Big rigs on Louisiana’s Interstate 10 speed along, rushing to get to their next drop-off point. Long haulers on Interstate 20 cruise between Dallas and Atlanta in semitrucks that are a necessary element in U.S. trade. The drivers transport goods across the country and back again, fueling the economy with endless supplies of high-demand products.

What happens, though, when the transportation that stocks grocery store shelves falls down on the job? FindLaw describes some basic requirements for truck drivers and the companies that hire them, offering insight into the negligence that leads to truck accidents. Here’s what you should know.

Driving Records

First, transportation companies have a responsibility to hire drivers with clean records. If a trucker involved in an accident turns out to have an extensive number of speeding tickets, drunk driving convictions or sentences for other negligent behavior, the company may be partially to blame. The possibility of proving carelessness in a current incident may also be higher. If an eighteen-wheeler has crashed into you, checking into the driver’s record may be worth your time.

Maintenance Documentation

In addition to looking into the trucker’s driving history, review the big rig’s maintenance manual. FindLaw points out, “If a defect in the truck or any component of the truck caused your accident, then you may have a claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or repairer…” Drivers should follow protocol for regular maintenance of their vehicles, but if they fail to do so, it may be easier to prove their negligence. 

A few final areas FindLaw encourages you to investigate are the driver’s commercial license, his or her rest routine and the weight of the truck’s load. If the license was not valid, the trucker was not well rested at the time of the incident or the truck was not at or under maximum weight, you may have a stronger case for negligence against the driver or the company. 

Note this information seeks only to educate regarding negligence in truck accidents. It does not intend to provide legal advice.