Some of the most devestating accidents on our roads are those involving commercial trucks. When compared to the average road traffic accident involving cars, a truck accident is far more likely to result in severe, life-changing injuries or even death. This can, for the most part, be attributed to the weight, size, and overall bulk of these commercial vehicles, which can weigh in at up to 35,000 lbs even without taking into consideration the weight of their cargo. It is easy to see why an experienced truck accident lawyer is needed when it comes to lawsuits involving these vehicles. Let’s take a closer look at what a truck accident lawyer does.
Proving the Cause of an Accident
One of the things that a truck accident lawyer does is look at the evidence and prove what caused the accident. This is important as it will determine fault. It may surprise you to know that it is not always the truck driver who is to blame! Many truck accidents are caused by other drivers not leaving trucks enough room or by other factors. Some of the circumstances that can lead to a truck accident include:
- Environmental hazards including adverse weather conditions or wildlife on the road
- Road maintenance issues such as potholes and inappropriate or unstable surfacing
- Reckless driving by road users, both commercial truckers and car drivers
- Vehicle maintenance issues causing tire or brake failures
- Fatigued drivers who have exceeded their allowed drive time due to pressure from employers
- Intoxicated drivers, including both truck drivers and other road users
Determining Negligence from Trucking Companies
One of the reasons you need an experienced truck accident lawyer when dealing with a truck accident injury case is that they can be more complicated than other accidents. Not only can fault be assigned to the truck driver themselves, but also to the trucking company that employs them if it is found that they have acted negligently. Some examples of trucking company negligence that a truck accident lawyer may demonstrate include:
- Negligent Hiring Practices - Sometimes, a trucking company does not do the appropriate due diligence when it comes to hiring truck drivers. They may skip background checks or drug and alcohol testing to speed up the process. This can result in drivers with a history of substance abuse or reckless driving being put behind the wheel. The company shoulders some of the blame if this results in an accident. Another factor that falls under negligent hiring would be the failure to offer appropriate training or failing to check the qualifications the driver claims to hold. A truck accident lawyer can use evidence of these practices to hold the trucking company liable for damages in the event of that driver causing an accident.
- Negligence in Regard to Maintenance - Trucking companies also have an obligation to stay on top of regular maintenance to keep their fleet of trucks in good working order. Failure to do this can result in mechanical faults, which in turn may cause a truck accident that would have been otherwise avoidable. Suppose a third-party maintenance provider is used, and they fail to maintain the vehicles properly. In that case, a truck accident lawyer may also be able to prove that the maintenance provider is also partly at fault for causing the accident.
- Unrealistic Expectations on Drivers - Some trucking companies subject their drivers to unrealistic expectations when it comes to delivery deadlines. This encourages fatigued driving and may push drivers to exceed the legal limit on the number of hours they are permitted to drive Fatigue is a huge factor in poor decisions and misjudging distance or speed. A truck accident lawyer may use evidence of a trucking company encouraging this to show they are at fault in causing an accident, taking some of the responsibility off of the driver who may have felt pressured to comply in order to keep their job.
What Else Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
These are just some of the things that a truck accident lawyer can do to help you through a truck accident injury lawsuit. They will also help you do a range of things, including dealing with insurance companies, negotiating final settlements, and pursuing damages. A truck accident lawyer can also collect evidence from a truck’s black box following an accident and can even arrange for an accident recreation to gather more evidence to help support your case. Whether you are a truck driver, who has been involved in an accident or another road user, our experienced truck accident lawyers can work with you to navigate a truck injury lawsuit and reach the best resolution.
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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