18-wheelers, dump trucks, Mack trucks, delivery trucks and many other types of commercial vehicles share the road with private motorists each and every day. Most people simply want to reach their destination safely; whether it be home, work, or another destination people expect to travel on safe roadways in Arkansas and throughout the United States. Unfortunately, and sometimes tragically, accidents do happen. When those accidents involve large commercial vehicles the consequences are often severe.
However you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills and other damages. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, like Ken Kieklak of the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak, can improve the likelihood of achieving a favorable settlement or jury verdict.
Who Regulates Commercial Trucks?
In 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was formed. The FMCSA oversees most activities by commercial vehicles and other covered industries and organizations. The FMCSA can craft and enforce rules regarding driver safety, cargo securement, cargo loading, and in many other areas of concern. While commercial transportation of cargo is certainly under the purview of the FMCSA, the agency also regulates bus companies and other organizations who are transporting 15 or more individuals.
Arkansas also has its own state regulations involving certain types of cargo and loads. For example, Arkansas law 8-6-407 Commercial refuse hauling by uncovered vehicles prohibits any commercial garbage-hauling company from transporting their cargo without covering it with a tarp or ensuring the design of the truck is such that the cargo will not leak, drop, or fall from the truck. Such regulations can reduce the likelihood that cargo becomes roadway debris and causes and accident. Additionally, Arkansas has laws and regulations regarding the transport of hazardous materials on its roadways.
How do Trucking Accidents Occur?
Each and every accident is the product of a unique combination of factors. However, certain factors tend to be more common than others. Certain factors that are common to many trucking accidents include:
- Distracted driver – A commercial driver may be come distracted for the same reasons any driver can. The driver may be looking for a place to rest, operating a mobile phone, feeling ill, or be involved with a multitude of other distractions.
- Fatigued driver – While FMCSA regulations require drivers to take breaks after driving for certain durations, some may be tempted to forego these mandated rest periods. A drowsy or exhausted driver can fall asleep at the wheel and cause a catastrophic accident.
- Improper securement of cargo – Cargo that is improperly secured or not secured can shift during transit. This shifting of cargo can cause the truck to jackknife or overturn. Cargo should be secured as per FMCSA regulations using a combination of securing devices and tie-downs.
- Tire blow-out – A tire blow-out can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Trucks may swerve or veer after a tire blow-out.
- Poor weather conditions – Like for any motorist, poor visibility and slippery road conditions can greatly increase the likelihood of an accident. Snow and ice present the biggest risk during the winter, while violent summer storms with torrential rainfalls or hail are the chief concern in the summer months.
If you have suffered a serious injury like a broken or fractured bone, a traumatic brain injury, or other serious injury due to a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The compensation could include both the expenses you have incurred due to the injury and the income that you have lost.
Contact Arkansas Truck Accident Injury Attorney Ken Kieklak Today
For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak of the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak has stood-up for those injured due to the recklessness or negligence of others. He provides aggressive and strategic representation. To schedule your free and confidential legal consultation, call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.