Omaha Trucking Accidents - Driver Shortage Creates Risk
The nationwide trucker shortage is increasing the risks of trucking accidents in Omaha due to the influx of inexperienced drivers.
USA Today recently reported the trucker shortage is causing freight companies to offer bonuses of up to $8,000 as well as other incentives aimed at luring and retaining experienced commercial drivers. The American Trucking Association reports an immediate need for 50,000 more drivers to operate the nation's fleet of 4 million heavy trucks.
Other incentives companies are offering drivers include $100-per-day late pay for drivers who are not home on time, better mileage pay and paid weigh-in fees. While about 400,000 people obtain commercial driver's licenses each year in the United States, lifestyle and pay issues keep turnover rates high.
Thus, drivers who are increasingly inexperienced and forced to work long hours, sometimes in violation of federal Hours-of-Service regulations, can be a greater risk on the road.
Making a claim after a Nebraska trucking accident
That's bad news for motorists because trucking accidents typically result in very serious or fatal injuries to occupants of passenger cars. Of critical importance is hiring a truck accident attorney in Omaha who has experience handling accidents involving commercial vehicles.
These are complex cases for a host of reasons. Responsible parties may include a truck driver and his or her insurer, a trucking company and its insurer, or the freight owner and his or her insurer. Frequently, these parties and their insurers reside out of state. Trucking companies also often classify truckers as independent contractors. They may lease trucks and trailers from a third party and take other steps to reduce or avoid liability and evade responsibility for compensation in the event of a serious accident.
In fact, smaller company owner-operators (truckers who own their own rigs and contract out their services) contend that much of the current problem stems from cost-cutting and other profit-driven measures by large trucking companies, many of which would rather hire novice drivers than pay a living wage to experienced independent haulers.
Fault in Omaha truck accidents
Your chosen Omaha truck accident attorney should be experienced in handling trucking cases. Review of an accident involving a commercial driver will look at compliance with both state and federal laws. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces Hours-of-Service regulations in an attempt to limit fatigued drivers on the road. A truck's maintenance log and data recorders should also be carefully reviewed, as should the trucker's driving history and the safety history of the trucking company.
The Nebraska State Patrol's Carrier Enforcement Division also regulates commercial trucks. The agency places limits on truck weight, conducts random safety inspections, enforces special rules for hauling hazardous cargo and handles other enforcement activities.
Successful recovery after an accident with a commercial vehicle requires carefully identifying all responsible parties, determining all contributing causes of a collision and properly assessing the full scope of damages. The attorneys at Ausman Law Firm will launch a thorough investigation and work to pursue justice. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.