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How hard is it to assign proper liability in truck accidents?

When two cars collide and someone gets hurt it might not be simple for authorities and insurance investigators to sort out what happened. What can sometimes be dicey is determining and pursuing the full scope of compensation needed to cover medical care for a victim's full recovery. Full compensation for lost wages and other damages can also be a point of contention.

When the variables are increased it also makes it harder to assign the proper level of blame to the appropriate parties. This is something personal injury attorneys who deal with all types of motor vehicle accidents in Georgia learn with experience. It is also why victims of such accidents should make consulting with an attorney a priority.

This comes to mind in the aftermath of an astonishing collision between an Amtrak train and a semitrailer truck March 9. It happened in North Carolina. According to reports, the truck hauling an oversize load got its trailer stuck over the tracks at a crossing. It was under police escort, as required by law.

Having failed to clear the track, the Amtrak train barreled into the trailer. The train's engine and a number of its cars derailed. Fifty-five people were injured. Amazingly, no one died. Now officials are dealing with several factors that make it difficult to nail down responsibility.

There are questions about the trucking company's safety status. Records show the company's trucks have been involved in 13 crashes in the past two years that left nine people injured. Yet, the U.S. Department of Transportation indicates it carries a "satisfactory" safety rating.

The truck's driver has a history of traffic infractions and a felony conviction. His license was valid, but there are questions about whether the trucking company did a background check on him as federal law requires.

Specific to the accident itself, the investigation is expected to dig deeper into a stunning lack of communication. All the evidence suggests train operators didn't know the truck was on the tracks. Officials say protocols call for truckers and escorting authorities to keep rail dispatchers informed in situations like this. If, with all the means of communication available, no one made a call, why?

It's clear that it could take some time to get all the details of this accident sorted out.

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