Who Is Negligent In a Truck Accident?
By Chris Dixon
Thousands of people die every year in truck accidents and hundreds of others suffer critical injuries. If you are injured in a truck accident, it’s essential to hire an experienced lawyer to represent your case. Each state has different truck accident laws and rules for negligence that can be complicated to figure out, but with a lawyer by your side, this is easier to understand.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is defined as behavior that differs from how a relatively prudent person would act. There are varying degrees of negligence that each come with consequences. The term ‘negligence‘ can be used to define anything from speeding, to driving under the influence, or causing a fatal crash. If a truck driver is negligent and harms another driver, the injured driver could recover damages from the accident as long as there is significant evidence to support their claim. Examples of negligence from truck drivers includes:
- Texting and Driving
- Driving Under the Influence
- Driver Fatigued
- Failure to Maintain a Vehicle
Many elements are involved with the process of proving fault in a truck accident. The best way to ensure that the details of a crash are preserved and the responsible driver is held accountable for their actions is to act quickly after an accident, consult an experienced lawyer, and file a detailed insurance claim.
Factors That Are Involved With a Truck Accident
The truck driver’s insurance company will likely attempt to collect a statement from you right after the accident. It’s important to stay silent until you’ve talked to your attorney. The main priority of the other party’s insurance agent is to defend their client and get you to accept the lowest settlement possible. However, if the truck driver involved in the accident is at-fault for the crash, you could be eligible to recover compensation. Factors that are taken into account when a truck accident happens include:
- Driver fatigue – Federal CDL regulations state that if a truck driver is fatigued they shouldn’t operate a truck
- Whether speeding was involved – it takes significantly longer for a truck to stop than it takes for a passenger vehicle to stop. If a truck driver is speeding, they could rear-end another driver, not notice a stalled vehicle, or even lose control of their vehicle
- Did the truck malfunction? – truck drivers are required to perform safety checks on their vehicles and make sure that everything is working properly. If a driver doesn’t check their truck and report problems, this can be hazardous to both the driver and others on the road
- The results of the post-accident testing – if a truck driver is in an accident, they are required to undergo post-accident drug and alcohol testing
- How the accident happened – was the truck driver solely at fault for the accident? Or, are both parties at fault?
- Whether anyone was injured – if you were injured in a truck accident, the at-fault truck driver is liable to compensate you for your injuries from the crash
- Does the truck driver have prior offenses? – if the truck driver has prior accident offenses, this could negatively affect their claim
If you are injured in an accident and need help proving that the other driver’s negligence caused it, a knowledgeable lawyer is your best defense. An experienced lawyer has likely handled a case similar to yours in the past and has the resources available to them to produce the best results for your claim.
Truck Accident Penalties
There are more than 4,000 commercial truck accidents every year. Most of these accidents are 100% preventable and come with serious consequences, so why is the number so high? If a truck driver acts negligently and there is proof, CDL drivers can face suspension or loss of their license, fines and fees, jail time, and other consequences.
When a truck accident happens, the at-fault truck driver isn’t the only party that faces consequences. The company that a truck driver works for can face consequences for the negligent driver’s actions under federal law. While it can be difficult to obtain proof of a truck driver’s employment, with the help of your lawyer, this information can be gathered quickly. Your lawyer can start an investigation of the accident and obtain proof of an employee-owner relationship. With this information, your lawyer can prove that the truck driver and their employer are liable for your damages from the crash.
When Should I Get a Truck Accident Lawyer Involved with My Case?
If you are injured in a commercial truck accident, it’s crucial to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible. If you don’t have an experienced lawyer by your side, the other party’s insurer could take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge. The best way to ensure that your rights are protected and the best results are produced for your case is to hire an experienced lawyer. Your lawyer can protect your rights, help you file a compelling insurance claim, and negotiate for the most damages for your case. If you are ready to prove that the other driver in your truck accident is negligent, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to discuss your case.