What Constitutes a Truck Accident Case?
Truck accidents are a common cause of personal injury claims, and whether you were the driver or passenger in a car or truck accident, or even if you are a pedestrian involved in a truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering and injury caused by a road traffic accident that was not your fault or a wrongful death resulting from a truck accident.
The most common type of injury caused during truck accidents and other traffic accidents is whiplash. The head is suddenly jerked either backwards or sideways and a reflect contraction takes place in the opposite direction resulting in injury. This injury affects the bones, discs, nerves, muscles, tendons, or the neck. Swelling and inflammation can be signs of whiplash caused due to the rapid movement of the truck.
Large Truck Crash Facts
If you are injured by a truck, the causes of accidents are often due to failure of proper maintenance of a large truck. Over the past 20 years, the number of truck accidents has increased by 20 percent according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Almost 5,000 individuals died and 130,000.00 individuals were injured in crashes that involved a large truck in 2002, for example. Even though large trucks are only responsible for a small percentage of motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents typically cause much greater harm than ordinary traffic accidents, due to the large size and heavy weight of most trucks.
Federal laws and regulations govern the trucking industries. These laws establish certain standards that trucking company owners and drivers must meet and if they fail to adhere to the law, it often can be determined who is responsible for a trucking accident. The Government Federal Regulations dealing with trucking industry can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
There are agencies that regulate truck driving which include but are not limited to the following:
- U.S. Dept. of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; and
- The State also has a Department of Transportation which has its own set of trucking regulation.
A truck accident may be caused by the following:
- The shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo;
- The manufacturer of the vehicle, tires or other parts that may contribute to the cause of the accident;
- The company that leased the truck or trailer;
- The owner of the truck or trailer; and
- The truck driver.
The trucking, hauling and leasing companies often argue among themselves over whether insurance will compensate the victim. For an example, a truck company may claim the accident was caused by defective tires. The tire company may then point a finger at the leasing company or claim they failed to maintain the tires in good working order.
The most common cause for truck accidents are errors by the driver and the driver’s failure to inspect the mechanical workings of the truck, prior to the trip, including the breaks and tires. Other causes are weather conditions, road design and traffic signal failures. However, the most common cause of trucking accidents is driver error.
Drivers of large trucks are 10 times more likely to be the cause of a crash than other factors. This fact is supported by a study released by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Administration found that the action or inaction by drivers is the critical reasons for 88 percent of crashes.
The driver’s errors are caused by many reasons, such as the use of drugs, speeding, inattention, distraction, fatigue, poor work environment, unfamiliarity with the road, and many other factors which cause the driver of trucks to strike another vehicle. The most common cause for truck accidents is sleep deprivation.
Other common causes of truck accidents are equipment failure, which includes manufacturer mistakes or design errors. Most of the accidents are due to failure to properly maintain the equipment. Some examples include the following:
- Transportation of hazardous material;
- Improper trailer accidents;
- Failure to secure a load properly distributed;
- Break failure due to inadequate inspection;
- Tire blow out due to wear;
- Defective steering; and
- Defective rear or side lighting.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is important to contact an attorney immediately in that a proper investigation and inspection must be done immediately. David K. Kremin & Associates and its affiliated law firms will secure experts to investigate the scene of accident as well as the truck itself. Historically, these experts have proven the truck driver or its owner were responsible for the truck accident and causing wrongful death or severe injuries to individuals.
David K. Kremin & Associates will give you a free consultation 24/7 at 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800) 275-2529. If we accept your case, we promise you will be represented by a lawyer with at least 20-30 years of experience.