Every traffic accident can cause serious injuries, but if you collide with a semi-truck, tractor trailer, or any other large commercial truck, the result could be tragic.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are a number of different factors that could lead to a truck accident, including:
The federal government regulates the trucking industry to ensure drivers are not forced to stay on the roads for prolonged periods of time. However, even the most experienced truck driver can suffer from fatigue behind the wheel and cause an accident as a result of his inability to stay awake or react quickly.
Commercial drivers are held to higher standards than other drivers when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. Most states require commercial drivers to be under a 0.04% BAC level, which is much lower than the 0.08% required of other drivers. Despite these restrictions, some truck drivers still choose to operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.
Trucks are much harder to operate than basic motor vehicles. If a truck driver has not been properly trained, his lack of knowledge could cause serious injuries or fatalities on the road.
Cargo Loading Errors
Cargo must be carefully loaded onto a truck to ensure the weight is distributed evenly. If it’s not, the truck driver could have a hard time controlling the movement of his vehicle, and in some cases, the truck might even tip over because of an unbalanced load. Other injuries could occur if the loading errors cause a piece of cargo to fall off of the truck and hit another vehicle.
The truck driver is usually not responsible for maintaining the truck, but the company that employs him is responsible for doing so. Trucking companies must ensure the truck is safe to operate prior to the truck driver beginning his trip. This includes checking everything from the condition of the brakes and tires, to the fluid levels under the hood. Every maintenance check performed on the truck must be well documented by the trucking company.
Truck Accident Liability
Determining liability in a truck accident is very different than determining liability in a car accident. In a truck accident, a number of parties could be held liable depending on the cause of the accident. If the cause was irregular maintenance, the trucking company may be held liable if it can be proven they did not perform regular maintenance checks on the truck. A trucking company may also be held liable when the truck driver’s lack of training caused the accident.
Because of the “respondeat superior” liability law, both a driver and a trucking company could be held liable if a driver error caused the accident. “Respondeat superior” means “let the master answer,” and refers to the relationship between an employee and employer. Even if a truck accident caused by a driver is not necessarily the trucking company’s fault, they may still be held partially responsible if the truck driver was an employee of the company.
Manufacturers may be held liable if a defective part of the truck malfunctioned and caused an accident.
To determine liability, you will need the help of an attorney who can investigate the details of your case and figure out exactly what caused the accident.
Compensation For Truck Accident Victims
Truck accident victims often suffer serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and physical therapy. The emotional trauma of being involved in a truck accident could linger for months. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a negligent truck driver or trucking company, speak to the attorneys at Trial Lawyers for Justice as soon as possible. Call 888-811-0844 to schedule a free consultation today.