Overview of the Causes of Truck Accidents and FAQs
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in an accident with a large truck, it probably doesn’t help to think that your accident may have been averted. The trucking industry has taken great strides in becoming safer, but they still do not do everything they can to make trucks safe on the road. Instead, every attempt to improve the safety of trucks on the road is met by furious resistance from the trucking industry, which exploits truck drivers and puts your family at risk in the name of profit.
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be able to get compensation for your injury or loss. Please call The Paris Firm at (909) 469-5127 or contact us online.
The Driver Is Critical
When you are considering a truck accident lawsuit, you need to understand that truck accidents are not purely accidental. In nearly 90% of truck accidents, the driver’s performance is the critical reason behind the accident. The driver may cause an accident because they are:
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Inattentive due to fatigue
- Driving when distracted
- Unfamiliar with the area they are in
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Unable to control the vehicle
- Taking over-the-counter, prescription, or illicit drugs
Truck drivers are some of the best drivers on the road, but they are often asked to drive for such excessively long shifts and at such odd hours that their performance degrades and puts them at increased risk for accidents.
Truck Maintenance Plays a Role
Although the driver is the most important cause of truck accidents, the maintenance of the vehicle can also contribute to the accident risk. The truck itself is the cause of 10% of accidents, and many associated factors related to the truck can significantly increase the risk of an accident, including:
- Brake failure (a factor in nearly 30% of truck accidents)
- Tire failure
- Cargo shift (a factor in only 4% of accidents, but when it occurs, the risk of accidents increases by 56 times!)
These truck and maintenance issues show that trucking companies often do not pay enough attention to the maintenance of trucks and the proper securement of cargo.
Is Profit the Number One Cause of Accidents?
Many of the factors that are behind trucking accidents come back to the trucking company’s motivation for profit.
Trucking companies encourage drivers to push the limits of human endurance by driving the maximum legal limit of hours, nearly 80 hours a week (and more before recent law changes!) This encourages drivers to drive when they feel fatigued, make poor decisions like driving too fast for conditions, and take over-the-counter stimulants.
Trucking companies’ lack of maintenance for their vehicles also increase risk. Saving money by postponing replacement of brakes or tires might make good financial sense, but it also increases accident risks.
When trucking companies make these decisions, they should be held responsible for the accidents they cause. An expert truck accident attorney can help you do that by making a damage claim against the trucking company on your behalf.
What should I do after a truck accident?
In brief, after a truck accident you should:
- Assess injuries
- Move to safety
- Contact authorities
- Document the scene of the accident
- Seek medical attention
- Contact a truck accident attorney
Should I talk to the trucking company representative at the scene of the accident?
Trucking companies and their insurance company often send a representative to an accident scene. These representatives may act helpful, and offer to make sure you get compensation in exchange for some brief statements. Often, the statements you give at this time will be used to reduce your compensation or prevent you from filing a truck accident lawsuit.
You have to give a statement to the authorities about your accident. The trucking company can get the information they need there. Making additional statements only increases the risk that you will say something you might regret.
Should I go to the doctor even if I don’t think I’m hurt after a truck accident?
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s good to go to the doctor after a truck accident. You may have suffered an injury whose symptoms will not become apparent until later, but your doctor may be able to diagnose problems and get you medical treatment early.
Should I accept an offer that the truck company makes immediately after an accident?
When a trucking company or its insurance company makes an offer after your accident, they’re probably trying to save money, and the offer is likely much less than you may be able to get if you pursue compensation with a claim against the truck company and their insurance company. You should at least have the offer looked at by someone with knowledge of these types of cases, especially a truck accident attorney.
Who is responsible for my truck accident?
There are many potential people who could be responsible for the truck accident. These include:
- The trucking company
- The shipper
- The loaders
- The maintenance company
- The cargo owner
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
It costs you nothing to discuss your case. We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation. If you were injured in a truck accident, please call (909) 469-5127 or contact us online.
If you retain our law firm, you will pay no out-of-pocket fees or upfront costs. Our fees are a percentage of the compensation we win for you.