It’s Business, And It’s Personal

Why Do Trucking Accidents Occur, and How Should You React After One

A fleet of more than 15 million trucks ( carries the goods America needs every day. Trucking companies, and the trucks they ply, are an essential part of the economy. However, commercial pressures can cause trucking companies to become careless regarding safety. From accidents and injuries to property damage and even fatalities; such negligence can make for severe consequences.

As personal injury lawyers who help these victims know, these accidents can come from negligence in specific areas. With their understanding of the law, personal injury lawyers are best suited to advocate for victims of trucking negligence.

Types of Trucking Company Negligence

Trucking companies must comply with various regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to accidents.

Inadequate training: Untrained drivers can cause accidents by performing unsafe U-turns or skipping tire checks. Some trucking companies fail to provide their drivers with expensive and time-consuming training in these areas, putting their drivers and other road users at risk.

Driver fatigue: Driver fatigue is a significant issue in the trucking industry. Truck drivers are often encouraged to work long hours even when drowsy and fatigued. With slow reaction times, such drivers are likelier to make mistakes and cause accidents.

Improper vehicle maintenance: Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles to ensure they operate safely on the road. The pressure to meet deadlines or save money can push these companies to cut corners to save money, leaving their vehicles unsafe and unreliable.

Poor loading practices: Improper loading practices can cause serious safety issues. Overloading can affect a truck’s handling and braking, making it more difficult to control. Improperly loaded cargo can shift during transit, causing trucks to tip over. Underloading a tanker truck can cause considerable loss of control through the powerful sloshing actions of its liquid cargo. A poorly trained or overworked loadmaster could cause any of these problems.

Negligent hiring practices: While the commercial transportation industry is responsible for hiring qualified drivers with a clean driving record, these employers are often pressured to hire truckers quickly and may skip background checks. They may, therefore, hire drivers with a history of accidents or traffic violations.

Pressure to meet deadlines: The pressure to meet tight delivery deadlines can lead to errors. Drivers may speed, drive in unsafe conditions, or take risks to accomplish their deliveries on time.

What happens if you are hurt by a truck?

Following an accident involving a truck, your first step should be collecting evidence from the accident scene, if you can. Steps you can take include taking pictures, asking witnesses for their accounts, and collecting their phone numbers.

Next, your next goal should be obtaining medical attention, even if you don’t feel like your condition warrants care. Oversight in this area could later be used against you when the defendant’s lawyers assert that your problems arise from the accident and your failure to get timely medical care.

It’s important to remember that anything you say while you take these steps, could be used against you in a personal injury lawsuit. If you make a casual observation about how you don’t feel badly hurt, for example, or how you feel it could have been your fault, or how you only think you might deserve a small amount of compensation, any of it could be used against you.

It’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer with trucking accident experience for guidance. A trusted attorney can explain your rights, find the best coverage, and represent your best interests against insurers.