Commercial motor vehicles and DOT-recordable accidents
Trucking accidents are a hot-button topic year-round. From the deadly collisions caused by high-speed 18-wheelers to wrecks on city streets involving commercial vehicles, the results are often catastrophic events. While truck drivers maintain a professional license and must complete numerous courses and several hours of training, it is not uncommon for negligence or inattention to lead to a serious motor vehicle collision.
Semi-truck collisions can be caused by a broad array of factors from distracted driving, impaired driving or drowsy driving. Additionally, truck accidents might be related to faulty maintenance, poor training or defective parts. No matter the cause, the consequences can be life-altering. The occupants of smaller vehicles might suffer brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, paralysis or crush injuries.
After a collision, the first things that are generally examined are the driver’s history and the truck’s maintenance record. The federal Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains careful records when it comes to a driver’s safety rating. There are three factors that will immediately require an accident be recorded on the DOT register:
- A fatality in any of the vehicles involved
- Bodily injury that requires the person receives immediate medical care in a facility away from the accident scene
- At least one of the vehicles involved in the collision is damaged to the point that it must be towed away from the accident scene
Carriers must maintain different types of records related to a commercial vehicle accident for a period of three years. The DOT will examine this data to determine the carrier’s overall safety rating. If the carrier has exceeded a specific threshold, they could face additional sanctions and extra scrutiny.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision involving a truck, it is wise to seek the legal guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Based on numerous factors, you might be eligible to receive monetary compensation for your injuries, medical bills and lost wages.