Maine Truck Accident Lawyers
Our truck accident lawyers have helped injury victims in Portland, Bangor, Auburn & Lewiston, Maine since 1976.
The results are often devastating – and even deadly – when a small passenger vehicle tangles with a massive truck carrying hefty cargo. For instance, in 2012, there were 3,876 deaths and 61,667 injuries caused by collisions with commercial vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Their report also found that 10.1 percent of accidents involve vehicle malfunction and 2.3 percent of accidents are related to inclement weather or other environmental factors, but the vast majority of U.S. truck accidents (87.2 percent) are caused by driver error.
When negligence or indiscretion is involved, the Maine car accident lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing are standing by at 1-800-INJURED to hear the details of your collision and help you obtain just compensation for your senseless injuries.
Truck accident injuries that lead to lawsuits
Not every motor vehicle accident injury qualifies for compensation by law.
Most truck accident victims sue for serious injuries that cost a lot of money and hardship to endure, such as:
- Broken bones
- Permanent scarring
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Loss of a limb
- Wrongful death
Truck accident injury settlements and jury awards in the state of Maine can result in compensation reaching tens of thousands of dollars. Tangible expenses like medical bills and loss of earning potential will be factored in, as well as intangible awards for emotional pain and suffering or future costs associated with disability.
The team of Maine truck accident attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing will fight for the maximum compensation allowed by law, rather than accepting the first settlement offer that comes along.
What causes truck accidents?
There are various factors that make truck accidents hazardous and difficult to avoid. Trucks can weigh as much as 20 to 30 times more than passenger cars, and loaded trucks can take 20 to 40 percent further to stop than smaller vehicles, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Once you factor in the reality that many truck drivers suffer from fatigue, truck accidents become even more dangerous and unavoidable.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has identified the following primary causes of commercial truck accidents:
- 29% encounter some type of brake problems
- 23% are traveling too fast for the roadway or conditions
- 13% are related to driver fatigue
- 9% are the result of performance errors and poor judgment calls made by the driver
They also found that:
- 32% of cases involved the failure to stay in one’s own lane
- 23% involved inattentive drivers
- 22% resulted from failure to yield or traveling too fast
- 10% of drivers were drowsy or fell asleep behind the wheel
- 3% of drivers were on cell phones at the time of the crash
Far too often, internal and external distractions impair a big rig driver’s ability to safely operate his or her vehicle.
At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, our truck accident attorneys believe in holding negligent drivers accountable for their dangerous actions and omissions, particularly when lives are at stake.
Determining liability in a Maine car collision
In the state of Maine, a truck accident lawsuit may list more than just the truck driver as the defendant. For instance, other parties that can be sued include:
- Trucking companies
- Loading / shipping companies
- Maintenance personnel
- Brake or tire manufacturers
It can be complex trying to determine all the factors that played a role in the crash, but a Maine accident attorney that specializes in product liability and commercial truck crashes understands the law inside and out, and can help you find the best angle to pursue in a court of law if a settlement can’t be reached.
Keep in mind that truck drivers are subject to a variety of federal laws under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Truck drivers must adhere to guidelines regarding:
- Maximum drive time and on-duty hours
- Inspection and maintenance schedules
- Weight and loading requirements
If any FMCSA rules or state regulations are violated, then the driver or trucking firm can be determined liable and negligent. These cases are generally easier to prove. Many of the lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing come from federal court backgrounds, so we are adept at crafting arguments and compiling evidence, as well as expert testimony, that will strengthen your case should it necessitate a trial.
Need a Maine truck accident lawyer?
Injured Mainers and their families can count on Hardy, Wolf & Downing to investigate the reasons behind their accident and seek just compensation where it’s due. Contact our Maine tractor trailer accident lawyers at 1-800-INJURED today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options for filing a car accident lawsuit in Maine. Legal counsel costs nothing unless a settlement or jury award is received.
- FMCSA – Commercial Motor Vehicle Facts http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Commercial_Motor_Vechicle_Facts_March_2013.pdf
- US Department of Transportation – Large Truck Causation Study http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810646.pdf
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts, Large Trucks, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811158.pdf