Common Causes of Truck Accidents Resulting From Negligence

Published on Sep 9, 2022 at 1:59 pm in Truck Accidents.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents Resulting From Negligence

Truck accident injuries are often catastrophic for occupants of smaller motor vehicles. If you were injured in a collision involving a tractor-trailer, you may be owed compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and more. Trucking companies have powerful insurance companies and lawyers on their side, so you’ll need a knowledgeable and aggressive attorney who is prepared to advocate for your rights.

At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, our attorneys are familiar with the most common causes of truck accidents resulting from negligence. We thoroughly investigate every case to determine what exactly caused an accident and who was at fault. With this information, we build strong truck accident cases that can stand up to the insurance company’s scrutiny.

Negligent Driving

Negligent or reckless driving are among the strongest contributing factors in most truck accidents. Truck drivers should always be alert and focused on the task at hand when they are driving, but despite being behind the wheel of a vehicle that may weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, many regularly engage in acts of dangerous driving.

We have worked with truck accident victims who were injured because of some of the following negligent driving behaviors:

  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Tailgating
  • Wide turns without using a signal
  • Texting, writing emails, or posting on social media
  • Eating or drinking
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while tired
  • Exceeding hours-of-service (HOS) regulations

When a truck driver’s actions cause an accident, liability still typically falls on their employer. You will need to be prepared to go up against the trucking company and its insurer even if you were injured by a speeding driver.

Negligent Maintenance

Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining safe, roadworthy fleets. With the average truck driver spending as much as 11 hours a day behind the wheel, the typical tractor-trailer will undergo a significant amount of wear and tear in its lifetime. Regular maintenance is essential for preventing any potential mechanical failings that could cause an accident.

When filing a truck accident claim, your attorney should request all maintenance records on the truck involved in your collision to determine whether there were any known issues with the vehicle’s:

  • Brakes
  • Steering mechanism
  • Engine
  • Clutch
  • Drive axles
  • Wheel seals
  • Transmission
  • Exhaust system
  • Driveline
  • Suspension

In addition to regular maintenance, drivers are also required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to perform a daily pre-trip inspection before they can operate a vehicle. Drivers must further submit a Daily Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) before driving. A DVIR should cover the truck’s:

  • Steering mechanism
  • Service brakes
  • Parking brake
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Reflectors and lights
  • Mirrors
  • Windshield wipers
  • Wheels and rims
  • Coupling devices
  • Emergency equipment

The absence of DVIRs for the truck that was involved in your accident could indicate that the driver was not regularly ensuring that the truck was in good working condition.

Negligent Hiring Practices

Driving a large tractor-trailer is much different than getting behind the wheel of a passenger vehicle. Truck driving is a trade that requires a specific set of skills and knowledge that the general population does not have.

Truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and should undergo any additional training required by their employer. Many trucking companies also provide CDL training for new hires to help them earn their CDLs before hitting the road. In exchange for the training, new hires are often asked to commit to working for the company for a set amount of time, often anywhere from six months to two years.

Injuries Associated With Truck Accidents Resulting From Negligence

Due to the sheer size difference between large tractor-trailers and smaller passenger vehicles, injuries related to trucking accidents tend to be severe. The recovery process can be time consuming and costly, not to mention the physical and emotional trauma that victims must also deal with.

A victim’s expected maximum medical improvement may fall short of their previous condition, meaning that they will never fully recover. Head injuries are among the most catastrophic injuries that occur in a truck accident, with many victims developing life-long health issues or disabilities from:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Concussions
  • Blunt head trauma

You may also be owed compensation if you suffered any of the following injuries in a truck accident:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limb
  • Eye injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Internal organ damage

Injuries suffered in a trucking accident are compensable in personal injury claims. Your injuries do not necessarily have to be catastrophic or traumatic to necessitate compensation, either. Any financial, physical, or emotional damages you’ve suffered because of a driver’s or trucking company’s negligence will be considered for your total settlement.

Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC Are Here for You

Do not leave the fate of your truck accident settlement in the hands of the insurance company. You have the legal right to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact our office in Jackson, MS today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our truck accident attorneys. We’ll go over your options and what you might expect to recover in your case.

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