a truck driver were to become distracted and drift into
Truck drivers often are required to meet tight deadlines for pickups and
drop-offs. Unfortunately, some truck drivers push their bodies too far
and do not get adequate rest and nutrition on the road. Driving while
fatigued is almost as dangerous as driving drunk. A truck driver who falls
asleep at the wheel while attempting to meet a deadline can wreak havoc
on the other drivers nearby.
Trucking companies have a duty to train every driver they employ in the
proper use and care of their vehicles. If a driver causes an accident
because of improper training, the trucking company can face liability
for the resulting damages or injuries to other drivers. The truck driver
also may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company for failing
to provide adequate training or shirking compliance requirements.
Trucking companies also must ensure that all technicians who perform vehicle
maintenance follow all necessary procedures and exercise the utmost care
when servicing tractor-trailers. These trucks are on the road much more
than other vehicles, so wear-and-tear is an important area of concern.
If poor or incomplete vehicle maintenance causes a crash, the people responsible
for ensuring the maintenance was done correctly will be held liable for
Pursuing a Lawsuit
If you find yourself in need of an attorney for a trucking accident lawsuit,
it’s important to find one with a reliable work history and track
record of successes in trucking accident cases. Once you connect with
an attorney, he or she will review the details of your case and help you
determine who is at fault for your injuries and damages.
It is imperative for an individual to have someone who is skilled and experienced
in handling trucking cases. Call Preston & Salango, PLLC today for help.