If you or a loved one has recently been involved in an accident with a large truck, chances are the resulting injuries were quite devastating. Collisions between huge commercial trucks and smaller passenger vehicles often end with those in the smaller car getting the most severely injured while truck drivers may experience no injuries at all.
This can be particularly upsetting when the accident was not caused by the victims but by the trucker and/or the trucking company. In these situations it can be crucial to establish liability in order for victims and their families to collect the financial compensation they need and deserve.
There are three common factors that contribute to trucking accidents.
- Trucker negligence: Truck drivers are just like any other driver in that they can and do make some bad decisions behind the wheel. They can get distracted, drive while impaired and make some unsafe, reckless choices. These actions can be grounds to pursue a negligence claim against the driver.
- Poor truck maintenance: Trucks travel all across the country. In order to do that safely, they must be routinely and thoroughly maintained. Failure to do this could lead to problems with brakes, tires, engines and safety devices which can make it impossible for a trucker to keep control of or operate the truck safely. Truck owners and/or parts manufacturers could be held accountable if a truck is not maintained or is maintained with inadequate parts.
- Negligent employers: Employers in the trucking industry are expected to hire safe, qualified and properly-licensed drivers. They must also supervise their drivers to make sure they are complying with state and federal regulations. Unfortunately, between cost-cutting efforts and driver shortages, this doesn’t always happen. In these situations, trucking companies and employers can be held accountable for damages caused by untrained, unsafe and unsupervised drivers.
If any of these factors played a role in an accident, victims may have the option to pursue a legal claim seeking compensation. However, it can be a challenge to build these types of cases without an understanding of trucking accidents and personal injury laws which is why it is wise to speak with an attorney.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Truck Accident FAQ,” accessed on Dec. 1, 2015