Recovering from Truck Accidents
Being involved in an accident with a commercial truck brings a whole new set of circumstances than what you see in a typical car accident. The specific nature of these incidents and the strict laws governing the commercial trucking industry requires a trained professional that can help you understand what you are up against and provide the right tools and resources to handle your case effectively.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for governing commercial trucking laws and practices. According to their research, there are ten main factors involved in all truck accidents around the country:
- Illegal drug use
- Traffic congestion or existing accidents
- Brake issues
- Problems with the roadway
- Driver unfamiliarity
- Sudden, unexpected stops
- Truck driver fatigue
- OTC medications
- Inadequate surveillance or monitoring tools
There are millions of commercial trucks on the road every single day across the country. Even the slightest loss of control or distraction can result in significant damages and deadly outcomes. Those damages usually affect the other vehicles involved. Because of the sheer size of these trucks, they are often left in better condition, and many truck drivers walk away from even the most severe accidents without a scratch. That is why you need a qualified truck accident lawyer on your side.
Causes of Truck Accident Injuries
As with any accident, there are some cases where the truck is at fault and some cases where another vehicle caused the crash. Determining fault in a truck accident claim is a big part of helping you get the outcome that you deserve. Truck drivers are held to a higher standard of laws and regulations while driving, as mentioned above. These regulations, however, aren’t always followed. Many truckers are paid by the load or the mile and will operate for longer periods of time to make more money. This is getting harder to do with electronic logs, but driver fatigue due to violating DOT (Department of Transportation) guidelines is still a leading cause of accidents involving semi trucks.
The negligence of a truck driver could also involve distracted driving. Distracted driving cases in all types of vehicle accidents, including truck accidents, have increased significantly since the introduction of smartphones. Although the FMCSA requires commercial drivers to utilize hands-free technology when they are behind the wheel, not everyone follows the rules. As a result, crashes involving truck drivers that are distracted behind the wheel are on the rise.
Aside from driver negligence, other causes may be involved in a truck accident. The vehicle itself could have experienced a defect that created danger or caused an accident. In some cases, a load is not balanced or loaded correctly, which can lead to dangerous weight shifts while the truck is going down the highway. Unsecured freight can also fall from trucks, damaging vehicles and injuring those in passing cars, and often leading to multi-vehicle accidents that can close freeways down for hours at a time. With so many variables involved and unique considerations with truck accidents, it is essential to have a qualified trucking accident lawyer on your side when you are dealing with a commercial vehicle accident.