Truck accidents are nothing short of catastrophic. When two cars collide there’s already the potential for devastating injuries. When one considers the sheer size, bulk, and mass of a semi-truck, it’s a pathway to life-altering injuries. What’s worse, these kinds of accidents are on the rise all across the nation.
Despite increasing education and awareness, and despite more stringent laws and enforcement regarding important safety procedures, truck accidents are still going up by about 1% per year, every year. The problem is epidemic. Understanding the causes of truck accidents can help you not only to avoid incidents but to know the right path to take if you have to pursue an injury case. Learn some of the most common causes of accidents involving large commercial semi-trucks and how an 18 wheeler accident attorney can help your case.
Overworked, Tired Drivers
Even though there are laws in place that require truck drivers to rest for so many hours they’re on the road, they are still subject to unreasonable schedules. The demands levied on them push many to avoid resting or put it off too long. They get exhausted which leads them to fatigue, and driving when fatigued is as dangerous as drunk driving. Some drivers even fall asleep behind the wheel due to lack of sleep.
Distracted driving is a problem all over our roadways, regardless of the size of vehicles. People spend too much time fiddling with their stereo system, eating and drinking, and even texting or playing with their mobile devices. All it takes is removing your eyes from the road for one second for an accident to result. When the driver is working an 18-wheeler, the consequences can be life-altering, or even life ending.
Everyone gets annoyed when they see another driver tailgating, engaging in excessive speeding, or failing to use their turn signals. When it’s a truck doing it, however, the danger increases exponentially. There’s no such thing as a little mistake when you’re dealing with a big rig. These trucks can’t stop as fast as smaller cars. They can’t react as quickly to unforeseen circumstances, and this can lead to catastrophe.
A Jackknife is when a truck literally folds in half—its trailer swings out to the point where the driver can’t compensate and then swings forward. This can happen when the trucker doesn’t brake right when there’s faulty parts in the truck, the road conditions are bad, or even when cargo isn’t loaded properly. There’s also no such thing as a 100% effective device to prevent jackknifing.
There’s not a driver on the road today that isn’t aware of the dangers of driving under the influence, and yet, far too many people still do it. Whether it’s the, “I’m fine to drive,” syndrome or just simple carelessness, DUI accidents are some of the most devastating on the roads across the board. There are strict laws in place to prevent these kinds of accidents, but all the laws in the world can’t prevent someone from making a stupid decision or simply ignoring the fact that it’s illegal.
Negligence in Trucking Accident Lawsuits
The big problem with getting compensation in a trucking accident is there are tons of different people and agencies that can be involved in the suit, and more than one may bear responsibility. You could be facing the driver, certainly, but what about the trucking company? They bear some liability for the actions of any driver under their banner, even contractors.
If the truck had malfunctioning parts, the company that manufactured those parts could be responsible, as could the maintenance crew charged with keeping the truck in working order. What if the accident was caused by heavy, shifting cargo? In that case, the shipping company and the crew who loaded the cargo could be partially at fault.
Why You Need an 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney
Because there are so many people involved, you need proper representation from an 18-wheeler accident attorney to push your lawsuit through. Everyone involved will try to shift the blame onto each other, and even on you. Their insurance companies will take every opportunity and find every excuse to avoid paying your claim.
If you’ve been hurt by a careless truck driver, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering, your lost wages, your medical bills and even emotional trauma and damage to your quality of life. Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys are here to help those who have been seriously hurt in these kinds of accidents. Contact us for a free consultation today!