When you stop and consider the large size and weight of commercial trucks like 18-wheelers, it is easy to see why truck accidents can cause devastation. These large vehicles present a number of dangers to smaller cars, making it crucial for drivers to exercise caution on the roads. Not only do truck drivers need to bear in mind the damage they could do with their vehicle if they drive irresponsibly, but other vehicle drivers also need to consider how to drive appropriately in the presence of large trucks. A single wrong move, such as a late lane change with no signal, could result in a severe truck accident as they are not able to stop or take evasive action as quickly as a smaller vehicle. Whether you are a truck driver who has collided with another vehicle that has dodged in front of your truck, or a car driver who a negligent truck driver has hit, you will need the services of a truck accident lawyer to guide you through the forthcoming lawsuit.
Let’s take a look at what causes some of the accidents that you may need a truck accident lawyer to assist you with.
Truck Accidents Caused by Passenger Vehicles
It’s easy to pinpoint the truck driver as the guilty party when a truck accident occurs. After all, that is the bigger vehicle, so surely they must be to blame? This is actually incorrect! The drivers of passenger vehicles actually cause a large number of truck accidents. This is often down to their ignorance of a truck’s speed, size, and braking capabilities. A car driver committing certain acts close to a commercial truck often results in an accident. A truck accident lawyer will present these actions as evidence that the passenger vehicle driver is the one at fault. Some of these actions might include:
- Driving in the areas behind or beside a commercial vehicle, where the truck driver has limited visibility
- Changing lanes erratically in front of a truck
- Misjudging how fast a truck is approaching an intersection and making a left turn in front of the truck
- Merging inappropriately in traffic, causing the truck to brake sharply or take evasive action
- Passing a truck at high speed without making allowance for potential turbulence or crosswinds
- Unsafe passing
- Failure to get a disabled vehicle off the highway and onto the shoulder
- Failure to slow down or speed up when a truck is changing lanes or merging
These are just a few of the infractions a passenger vehicle driver could make that might result in a truck accident. Drivers must respect these larger vehicles and drive appropriately when sharing the road with them. Otherwise, they may find their actions being scrutinized by a truck accident lawyer looking to assign fault to them in the event of a truck accident. It may be useful to check out the safety information provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to learn some tips.
Truck Accidents Caused by Commercial Truck Drivers
It takes a great deal of skill and training to drive commercial trucks. However, they are human and are therefore not immune to making grave errors. In addition to the dangers that come along with driving such oversized vehicles, there are some other contributors that can cause truck accidents. These are the things that a truck accident lawyer may use to highlight that fault lies with the truck driver rather than the other driver.
- Inadequate training may mean the truck driver is not as well versed in driving techniques, safety measures, and defensive driving as they should be
- Some trucking companies may push drivers to complete routes faster and even compensate drivers who arrive ahead of schedule, encouraging drivers to exceed the hours they are allowed to drive each day or too fast.
- Unrealistic schedules and expectations from the trucking company can also lead to drivers breaking regulations and driving when suffering from fatigue.
- Poor maintenance may result in mechanical failures with breaks, tires, and other components that may result in an accident.
- Unsecured or improperly loaded cargo can cause uneven weight distribution making turning and braking risky.
When it comes to the truck driver being at fault in a truck accident, things can get complicated very quickly, which is why it is necessary to involve a truck accident lawyer. There may be questions as to whether the fault lies with the driver or the trucking company. In addition, there may be issues where the tractor is owned by one company or individual and the trailer by someone else. The owner of the cargo being hauled may also have to get involved!
If you have been involved in a truck accident, either as a truck driver or the driver or passenger of another vehicle, it is important to contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to guide you through filing or defending a lawsuit.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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