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Home > Blog > Truck Accident > What Types of Truck Accidents Are Reported to the FMCSA?
by: NPHM | September 26, 2022

What Types of Truck Accidents Are Reported to the FMCSA?

When two or more passenger vehicles are involved in a crash in Ohio, the aftermath of the crash is usually handled by local police or the Ohio State Highway Patrol. In other words, the investigation and reporting of the crash are handled “in-house” by the city, county, or state.

But when a semi-truck transporting cargo across state lines is involved in a crash in Ohio, there’s a chance it will be reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is an agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation that oversees the commercial trucking industry in America.

What Makes a Truck Accident Fall Under FMCSA Jurisdiction?

Not all semi-truck crashes are reported to the FMCSA. Here’s a list of criteria for truck accidents that are reported to and potentially handled by the FMCSA.

The Truck Weighs At Least 10,001 Pounds

Trucks that weigh at least 10,001 pounds are classified as Class 3 vehicles and up. They include walk-in delivery trucks, box trucks, local delivery trucks, and some heavy-duty pickup trucks. Class 1 vehicles include minivans, small cargo vans, SUVs, and light pickup trucks, while Class 2 vehicles include full-size pickups and large cargo vans.

OR the Truck Transports Hazardous Materials (Regardless of Weight)

When trucks are cleared to carry hazardous materials, posted placards must indicate that they’re approved to carry those materials. Types of hazardous materials that are hauled by trucks include:

  • Corrosive materials
  • Explosives
  • Flammable and combustible liquids
  • Flammable solids
  • Gases
  • Oxidizers
  • Poisons
  • Radioactive materials

AND Either Type of Truck Accident Results in the Following Outcomes:

  • A fatality that occurs either at the time of the crash or within 30 days as a result of injuries suffered during the crash
  • OR an injury caused by the crash that requires the victim to receive medical treatment away from the crash scene
  • OR a vehicle involved in the crash that becomes damaged to the point where it needs to be towed away from the accident scene

There Are Exceptions to These Rules

Sometimes, trucks and large vehicles are involved in accidents that meet the requirements to be reported to the FMCSA, but exceptions exist that don’t require the accidents to be reported. These typically involve non-commercial operations of Class 3 (10,001+ pounds) vehicles and can include:

  • Crashes involving homeowners hauling recyclables to drop-off points in pickup trucks that weigh 10,001 pounds or more
  • Crashes involving pickup trucks weighing 10,001+ pounds that are hauling boats, horse trailers, or utility trailers that aren’t being operated for commercial or business purposes
  • Crashes involving family-owned and used recreational vehicles or motor homes

Who Reports Crashes to the FMCSA?

The FMCSA obtains information about crashes that fit the criteria listed above either through local and state law enforcement accident reports or through Accident Registers, which must be kept up to date by all registered motor carriers in the U.S. 

Accident registers include the following information:

  • Date of the accidents
  • Cities or towns where the accidents occurred
  • Names of the drivers who were behind the wheels of the trucks/large vehicles
  • The number of injuries and fatalities
  • Whether hazardous materials were spilled or released from the trucks/large vehicles
  • Copies of accident reports completed by local or state law enforcement and/or insurers

Crashes Reported to the FMCSA Often Mean More Compensation

When you’re hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, all you want is to get full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But the type of accident you were involved in and the type of vehicle that crashed into you are important distinctions that can make a big difference in the amount of money you’re eligible to receive.

Crashes that need to be reported to the FMCSA often involve more potentially liable parties and bigger payouts for victims. Instead of just filing claims against the negligent driver, you may be eligible to hold the trucking company and truck owner liable for your damages, too.

Getting compensation from three or more negligent parties can result in a much larger settlement for you and your loved ones, but winning on multiple fronts requires experienced legal representation.

We’re Here to Help After Your Truck Accident

When accidents are reported to the FMCSA, the stakes and complexity of victims’ compensation claims increases. But at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we don’t back down from highly complex and difficult cases—especially when significant compensation for our clients is on the line.

If you were hurt in an accident involving a big truck or a truck carrying hazardous materials, we want to help you get the money you deserve. Contact our Ohio truck accident lawyers today for a free consultation.

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