When a commercial truck or tractor-trailer is involved in an accident, the consequences can be devestating. Compared to other vehicles, the large size and weight of a truck means they can do a large amount of damage and cause significant injuries. Unfortunately, more often than not, this means people will automatically assume that the truck driver is to blame. However, this is not always the case. In fact, you might be surprised at how many truck accidents are caused by the drivers of other smaller vehicles who are not driving responsibly when near these larger vehicles. This is why a truck accident lawyer needs to gather all of the evidence and prove who is at fault so that the wrong person is not held liable for damages.
Common Driver Mistakes Leading to Truck Accidents
Now, you might be wondering how it could be possible for a small car to trigger a truck accident. The truth is there are many ways that a car driver can cause an accident, most of which are rooted in a lack of understanding of larger vehicles. As a truck accident lawyer, some of the most common situations we see time and time again include:
- Sitting in the truck driver’s blind spot either at the back, front, or side of the truck.
- Merging in front of a truck without leaving enough room - as a general rule of thumb, a car must be able to see the truck driver in their rearview mirror before merging into the lane in front of the truck.
- Failing to leave enough space for trucks that are turning right.
- Tailgating a truck
- Not allowing a truck space when merging onto the highway.
These actions and others can result in a collision with a truck. Due to the size difference, the car driver will usually come off worse in terms of damage and injuries. However, that does not mean that the truck driver is the one who is to blame. If the car driver has been reckless in their actions, then they shoulder the liability for the accident. This is why a truck accident lawyer must carefully analyze every truck accident to determine the truth correctly.
A Lack of Understanding
One of the key reasons why so many car drivers end up triggering truck accidents is a lack of understanding of how these large vehicles operate. They may find it challenging to comprehend how much space they need to turn or how much more stopping distance is required. Car drivers commonly pull out in front of a truck at a junction believing there is enough room to do so. Had the other vehicle been another car, it could potentially have been safe to do so; however, since the other vehicle is a truck, it more often than not will result in a truck accident because the truck driver was unable to slow down quickly enough to avoid the collision.
Fascinating Truck Accident Statistics
There is some debate regarding how often a car driver is to blame for truck accidents. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), in two-vehicle accidents involving a truck and passenger vehicle, 56% were caused by the passenger vehicle. However, a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute claims that the figure is much higher; in 81% of truck accident cases, the car driver was found to be at fault. Meanwhile, the American Truck Association (ATA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believe it to be 80% and 90%, respectively. Likely, the number of truck accidents caused by the negligent car driver is somewhere in the region of 80%. It is also worth noting that a truck accident lawyer may also pursue a comparative fault verdict where both parties are assigned part of the blame and damages are adjusted accordingly.
Finding the Right Truck Accident Lawyer
When it comes to truck accident defense, choosing the right lawyer can make all the difference when it comes to proving that the truck driver was not at fault. You will want to select a truck accident lawyer with experience in defending this type of case, as they can be incredibly complex, especially when multiple vehicles are involved. Look for someone with a proven track record in handling this type of lawsuit, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about their previous cases.
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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