People who are injured in commercial trucking accidents are often left with permanent, debilitating injuries. Standard vehicles are simply no match for 18-wheelers, as they do not offer sufficient protection to keep everyone safe in the event of a collision involving a massive semi.
Often, a victim’s initial reaction is to blame the driver of a commercial vehicle for his or her injuries, but many trucking collisions are actually the fault of the commercial driver’s employer or the manufacturer of the vehicle itself. Therefore, the direct and indirect causes of the wreck should be carefully evaluated to establish who is liable for any damages.
Many times, accidents involving commercial vehicles are simply the result of driver error, which can manifest in a number of ways, including:
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Being unfamiliar with the roads or region
Many commercial drivers are under pressure to deliver their freight in difficult conditions and under impossible deadlines. As a result, driver fatigue is often a significant factor in auto accidents involving commercial vehicles. The National Transportation Safety Board has established regulations requiring commercial drivers to receive ample rest, but occasionally employers will urge their drivers to ignore these guidelines in order to meet deadlines. Therefore, one of the first steps in determining responsibility in an auto collision involving commercial vehicles is to review the driver’s log to ensure compliance. A few other instances in which the trucking company might be liable for the accident include overloaded and overweight trucks as well as insufficient safety training or lax maintenance schedules.
Mechanical failure covers a wide range of potential risk factors, and although some may seem minor, even the smallest malfunction can cause a great deal of damage. Faulty brake lights and turn signals, blown out tires, and failing brakes have all been known to result in major collisions. One of the challenges that we accept is determining who is responsible for these mechanical failures—whether it be a repair service, the trucking company, or even the manufacturer.
Trucking companies and their insurance adjusters are notoriously difficult to deal with and often quick to deny responsibility despite facts to the contrary. They are interested in preserving their reputations and keeping costs to a minimum.
Here at the Law Office of William D. Cook, we have a great deal of experience litigating personal injury claims arising from trucking accidents. We also offer a free consultation to thoroughly discuss the particulars of your case, as well as a policy that ensures that you do not pay until we are able to win your case through settlement or trial.