A tractor trailer is a type of “commercial vehicle.” However, commercial vehicles include any type of motor vehicle that is used for transporting goods or passengers, including tractor-trailers, semis, and multi-passenger vehicles, such as buses. Because an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle has the potential to kill or injure a large number of people in a single collision, the operation and ownership of commercial motor vehicles is regulated by both federal and state laws. Federal and state regulations apply to both the owner and operator of the commercial motor vehicle.
When we represent victims who have been injured in collisions involving commercial vehicles, we diligently investigate whether the driver of the commercial motor vehicle was properly licensed. Licensing requires that a driver be properly trained in the operation of a specific type of vehicle. Different sizes of vehicles require different licenses or endorsements. Different endorsements are also required depending on the type of cargo (people, hazardous substances, etc.) that a driver is hauling. A driver must be specially trained in loading the vehicle, operating the vehicle, inspecting the vehicle for defects, operating the vehicle in difficult situations (i.e. inclement weather), and roadway safety. A driver must also undergo a medical examination to assure that he/she is sufficiently health to operate the vehicle. We investigate all of these issues for clients who have been injured or whose loved ones have been killed in a collision with a commercial vehicle.
An owner of a commercial motor vehicle must make sure that all of its employees are properly trained and licensed to operate its motor vehicles. The vehicle itself must be road worthy and free from any defects. An owner must also make sure that the vehicle complies with all safety standards, such as carrying the proper weight and carrying a balanced load. We will diligently investigate all of these issues when representing a client who has been injured or whose loved one has been killed as the result of a collision with a commercial vehicle.
Commercial motor vehicles are also governed by state traffic laws. This means the operator of a commercial vehicle must maintain an assured clear distance, must yield the right of way when turning at an intersection, must obey all speed limits, and signal before changing lanes or before turning. These are just a few of the many areas that we investigate on behalf of our clients.
If you or a family member has been the victim of a collision with a commercial vehicle, please contact us at (216) 348-1800 or fill out our contact form to receive a free case evaluation with one our of Cleveland personal injury attorneys.