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Wrongful Death Legal Action May Follow a Truck Accident in Lincoln, Nebraska

— August 3, 2022

Truck drivers must undertake specialized training because of the difficult maneuverability and specialized mechanisms in big rigs and tankers.

A 29-year-old Lincoln man suffered fatal injury in a crash in a truck accident in Seward County two months ago. Seward County Sheriff’s Office personnel reported the accident occurred just before 8 a.m. It involved a head-on collision between a car and a big rig trailer on Highway 34. The passenger vehicle Subaru was traveling westbound on 34 and crossed into the eastbound lane resulting in a head-on collision with the tractor trailer and the Subaru driver suffered fatal injury at the scene. 

Potential wrongful death action

If wrongful death legal action is entertained by surviving loved ones, there will be many factors that need to be investigated before litigation can go forward. If there were witnesses at the scene, they may need to be interviewed, and insurance responsibility must be determined for named parties.

Increased tractor trailer crashes

Data from Nebraska’s 2020 Traffic Crash Facts report revealed 35 fatalities out of the 1261 Semi-trailer truck accidents. Heavy trucks are overrepresented in fatal crashes because their size tends to cause catastrophic injury and damage. In many cases, it is difficult to pinpoint causes for truck accidents, as outside factors including weather, fatigued driving, other drivers, and roadway conditions must be taken into consideration. Accident victims may ask themselves “Where can I find an attorney near me?” when they need assistance after accidental injury and property damage caused by a truck accident. 

Commercial driver licensure (CDL) and records

Truck drivers must undertake specialized training because of the difficult maneuverability and specialized mechanisms in big rigs and tankers, and many companies and insurance carriers require a commercial driver license (CDL) for employment and insurance coverage. When truck accidents occur and personal injury results, a Lincoln truck accident lawyer experienced with federal and state trucking regulations may utilize a commercial driver record to reveal questionable driving patterns through ticketed repeat offenses including speeding, DUI, or improper maintenance of vehicles. Truck drivers can be disqualified, or have licenses suspended due to certain roadway incidents falling into: 

Serious moving violations

  • Speeding 15 or above over posted limits in Nebraska. Drivers can have their license suspended for up to a year, following too closely, reckless operation, erratic lane changes, texting while driving, or driving a CMV without the proper clearances and licensing. 
  • Railroad violations that include ignoring railroad crossing restrictions through device or enforcement official, not slowing down when required to, failing to stop if tracks are not clear, stopping before clearing railroad grade crossing, inadequate undercarriage clearance and a complete failure to stop. 
  • Out-of-Service violations for drivers, or vehicle out-of-service orders while transporting non-hazardous materials, or hazardous materials required to be placarded; and operating a vehicle designed to transport 18 or more passengers, including the driver.

Federal CMV hours on duty restrictions

FMCSA logo courtesy of FMCSA.
FMCSA logo courtesy of FMCSA.

Commercial motor operators who drive big trucks have restrictions for trucks carrying property cargo limited to maximum hours driven; minimum hours off duty; and required rest after 60/70 hour driving limit. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking, 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Commercial motor vehicle drivers that are carrying people have more stringent restrictions. 

Additional parties

Experienced Lincoln accident lawyers are skilled at identifying additional parties to an accident claim, separate from the truck driver, including trucking companies, mechanics, or manufacturers of a truck and/or parts, and understand the trucking industry and relevant regulatory laws. They can determine the best legal approach to individual cases such as mediation, arbitration or going to trial. 


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