It is especially vital that drivers sharing the road with commercial trucks realize the dangers that are present. These vehicles are much larger, as large as eighteen-wheelers in some situations, and this can result in catastrophe if an accident were to occur. But what are some of the most common causes of accidents involving these large commercial trucks?
Sometimes, truck accidents are caused by passenger vehicle drivers.
Drivers who operate passenger vehicles and share the roads with trucks are often the ones to blame for traffic accidents involving them. A very common type of accident involves the ignorance of a truck’s performance capabilities, like limits associated with acceleration braking and visibility. Other common unsafe acts can include the following:
- Driving in “No-Zones”, or areas behind a truck where the truck driver has no visibility
- Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck
- Maneuvering to the right of a truck that is making a right turn
- Merging improperly into traffic
- Failure to slow when a truck begins to change lanes to merge
- Unsafe passing
- Pulling into traffic in front of a truck without accelerating sufficiently
- Driving between large trucks
Other times, truck accidents are caused by commercial truck drivers.
People who operate commercial trucks are typically trained to be skilled and patient. However, the size and weight of these trucks can contribute to traffic accidents. The characteristics involved include
- Inadequate training on driving techniques, safety concerns, and defensive driving
- Systems of compensation that encourage faster vehicle speeds ad more hours than would be advisable in most situations
- Unrealistic schedules and expectations set by trucking companies that encourage drivers to hurry, despite the safety risks (1)
How do you prove your case in a trucking accident?
In most personal injury cases that involve vehicles, the main legal theory of liability applies: negligence. This also applies to ones involving commercial trucks, fortunately. A person injured in a commercial trucking accident must show the following:
- The Defendant (driver or trucking company in most cases) owed the plaintiff the duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care to avoid injury, under the circumstances
- The Defendant failed to exercise such reasonable care, or “breached” the duty of reasonable care
- The Defendant failed to exercise reasonable care, which lead to the cause of injury suffered by the plaintiff
There can be many potential defendants to consider.
So, who was responsible for your commercial trucking accident? Various situations apply and, in order to collect for injuries suffered in a trucking accident, it is important to identify as many potential defendants as possible. It is important to remember that this may not be limited to just the driver. In many cases, your case could also include trucking companies, contractors, employers, and insurance companies who may be obligated to compensate you for your injuries. A trucking company may be held responsible if an employment relationship is established between the truck driver and a trucking or shipping company. If the driver was an independent contractor part of a larger company, this can be more difficult, as the key issue becomes the amount of supervising done by the company involved. (2)
In a commercial trucking accident, you will most likely sustain some serious physical injury or property damage. If you or a loved one have been involved in one of these accidents, you should have your claim reviewed by an attorney you trust immediately. Call us at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. today to talk to us about your case and to schedule a free consultation.