Truck Accident Claims

Truck Accident Claims: Everything to Know

At least four out of the top ten personal injury claims involve truck accidents. The thing is that truck accidents happen all too frequently, which is why you want to understand truck accident claims and passenger vehicle accidents in terms of how these differ from each other. 

Commercial Truck Accident vs. Passenger Car Accident 

A personal injury claim arising from a commercial truck accident is different from a claim arising from a passenger car accident in several ways.

Firstly, the rules of the road, which apply to standard care that applies to commercial truck drivers, are different from those that apply to passenger vehicles. The underlying reason is that driving a commercial truck is different from driving a passenger vehicle in a whole lot of ways.

For instance, there are physical differences between a commercial truck and a passenger car. These potential differences include differences in the following aspects:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Stopping distance 
  • Acceleration time
  • Turn radius
  • Trailer
  • Number of wheels that are on the vehicle itself.

Truckers Must Undergo Extensive Training 

Commercial truck drivers and the companies that employ them must comply with different training and licensing requirements as compared to drivers of standard passenger cars. For instance, a commercial truck driver must undergo extensive training in how they can safely maneuver a commercial truck in order to get a commercial driver’s license.

Truckers Must Undergo their Trucks before Embarking 

As a car owner, you might not do a thorough and full inspection of your car before you pull your car out of the garage every time. A commercial truck driver, on the other hand, must perform a pre-trip inspection before driving their truck.

This aspect also indicates that a commercial truck driver must know how to do the following:

  • Check and adjust their brakes
  • Change the configuration of the axles on the truck 
  • Perform other tasks that other drivers are not really required to do.

Common Truck Accident Injuries 

Now that we have established the basics let us talk about some common injuries that occur in truck accidents. Because of the reason that a commercial truck can weigh as much as thirty times the weight of a typical passenger car – truck accidents often result in more severe injuries than car collisions involving passengers. 

Common injuries that might result from a truck accident include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Broken cause

Common Truck Accident Causes 

So, what are some of the common causes of truck accidents? Some common causes of truck accidents can include the following:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Poorly maintained trucks
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Blind spots
  • Bad weather
  • Bad road conditions
  • Tire blowout
  • Truck malfunction
  • Intoxicated driving
  • A wide turn
  • Tailgating
  • Unfamiliarity with the terrain
  • Reckless or aggressive driving

Trucks also carry loads that can cause an accident. For instance, improper loading can be a cause of a truck accident if the load is improperly secured or if the load is too heavy. The load can also be top-heavy or shift during transportation. 

The Trucking Rules of the Roads

To recover money for the harm and damages that you might have suffered in a truck accident or to settle your case in a truck accident claim, you must first establish the truck driver’s liability for the accident. To do so, you will need to establish the rules of the road first that apply to commercial truck drivers.

Subsequently, you need to present evidence that the truck driver’s failure to follow the rules of the road caused the accident. The rules that a truck driver must follow may be found in certain documents, such as the driver-employee manual, policies and procedures, and the actual practices of the trucking company.

You can also find the rules of the road for truckers in the FMCSA, as it establishes various rules that truck drivers must follow to protect the safety of other drivers on the road. 

Evidence Is Crucial in a Truck Accident Case

If you get injured in a truck accident, you must get in touch with truck crash attorneys helping victims as soon as you can so you can collect the much-needed evidence to prove later in court that the accident that occurred was indeed the trucker’s fault and not yours. 

So, once you have successfully identified the rules of the road that truckers must follow and that were broken in your particular case, you will need to obtain evidence that the truck driver who hit you and caused injury violated one or more of these rules. 

The evidence might include the following things:

  • Crash report
  • Testimony from eyewitnesses
  • Dashboard camera footage
  • Information from the truck’s electronic logging devices
  • The truck’s hours of service records 
  • The truck driver’s route log
  • The truck driver’s records of duty
  • The truck’s repair and maintenance records
  • The trucker’s qualification profile
  • The trucker’s employment history
  • The trucker’s mobile device records

You get the point – collecting evidence is one of the most crucial aspects of truck accident claims, which is why you should never delay contacting a personal injury lawyer after getting into a truck accident and sustaining damages. 

The Importance of Establishing Responsibility 

Unlike normal car accidents, there are often multiple people or parties who may be responsible for the truck accident, whether directly or indirectly. A truck driver can be held partially accountable for an accident if a load shift or mechanical issue played a role in the collision or if the truck driver simply violated the rules of the road.

Additionally, the trucking company that employed the truck driver is responsible for the trucks and their drivers that it sends out onto the roads and highways. 

Trucking companies are responsible for hiring well-qualified drivers. However, this can become a problem if the trucking company is hiring someone with a long history of accidents and still places them behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler truck. 

It is the responsibility of trucking companies to ensure that their drivers are also adequately trained and perfectly capable of driving their trucks in a safe way. This, however, can become an issue if the trucking company has not trained and adequately documented the training of the trucker before putting them on the road. 

On top of that, third-party vendors or truck manufacturers can be potentially liable for a truck accident wreck.

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