What are the Leading causes and Indications of Negligence in Truck Accidents?
Truck Driver Fatigue
Many truck drivers have to endure long trips coupled with unrealistic deadlines from trucking companies. With the long hours on the road, these drivers become exhausted and can’t remain fully alert. Notably, 2016 recorded up to 475,000 large truck accidents
, with about 90% caused by human error.
Due to the hazards associated with driving fatigue, FMCSA has a limit of hours of service
that a driver should remain behind the wheel. However, these laws are often violated as drivers rush to meet delivery schedules.
After an accident, a lawyer can evaluate the driver’s logbook against the following documents to determine possible violations with hours-of-service: Scale and toll tickets, load identification documents, and fuel receipts.
Negligent Hiring and Truck Maintenance
While the trucking company may not be the direct cause of an accident, they may be the contributing factor through the following:
- Inadequately vetting drivers
- Failure to maintain the trucks
- Improper cargo loading
- Failure to support new drivers, review their performance and do periodic drug tests
If there are defective parts on a truck, they can lead to an unexpected crash even when an experienced driver is behind the wheel. A truck accident lawyer will make the necessary investigation to know whether the manufacturer or trucking company is liable for the accident.
Once you file a lawsuit after a truck accident, compensation is usually based on negligence. Some clear indications of negligence include:
- Driving for long hours without taking a break
- Failure to obey traffic rules
- Lack of or inadequate truck driving experience
- Failure to see other cars due to a large blind spot
- Driving an oversized truck on narrow roads
Driving at High Speeds
Driving too fast for conditions leads to several truck accidents all over the USA. These accidents are usually difficult to investigate as truckers don’t admit they were speeding. Although driving too fast for conditions doesn’t always mean a truck driver was speeding, a personal injury lawyer can rely on the truck’s data recorder to investigate the case.
How do Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents?
Unlike other motor vehicle injury claims, truck accidents are somewhat complex. You will need the assistance of a truck accident lawyer to maneuver through the tedious process to help you get the proper compensation. There are various state laws regarding commercial trucks, such as the routes that trucks can legally use
in Santa Cruz.
Still, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has specific laws governing commercial trucking companies and their drivers. According to the circumstances surrounding your specific truck accident case, a truck accident lawyer is well-versed with the rules and regulations that can apply in each case.
Truck accidents are also more severe than other car accidents because:
Trucks Are Larger Than Other Cars
Trucks can weigh thousands of pounds and can be up to 80 feet long
. The trucks’ sheer size causes more damage during an accident regardless of their speed.
Hazardous Material Can Cause More Damages During an Accident
Trucks are used to ferry hazardous material such as caustic chemicals. If there is a collision with a truck carrying such materials, it can influence the severity of the crash and add more damages to your car. If the truck driver doesn’t have the appropriate license to operate a truck containing hazardous material, accident victims may be entitled to an additional settlement.
You Are Dealing with More than Just the Truck Driver
While handling an accident involving another passenger vehicle, you only deal with the other driver. However, in a truck accident, you will have to deal with more parties, making the process more complicated. Depending on what caused the accident, you may have to sue the transport company, the driver, truck manufacturer, or the maintenance provider. You will have to determine liability before proceeding with the case. For instance, if the truck driver acted responsibly on the road, they may not be held liable for the accident.
In a nutshell, you will need the assistance of a personal injury attorney to make all the necessary investigations into the cause of the accident. The procedures of gathering evidence are much more cumbersome, and it requires an experienced attorney. .