Maneuvering a truck is a challenging task and requires drivers to have special licensing and training. Truck drivers need to remain alert to environmental conditions and the other vehicles on the roadway. They require an increased reaction time to make lane changes or other critical decisions. Limited visibility,called blind spots, are on all sides of the vehicle.
Common Causes of Truck and Tractor-Trailer Accidents include:
- Driver error
- Improper maintenance
- Mechanical failure
- Distracted driving
- Excessive speed
- Lack of driver training or experience
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Weather conditions
- Poor road maintenance
- Improper loading of the truck
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Common types of trucking collisions are jackknife accidents, rear-end and head-on collisions, runaway trailer crashes, rollovers, falling cargo, and under-ride accidents.
Proving Liability in Trucking Accidents
Victims of truck accidents must be adequately represented by a personal injury law firm that is well-versed in state and federal regulations for the commercial trucking industry. These regulations are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation regarding the usage and maintenance of trucks and truck drivers’ requirements. For example, trucks have mandatory inspections and requirements for weight and loading procedures. Drivers must have periodic medical examinations, drug testing, limits on the number of hours they drive, and more.
Every truck accident is unique and requires a thorough investigation by accident reconstruction experts and engineers to assess the truck’s functionality and the driver’s possible negligence. Documents from the truck, such as driver logs, maintenance records, driving qualification documents, and others, are critical for determining the accident’s fault.
Trucking Accident Compensation
An experienced trucking accident attorney can engage in aggressive negotiations and litigation against the defendant and their insurance carriers. Awards include economic and non-economic damages, such as current and future medical bills, property damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation costs. There may be multiple defendants in a truck accident, including the truck driver, their employer, the truck manufacturer, and the municipality responsible for road conditions. A multi-vehicle accident has many additional complexities.
The challenges of calculating the real cost to trucking accident victims require industry professionals such as medical experts, financial analysts, and accountants to determine fair compensation. A wrongful death claim can be filed by a family member or other financially dependent person. Compensation might include all the above losses plus funeral expenses, loss of consortium, loss of inheritance money, and punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior is found to be malicious or reckless.
When Should I Hire an Attorney?
It is crucial to hire a trucking accident attorney as soon as possible following the collision. Evidence from the scene, witness statements, and emergency personnel statements are best recollected immediately after the accident. Documents from the truck may not be available unless your attorney takes steps to ensure they are maintained. You want to hire a lawyer with specific trucking accident experience, one that is knowledgeable about insurance and liability issues and is willing to go to trial. You want a lawyer who will protect your rights and get you the compensation you need for your recovery and your family.
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