Common Causes of Truck Accidents and Who’s Liable
If you are involved in a truck accident, you should know that laws are involved, and you should call a lawyer immediately. Truck accidents are different than usual ones. Hence, things can get more complicated. It is best to have a lawyer who understands the laws involved, the reason for the truck accident, and the relationship between the entities involved: the truck, the driver, and the load. These factors will help determine whether you are entitled to a personal injury claim because of the truck accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Car accidents happen because of big rigs. A lot can go wrong in a trailer truck operation which is why accidents happen. The most common reasons of accidents are:
- drive error
- driver fatigue
- drug use
- equipment issues
These are the common scenarios of truck accidents. Each has underlying factors, and there are different laws that applies, that is why it is recommended to have a personal injury lawyer that understands and has experience in truck accidents.
Truck Driver Errors
Usually, driving errors by truck drivers happen when they exceed the speed limit. Speed limits exist to minimize danger, driving too fast whether it be a truck or a car is dangerous to yourself as well as other drivers on the road. Another driving error is turning on a curve too fast. Riding on a curve too fast may end up losing control of the truck’s back wheels, hence, an accident. The other truck driver errors also include failing to monitor blind spots, which lead to collisions.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Fatigue usually causes drowsiness, and when a driver gets drowsy, they might fall asleep on the road and cause an accident.
The following actions are usually caused by fatigue or drowsiness:
- significantly impair the judgment of the truck driver
- lessen a driver’s ability to control the truck
- reduces stimuli to react when something is happening
- prevent the driver from making safe driving decisions
A driver who is overfatigue will likely fall asleep and cause an accident. He or she will also be inattentive and misjudge driving conditions.
It is no surprise that a drunk driver is not allowed on the road, which is the same case for a driver involved in drug addiction. There are federal regulations that require companies who are involved in trucks to test their drivers for alcohol and drug use. This should be done for employment purposes. There are also random alcohol or drug testing whenever drivers are on duty. If an accident happened, especially if it involves a fatality, alcohol and drug testing will be conducted to check if the truck driver is sober or not.
In that way, the victims will determine if they are entitled to compensation for personal injuries.
Tractor-Trailer Equipment Problems
One of the most common causes of the truck-trailer accident is mechanical failure. This might happen because of a defect in manufacturing or design errors. It might also be an equipment failure, whereas the driver forgot to check something before driving. Some manufacturing or design problems include:
- defective tires
- no backup warnings
- design failure
These can lead to crashes.
Another factor that leads to accidents is the failure to maintain equipment properly. Here are the common failures that often lead to mechanical problems are:
- removing or depowering the front brakes
- failure to maintain the brakes of the truck
- improper way of loading or securing the load or cargo (this may cause truck rollover)
- defective steering wheel
- failure to maintain tires
- wrong attachment of the trailer
Other Causes of Truck Accidents
It is important to note that it is not always about the driver or the equipment. It can be other factors like traffic signal failures, weather conditions, or faulty roads.
Truck Accident Laws
There are federal and state laws regarding truck accidents, and these are the basis of personal injury claims after the accident.
Who Is Liable for a Trucking Accident?
A truck accident is different from a car accident or a basic car-to-car collision. There are usually a lot of parties involved during a truck accident. These parties are all legally responsible for a victim’s injuries and other losses, which are called damages. They are:
- the truck driver
- the owner of truck or trailer
- the cargo loader
- the manufacturer of truck parts
- the contractor
Proving a truck accident is more complicated than a car accident. Hence, you should hire a lawyer that is an expert in this field. Multiple claims can usually be filed if there are a lot of parties involved.
Truck Driver Liability
Is the truck driver liable? It depends on the facts of the case. If the driver’s negligent behavior causes the accident or collision, you can sue the driver. You can also file a claim against the driver if he is distracted, speeding, or intoxicated. These are all against the laws.
The truck driver might also be liable if the accident is caused by cargo or truck maintenance. It is the driver’s responsibility to check the cargo or the mechanical parts of the truck.
Trucking Company Liability
Some companies are trying to shield themselves from truck accidents and let the driver pay for everything. However, most driver’s insurance is not enough to cover the expenses of the victims; hence, lawyers seek ways to get claims from the companies and make them liable.
What Should I Do If I Get in an Accident with a Big-Rig Truck?
If you are involved in a truck accident, it is important to check if you and other passengers are safe. Immediately call for help if you can. Call 911 and cooperate with the rescue team and investigators.
Call your lawyer immediately if you can. Their presence will help because they will be updated with everything that is going on. Get the names of the other driver and take photos if you can.
Talk to a Lawyer
Truck accidents are more complex than car accidents, so you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer who knows his way around accidents. At the Schwaba Law Firm, we are committed to ensuring that victims are compensated for their injuries.
Work with us, and you will get qualified and experienced attorneys.
Contact the Schwaba Law Firm and let us help you RECOVER.