Accidents involving heavy trucks, such as big rigs, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers, can be devastating. In addition to causing vehicle damage, they can injure and kill truck drivers, drivers of other vehicles, and pedestrians.
Many different factors lead to truck accidents. Yet carelessness often underlies them. For instance, the driver may be distracted, or the trucking company may have had a critical oversight in how it runs its business, leading to an accident.
When a person’s lack of care causes a truck accident, they can incur liability. Truck accident victims can pursue personal injury and wrongful death claims against those responsible. If they obtain a favorable settlement or win at trial, they can receive compensation for the adverse effects of the accident. Money damages can cover medical fees, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For those whose loved ones passed away due to a trucking accident, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can bring a wrongful death action against those at fault.
When pursuing trucking accident claims, navigating the legal system can be challenging. Yet if you or your loved one are a truck accident victim, Salango Law, PLLC, can help.
Trucking accident victims and their families deserve competent representation and assistance as they pursue justice. At Salango Law, PLLC, an experienced personal injury lawyer can support you as you build your case against the trucker, trucking company, or another driver culpable for the accident. Our legal team can gather the evidence necessary for holding the careless person who caused your accident responsible.
Contact our Charleston truck accident lawyers to learn more about how we can help you pursue justice after a trucking accident. Salango Law, PLLC, offers free consultations. Please call 304-342-0512 to schedule a meeting with us and take the first step toward seeking compensation.
What Causes Trucking Accidents?
Due to the large size of commercial trucks, trucking accidents can be more dangerous than other crashes. In many cases, trucking accidents happen because of negligence. Negligence occurs when an individual breaches their duty of care to the accident victim, causing harm. Causes of trucking accidents involving carelessness include:
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Improper cargo loading
- Time constraints on drivers
- Need for driver training
- Negligent hiring
- Distracted driving
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
When those responsible for maintaining their trucks fail to provide adequate attention and care to their vehicles, they can cause accidents. For example, tires must be in good condition. Worn tires are dangerous. They can cause blowouts. When tires rapidly lose air, trucks may veer off course and collide with vehicles and pedestrians.
Improper Cargo Loading
Cargo loaders must take special care to ensure proper arrangement and securing of the cargo. If they neglect to pack the materials correctly, the items can fall out of the truck. The cargo can strike other vehicles at high speeds, causing accidents. Incorrect cargo loading can also cause trucks to fall over, harming drivers and causing wrecks with other cars.
When a mistake with cargo loading causes an accident, accident victims may sue those responsible for cargo loading. Sometimes, the driver loads the cargo, while in other cases, the trucking company or third party bears responsibility. Even when the driver is not responsible for loading the cargo, the driver should check the cargo before heading out to the road to ensure that its arrangement and loading are secure.
Trucking companies sometimes pressure drivers to meet deadlines and move cargo quickly. When they exert stress on drivers, they attempt to maximize profits. Yet time constraints also create risks for drivers and those who share the road.
Truck drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care when doing their jobs. Yet when attempting to meet a company deadline, drivers may breach their duty and engage in risky driving behaviors.
They may have the incentive to speed to get from point A to point B faster. Since trucks are heavier than cars, they can take a longer time to come to a complete stop. Speeding trucks can be hazardous. Sometimes, drivers may be unable to stop in time to avoid obstacles.
They might disobey traffic rules and run a red light rather than wait at a traffic stop. Drivers can also suffer fatigue trying to meet deadlines.
Truckers might sleep less and take fewer breaks to put in more hours.
Trucking companies have a duty to maintain safe practices for their workers. Drivers also have a duty to operate their vehicles per traffic regulations. Even under time constraints, they must drive carefully and follow the rules of the road. When time constraints contribute to crashes, accident victims may hold truck drivers and trucking companies responsible.
Inadequate Driver Training
Driving a commercial vehicle requires specialized training. Trucking companies are also responsible for training their drivers to operate commercial trucks safely. When they fail to provide adequate training, their drivers can cause accidents. In some cases, drivers without proper training do not know they are unprepared for the job and cause accidents unwittingly.
If an untrained driver causes an accident, the victim can take legal action against the trucking company that failed to provide proper training. This kind of lawsuit usually targets the company rather than the driver since the company was ultimately responsible for training the driver.
Trucking companies also must hire competent drivers. If they fail to follow diligent hiring practices, they can incur liability. Companies must ensure that the people they hire to operate their vehicles are capable and qualified. For instance, engaging a driver with a poor traffic record constitutes negligence when the driver causes an accident that harms people.
Like drivers of cars, commercial truck drivers are susceptible to carelessness. They may text while driving, talk on the phone, eat at the wheel, or drive intoxicated. Those harmed by careless drivers can pursue personal injury cases.
Why Contact A Charleston Personal Injury Attorney?
Drivers and businesses have a duty of care to conduct their business safely as they share the roads with others. If a truck accident harmed you, the driver or company might have been negligent. In some cases, when a trucking accident injures someone, negligence is the underlying cause, whether the driver or company – or both – are to blame.
If you want to hold those who harmed you responsible for their carelessness, Salango Law, PLLC, could help. We can help you determine who could be liable for the accident, gather evidence for your case, write strong arguments, negotiate with your adversaries, and represent you in legal proceedings. For a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers in Charleston, call (304) 342-0512.