Causes of Truck Accidents
Trucking accidents occur for a variety of different reasons. They can also happen due to the negligence of several different parties.
In order to determine the cause of the crash, our truck accident lawyers will investigate the following:
The Actions of the Truck Driver
Truck drivers are held to higher safety standards than the drivers of non-commercial vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented myriad regulations governing the conduct of truck drivers.
Unfortunately, truck drivers sometimes disregard these rules. In other cases they commit simple errors that can have devastating consequences. Examples of truck driver negligence include:
- Driving while fatigued or ill
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Failure to slow down or come to a complete stop
- Errors in changing lanes or merging
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
Ultimately, the driver of the truck is responsible for his or her conduct behind the wheel. However, errors like the above can also be the result of poor or insufficient training, failed supervision, and other forms of negligence on the part of the driver’s employer.
The Negligence of the Trucking Company
Trucking companies are legally responsible for the actions of their employees when they are on the road. Therefore, the company may be liable in your claim simply because one of its drivers caused an accident in the course of his or her job duties.
Investigation of the trucking company may also reveal negligence such as:
- Forcing drivers to work beyond the federal hours of service limits
- Hiring drivers with inadequate training and credentials
- Hiring drivers with records of serious accidents
- Failure to screen drivers for alcohol and drug abuse
- Failure to maintain and repair the truck, trailer, or both (depending on whether the company owns all or part of the rig)
Trucking companies are required to carry certain levels of minimum insurance coverage. If the company violates these regulations and does not have sufficient coverage for your truck accident injuries, it is crucial to work with an experienced lawyer who can explore all of your options for recovery.
Errors in Shipping and Transit
Overloaded and improperly loaded trucks are more likely to crash. Our lawyers investigate the shipping company to determine how errors in the loading and securement of cargo may have contributed to the accident.
Multiple parties may be at fault in accident claims involving overloaded or imbalanced semi trucks. The shipping company is responsible for loading and securing the cargo in or on the trailer, but the truck driver is responsible for inspecting the load at various points during the haul.
Our truck accident attorneys will investigate trucking company and shipping company records to determine how the cargo was loaded and whether or not it was inspected. You may be entitled to compensation from multiple negligent parties.
Defective Truck and Trailer Parts
Semi-trucks are massive vehicles that run on multiple parts and systems. If one or more of these components fail, the driver may lose control of the truck and cause an accident.
Product liability issues that may arise in a truck accident claim include:
- Defective brakes
- Defective tires
- Defective semi-trailer coupling
- Defective lights and electrical systems
- Defective fuel tanks and fuel systems
- Defective steering mechanism
An experienced product liability lawyer can pursue compensation from the makers and sellers of the defective vehicle or part. Multiple parties may be liable in defective product claims, including the manufacturer, assembler, wholesaler, retailer, and others.