6 Common Causes of Truck Accidents and How to Prove Them
After a serious truck accident, your friends and family will probably ask you, “what happened?” Many times, there’s no clear answer. Sure, the truck veered into your lane or jack-knifed, but what happened in the moments before the wreck? Could it have been avoided? What should you do next?
At Crosley Law, we help answer those questions. Our experienced truck accident lawyers use cutting-edge techniques to investigate victims’ claims and hold at-fault parties accountable. In this article, our team outlines some of the most common causes of truck wrecks and how we help victims get the compensation and justice they deserve.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
In 2018, 4,136 people died in large truck crashes, and 67% of these deaths were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, while 16% were truck occupants and 15% were motorcyclists, pedestrians, or bicyclists. While every truck wreck involves its own unique set of facts, researchers and traffic safety experts have identified the most common factors.
- Driver fatigue and illness: Whether a truck driver has the flu, suffers a heart attack, or is falling asleep at the wheel, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) categorizes it as “non-performance,” a top reason for commercial truck crashes. While there are strict rules about the number of hours a trucker can drive and their health, trucking companies frequently break the law and push their drivers beyond their limits.
- Distracted driving: Inattention can be caused by an electronic device, daydreaming, rubbernecking, eating, and many other activities. Unfortunately, 28% of truck wrecks are due to distracted driving and recognition issues.
- Driver error: Poor decision-making by truck drivers is one of the common causes of truck accidents. This may involve a driver misjudging how fast other vehicles were going, driving too fast for the road conditions, following other vehicles too closely, or speeding.
- Poor truck maintenance: Brake problems and tire problems are also contributing factors to truck accidents throughout the U.S. Again, the federal government has strict rules about truck inspections and preventive maintenance, but companies sometimes prioritize profits over safety.
- Dangerous and defective truck parts: Tire blowouts, brake failures, and sudden acceleration are sometimes due to dangerous or defective truck parts, not driver error. In these cases, it’s important to preserve the parts so an expert can evaluate their design and manufacturing.
- Negligent hiring and training: Due to driver shortages, some trucking companies hire unqualified drivers or fail to train their teams. Inexperienced and poorly trained truckers are more likely to cause crashes.
Proving Fault After a Truck Accident
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you may know that going up against a commercial trucking company can be extremely difficult. The company will attempt to avoid liability—and may even try to blame you for the wreck. Its motivation is simple: the company doesn’t want to pay your medical bills or cover your lost income.
That’s why many victims get help from an experienced truck accident lawyer. At your initial consultation, your lawyer will listen to your side of the story, taking notes, and asking questions. Then, they’ll review the police report, your medical records, and any other crash investigation reports that are available. But, at Crosley Law, that’s just the beginning. Our team of truck wreck attorneys goes the extra mile:
- Preserving the truck’s black box, dashcam, and other electronic data (when applicable)
- Demanding copies of the driver’s hours of service and maintenance logs
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Consulting with experts, including doctors, engineers, and accident reconstruction specialists
- Inspecting the crash site and damaged vehicles (when possible)
- Reviewing trucking company records about the driver’s safety record, training, and drug and alcohol tests
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Get Answers
The expert truck wreck lawyers at Crosley Law help their clients uncover the reasons behind their truck wreck and get the compensation they deserve. We closely examine their cases, collect evidence, and attempt to prove that the truck driver and their employer were at fault.
Our track record speaks for itself. One of our clients suffered a traumatic brain injury from a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler truck tractor was awarded $16 million. Another client settled her case for $250,000 after a reckless truck driver crashed into her car, causing her debilitating pain and a mild traumatic brain injury.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study – Analysis Brief (2007, July). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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