When looking at motor vehicle collisions, there are not many that are more dangerous than truck accidents. We are looking at a huge size difference when comparing regular passenger vehicles with commercial trucks. Whenever the trailer is fully loaded, we are talking about a vehicle that is weighing up to an impressive 80,000 pounds.
Because of the huge weight and size of the commercial truck, there is a very high possibility those in the other vehicles will be seriously injured. Also, for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, the possibility of death is even higher. Basically, severe bodily harm is very common and can result in wrongful death or permanent disabilities.
Fortunately, the law allows you to receive compensation for the injuries you suffered, in the event that the accident was not your fault. And when referring to commercial truck accidents, the fault is often not that of the driver of the other vehicles involved. However, everything boils down to proving liability.
Identifying Liable Parties
It is always highly recommended to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer when you want to prove liability. Learn more about this here: https://hensleylegal.com/indianapolis/truck-accident-lawyer/.
Getting back to the main topic at hand, liability is always linked to the cause of the accident. This is why you should know about the following causes:
- Driver Fatigue – In so many cases, the commercial truck crash happens because a driver ends up falling asleep or is simply way too tired and cannot safely operate the large vehicle. It is true that all truck drivers need to follow very strict regulations when it comes to hours of operation and many other things. Even so, trucking companies so often encourage drivers to purposely change driving logs. This is why attorneys always verify records to identify potentially unsafe practices.
- Intoxicated Driving – It is always dangerous to drive while impaired but when it comes to commercial trucks, the dangers are so much higher. There are so many truck drivers who are impaired because of the use of controlled substances or alcohol. In such cases, very dangerous accidents can appear.
- Distracted Driving – When the driver of the truck is not paying close attention, it is possible to simply fail in noticing vehicles or even respond correctly on the road. We are all aware of using the smartphone as a common cause of distracted driving but even something as simple as listening to the CB radio can become a huge problem.
- Traffic Violations – All truck drivers need to be very careful as they need to follow all traffic laws, including some that are specifically created for them. When traffic violations appear, especially in tougher driving conditions like difficult weather or curvy roads, accidents are close to follow.
- Mechanical Failures – While in the examples above most of the fault is attributed to the truck driver, in other cases, other parties are liable. Mechanical failures can be the fault of the maintenance crew or the truck company that decided to ignore signs that there are mechanical problems that should be solved as soon as possible. For instance, defective trailer couplings should be fixed fast or there is always the chance that they will malfunction, which would lead to something really serious, like the trailer getting detached.
- Improper Cargo Management – This includes securing cargo and loading cargo. All items inside the trailer need to be secured properly and weight has to be distributed in a way that offers stability.