Delaware Truck Accident Injuries
Knepper & Stratton Truck Accident Injury Lawyers(302)658-1717or(302)736-5500
Get Compensated After a Delaware Truck Accident
Delaware law allows claims for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and incidentals after a truck accident. Getting compensated fairly for a truck driver’s negligence requires investigating the cause of the accident and experience with:
- federal/state truck transportation laws and regulations,
- industry standards applicable to commercial truck operators, and
- mechanics of truck operation and accidents.
Related Delaware Truck Accident Law Article: Compensation in Truck Accident Cases – Commercial Insurance Policies
Truck Accidents & Injuries On the Rise Over the Last Decade
Recent truck accident data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that over the last decade, there’s been a steady increase in both the number of truck and bus crashes that resulted in injuries and the number of people injured.
In 2006, there were a total of 87,000 injury crashes involving large trucks or buses, whereas in 2017, there were 102,000, an increase of about 25%. Also, there’s been a steady increase in the total number of fatal truck accidents over the last several years. In 2015, there were 3,622 fatal truck accidents. In 2016, there were 3,896 accidents and in 2017, there were 4,237 accidents. Annually, about 75% of fatal truck accidents are the result of collisions with other vehicles on the road, as opposed to jack knife accidents, which account for a mere .2% of all fatal truck accidents. *As of March 2020, the most recent data available from the FMCSA is for fiscal year 2017.
Delaware follows the national trend. According to the most recent data available from the Delaware State Police, the 2018 Delaware Annual Traffic Statistical Report, there was an increase of over 100% in the annual number of tractor trailer, semi-truck and commercial truck accidents from 2006 (1,085) to 2018 (2,206). In addition, 548 people were injured in Delaware truck accidents in 2018, whereas in 2006, 402 people were injured, representing a 35% increase.
Related Truck Accident Legal Issue: Are trucking companies liable for a truck accident in Delaware?
Trucking accidents almost inevitably result in serious injury or death for the drivers and passengers of other vehicles. Sometimes, these truck collisions are the result of truck drivers working too many hours and falling asleep at the wheel or other violations of federal transportation regulations. They may also be caused by:
- Improper loading of the truck, causing weight to shift
- Overloading a truck, making it harder to slow and stop
- Poor maintenance of the truck
- Faulty equipment on the truck
If your loved one died in a Delaware trucking accident with an 18-wheeler, a tractor trailer, a semi, or another commercial vehicle, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your loss.
Skilled Delaware Injury Lawyers – Offices in Wilmington, Dover & Newark
We understand the difficulties you are facing. If you were injured yourself, your life may have changed dramatically. If you have lost a loved one, grief may make even simple tasks difficult. The injury attorneys at Knepper & Stratton are here to help. We have more than 25 years of experience helping injured people obtain financial recovery after accidents caused by negligence, recklessness, or wrongful conduct. We are dedicated to your financial recovery. Contact one of our three Delaware offices at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500 for prompt, responsive legal advice and aggressive courtroom representation. Your initial consultation is free.
Attorneys with Knowledge and Experience in Delaware Truck Accident Cases
Interstate trucking is strictly regulated, and trucking companies are required to enforce policies that keep their drivers-and those they share the road with-safe. Drivers with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) are limited in the number of hours they can drive, must follow all traffic laws, are required to perform a series of safety checks before every trip, are expected to keep detailed logs, and are more restricted in many other ways than regular drivers. Your attorney will need to understand federal trucking regulations and can interpret the evidence contained in driver’s logs, loads, weights, and other data. If you are looking for an injury lawyer to represent you in court, it’s important to choose one who has handled these cases before. If you have been injured in a trucking accident along Delaware Routes 1, 2, 7, 9, 52, 71, 72, 299, or 896, U.S. Routes 13, 40, 202, or 301, I-95, the Kirkwood Highway, or Dupont Parkway, contact one of our Delaware offices at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500 to speak personally with a lawyer about your case. In your free initial consultation, we will analyze whether you have a case and the likelihood we can help you obtain compensation for your losses, as well as discuss how we can work with you to get any compensation to which you may be entitled.
Truck Accidents in Delaware – 3 Critical Issues for Proper Investigation of a Truck Accident
The number of truck accidents continues to rise in Delaware. Each year, over 550 people are injured in truck accidents in Delaware which involve commercial vehicles such as:
- heavy-duty trucks,
- semi-trailers trucks,
- commercial trucks (box trucks), and
- commercial vans.
Investigating Truck Accidents in Delaware
Truck accident injuries are often very serious given the relative size of commercial vehicles compared to passenger vehicles. On highways, commercial truck accidents are often fatal. Survivors often suffer catastrophic injuries. Because truck accidents are so dangerous and often result in serious injuries, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation. Below is a discussion of three issues which often arise in truck accident lawsuits in Delaware.
Industry Standards Applicable to Commercial Trucks
Truck accidents are not like other motor vehicle accidents. There are complex federal and state laws which apply to the trucking industry. While state laws usually involve registration and licensing requirements, federal laws regulate practically everything else. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) heavily regulates the trucking industry through the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 49. Below are just some of those regulations (click here to visit the FMCSA website).
- 49 CFR 382, Controlled substances and alcohol use and testing
- 49 CFR 385, Safety fitness procedures
- 49 CFR 390, Federal motor carrier safety regulations; general
- 49 CFR 392, Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles.
Black Boxes (Telematics Systems and ECMs in Trucks)
Like other vehicles, commercial trucks contain “black boxes” which reveal important data about the truck. In the event of an accident, the “black box” can help to establish how the accident occurred. A truck’s telematics system (AKA black box) is connected to the truck’s Electronic Control Module (ECM). Together, the telematics system and ECM act like a GPS, often recording info such as,
- hard brakes (sudden deceleration), and
- engine/mechanical problems.
Truck Driver Service Logs & Audits
Under federal law, commercial truck companies are required to use and retain a truck driver’s status in a driver’s log. Every truck driver must record both on-duty and off-duty status updates for every 24 hour period. The FMSCA regulates the retention of these records, i.e., how long they must be kept. It is widely known that truck drivers may falsify their logs. Therefore it’s important to obtain the truck company’s audit procedures and results, if any. In some cases, the attorney may be able to prove falsification of a driver’s log by cross referencing the log against fuel receipts, toll tickets, mileage between stops and bills of lading for delivery dates.
Delaware Truck Accident Lawyer – Wilmington, Dover & Newark
It’s crucial to have a truck accident case investigated thoroughly by an experienced truck accident lawyer in Delaware. Our auto accident lawyers have over 30 years of experience. Get more info and visit the DE auto accident law library.
Last updated: July 19, 2021