10 Common Truck Accident Claims
By Chris Dixon
Truck accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Whether due to negligence from the truck driver or a passenger vehicle occupant, the results are the same; hefty damages and consequences for causing the crash. If you or someone you love has been in a truck accident, the Dixon Injury Firm has put together the following guide of the 10 most common truck accident claims to hopefully provide guidance for your case. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Dixon Injury Firm for further information.
Large trucks weigh significantly more than passenger vehicles and take longer to come to a complete stop. If a truck driver isn’t paying attention and fails to notice a stalled vehicle on the highway or a car stopped at a stoplight ahead of time, it could be too late for them to brake and avoid a collision. If a truck rear-ends a passenger vehicle, this could result in dashboard injuries for the driver of the passenger vehicles, head trauma, or internal bleeding. It’s critical for truck drivers to stay well rested and alert when behind the wheel to avoid being a hazard to other drivers on the road or to themselves.
If a commercial truck driver isn’t cautious or alert while driving, their truck could “jackknife.” Improperly loaded cargo, turning too quickly, or not maintaining a truck’s parts leaves the door open for a driver to lose control of their truck. If a truck isn’t properly maintained or their cargo poses a hazard to other drivers on the road, this can lead to serious injuries and financial damages. It’s crucial for truck drivers to be careful when loading cargo, regularly maintain their vehicle, and stay alert while behind the wheel.
Driving Under the Influence
29 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2017 had a blood alcohol count, or BAC, that was over the legal limit of 0.08. While this is a decrease from 51 percent in 1982, this number should be significantly lower. Accidents caused by driving under the influence are 100% preventable, and can often cause severe injuries or be fatal. If you have been severely injured in an accident that was caused by a truck driver under the influence, you could be eligible to recover compensation for your suffering. If you have lost a family member because of a truck driver under the influence, you can file a wrongful death claim. Driving under the influence is not something that should be taken lightly, especially when it involves a CDL driver that is operating a large truck that weighs over 70,000 pounds.
Speeding is one of the top causes of truck accidents in the U.S. Large trucks take more time than passenger vehicles to come to a complete stop, so it essential for truck drivers to always look ahead on the road and stay alert behind the wheel. If you have been in a truck accident that was caused by speeding, you could have a valid claim against the truck driver and recover compensation for damages with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, a 2006 study found that driver distraction was the leading cause of truck accidents. In more than 70% of accidents, driver inattention is part of the cause. If a truck driver is distracted while driving, whether it be from texting or fiddling with the radio, this could cause them to hit another vehicle on the road, rollover, strike an object, or “jackknife”. If you have been the victim of a truck accident that was caused by distracted driving, it’s critical to have an experienced lawyer by your side to fight for your case.
Sideswipe collisions can happen for many different reasons, but the main cause is distracted driving. If a truck driver is fatigued while driving or not paying attention to other drivers on the road, this can cause them to hit or sideswipe other vehicles on the road. If a passenger vehicle is sideswiped by a large truck this can cause severe injuries and damages, fatalities, or a multi-car accident. If you have been involved in a sideswipe collision with a truck, it’s vital to seek immediate medical attention for your injuries and have an official medical report filed on your behalf by your physician. A medical report can be a powerful piece of evidence when filing a truck accident claim with your lawyer.
Truck drivers are often on the road for days or weeks at a time, and if they aren’t diligent about getting proper rest, they can become distracted, think irrationally, and cause an accident due to their fatigue. CDL drivers are required by federal law to avoid driving while fatigued and to get adequate rest before driving. If you have been involved in an accident caused by a truck driver’s fatigue, they could be required to compensate you for your damages and injuries from the crash.
Failure to Maintain
There are strict federal regulations that require truck drivers to perform pre-safety checks before trips, weigh stations that they must stop at regularly on trips, and a slew of other safety regulations that are mandatory to follow. If a large truck isn’t maintained or cargo is improperly loaded, the driver could lose control of their truck and put other drivers on the road at risk of being harmed. CDL drivers are legally required to report all accidents to their employer and undergo post-accident testing. If a truck driver fails to follow these steps, your lawyer can use this information to the benefit of your truck accident claim.
Claims Against an Independent Contractor
If you are in an accident with an independent contractor, it can be difficult to figure out how to go about your case. Your experienced lawyer can help you file a claim against the at-fault truck driver and even the company they work for. Federal laws have changed over the years, and though the trucking company might try to argue that the driver isn’t a direct employee, the truck company is liable for the negligence of any drivers operating a vehicle with their name or logo on it.
Truck Accident Claims Against a Passenger Vehicle Driver
In a crash that involves a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, it might be easy to assume that the accident was caused by the large truck but this isn’t always the case. If a passenger vehicle makes an improper turn or changes lanes at the wrong time and causes a truck accident, fault for the accident would likely be placed on them. It’s essential to be aware of other vehicles on the road, including large trucks, and be cautious when changing lanes and turning. If you are responsible for an accident that involves a large truck, it’s crucial to involve your lawyer right away to protect your rights, defend your case, and negotiate for the fairest settlement possible for damages caused in the accident.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Truck Accident Case Today
It’s often difficult to determine fault in an accident, but with an experienced lawyer on your side, the best results can be produced for your truck accident case. Your lawyer can help you gather supporting evidence for your claim, obtain copies of your medical and police report from the accident, and help you file a compelling claim against the negligent truck driver. If you need a lawyer to provide guidance for your truck accident case, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today. Our attorneys offer free consultations and have the resources available to them to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your truck accident claim.