Data recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the annual number of 18 wheeler wrecks involving at least one fatality has gone up.
The increase in semi-truck accident fatalities is nothing new. Between 2009 and 2012, the number of fatal auto accidents involving a large truck increased by 18%, and it increased another half-percentage point between 2012 and 2013. The number of fatal truck accidents has been consistently increasing for more than a decade.
Why this increase? Part of it has to do with the number of trucks on the road, which have undergone a nearly 25% increase in the last decade. Another major culprit is the relaxation of driver-safety laws, which make it easier for companies to force their drivers to work unsafe hours in the name of higher profits. One highly public example of this practice was the 18-wheeler crash that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed a passenger in his car. The driver of the 18-wheeler had been awake for over 24 consecutive hours.
After Morgan’s accident, he sued Wal-Mart, who contracted with the trucking company, claiming their business practices were at fault for the driver’s condition. Wal-Mart settled with Morgan for $10 million.
As the above case shows, there are multiple possible defendants in a truck accident lawsuit, including:
- The driver of the truck
- The person or company who owns the truck
- If the truck is being leased, the lessee of the truck
- If equipment failure caused the accident, the manufacturer of the equipment
- If load imbalance caused the accident, the cargo loader
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, call the truck accident lawyers at Long & Long to learn about your legal options. We have plenty of experience in auto accident cases, and would be happy to advocate on your behalf. Call our office at (251) 432-2277 or contact us online. We serve Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding area.