Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are a lot of factors that can lead to a truck accident. While some are linked to the behavior of passenger car drivers, many also fall on the truckers themselves. These professional drivers are held to a higher standard, including extensive training and testing. When they fail to uphold this higher standard, accidents happen. In an 18 wheeler crash, the driver and even the trucking company can often be held accountable for injuries sustained.
Some truck accidents are caused by the same things that lead to other motor vehicle accidents. This includes speeding, failure to maintain lanes, and failure to follow traffic signals. There are other causes that are fairly unique to 18-wheelers, though. For example, a semi-truck has a lot of blind spots, and this can lead to accidents if a driver is not careful. They cannot see directly behind their truck, and or in some areas along the sides.
In addition, driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents. There are state and federal laws that regulate how long truckers can drive without a break, and they must record these activities in a log. However, they are often encouraged to push the limits of these laws, or even break the law in order to make more or faster deliveries. When this happens, you have fatigued drivers who have a slower reaction time, or could even fall asleep behind the wheel. Just as dangerous — if not more so — than fatigued drivers are truckers who are on prescription medications, or are intoxicated due to alcohol or illegal drug use.
Common Injuries After a Truck Crash
Trucks are heavy; they’re a lot heavier than your average passenger vehicle. It’s a lot of metal coming down the road. When a collision occurs, the injuries can run the gamut from minor scrapes and bruises to debilitating back or neck injuries to significant closed head injuries including brain damage.
Because of severity of these accidents, they often require extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. Even if you do not have to spend weeks or months in the hospital, you are likely to miss work. If you suffer permanent injuries, you may be disabled and never be able to return to your previous job.
Of course, physical injuries are not the only way a truck accident can cause damage. You may no longer be able to participate in hobbies you previously enjoyed, and your quality of life may be reduced. Depression and other emotional struggles are common. At the very least, the pain and suffering after the accident will likely disrupt your lifestyle for a while.
Compensation Available After a Truck Accident
If the trucker’s negligence caused the accident, you can most likely file a claim against both the commercial driver as well as the trucking company, who is responsible for their employee’s actions through a concept known as vicarious liability.
By filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the driver and trucking company, you can potentially collect the same types of compensation you could collect in any other car accident case. Commercial trucking companies, however, are required to carry much more insurance than the average motorist. This means there is usually plenty of insurance money available to cover your injuries after a trucking accidents. There’s usually a million-dollar policy, and often an excess policy on top of that.
Compensation can be collected for your medical bills for recovery, compensation for time off of work, and pain and suffering. While their insurance policies may offer more coverage, they often also have experienced legal teams on their side who will fight to prevent you from receiving the compensation you are entitled to. This is why you must enlist the help of the most experienced attorney available.
The Advantage of Having an Experienced Attorney
In many ways, truck accidents are very similar to any other auto accident. In other ways, however, they are very different. When filing a claim and proving damages in a truck accident, you must consider not just your regular rules of the road but also regulations set by the federal government and the Department of Transportation. This includes things like maintenance records and logbooks.
Since the trucking company has this type of evidence in their possession and it may be pivotal in your claim. For this reason, your attorney should send a letter or spoliation as soon as possible after an accident. This letter legally requires the trucking company to preserve these documents so that your lawyer can review them and use them to help your claim.
Your attorney will follow up on whether or not the driver and the trucking company were actually in compliance with all state and federal regulations, in addition to the usual traffic laws. If these documents show they were not in compliance, that can be a significant factor in winning your case.
Trusting Triebsch & Frampton, APC with Your Claim
Triebsch & Frampton, APC has a track record of recovery. We’re familiar with all regulations and requirements imposed on truckers and trucking companies. We immediately get to work for you to ensure all evidence is preserved in your case. If you need the help of an attorney Central Valley, call us today at (209) 667-2300 to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment.