While it may not seem like it, there are bigger differences when dealing with a truck accident than just the size of the vehicle. Although they are well insured, companies with commercial trucks will fire back at you with a whole legal team to avoid paying out for damage, injury, or even death. This is why the best thing you can do in such an event is to hire a trusted attorney to defend your interests.
To help understand liability in commercial trucks, let’s look at some of the main events that lead to truck crashes, and the reasons behind them. The following points are based on findings by a federal safety group:
This basically means the driver is not driving. Whether asleep or unconscious, their inability to be aware and in control of the vehicle is the cause of the accident. This could stem from a heart attack or seizure, overdose, falling asleep, or drug or alcohol-related unconsciousness.
- Poor Performance
In this case, the driver is awake but maybe not very aware. Things like overcompensating, panicking, driving aggressively or issues with directional control would all fall under this term. The related causes could be intoxication, distraction, fatigue, or inexperience.
The other side of this would be events like a failure to stop caused by ineffective brakes. And while the driver’s performance may not be directly to blame, it is still the responsibility of the driver or the company to keep their vehicles properly serviced and in good working order.
This means that the driver is not properly interpreting the conditions of the road. This could mean a failure to notice another car, to observe slippery conditions, or to slow down to meet the pace of traffic around them. These kinds of failures are usually related to distractions such as texting or streaming content while driving, other drivers or animals on the road, or being unfamiliar with their surroundings. They can also come about if the driver does not react in time to planned traffic stops such as lights or crosswalks, as well as unplanned or emergency stops like other accidents or police activity.
This is about choices the driver makes, whether routinely or in reaction to a given circumstance. Things like speeding, failing to brake on time, traveling too close to other drivers, or changing lanes in a dangerous way are all related to this idea. Obviously, drug/alcohol use or being overwhelmed are reasons that the decision-making process could be affected. And this entails more than illegal drug use, over-the-counter and prescription drugs can have disastrous consequences on a driver’s ability. There is also an inordinate amount of pressure on these truck operators to drive very long distances in very short amounts of time. For this reason, the issue of fatigue can not be stressed enough as a cause for poor decision-making.
Even in the most obvious instances of events and causes, there can be a legal battle ahead of you to get what you deserve from your accident. Take care of yourself, your interests, and your family by knowing your rights and seeking professional help.