The average driver shares the road with countless other vehicles. As you cruise down the highway, you will likely see passenger cars, motorcycles, buses, and even construction vehicles. All of these vehicles pose an accident risk, so you should take care to avoid them. However, one vehicle may present more of a risk than the others: semi-trailer trucks, also known as big rigs.
Big rigs transport goods on the country’s highways day and night. Due to their size, accidents can be dangerous when something goes wrong. According to the National Highway Traffic Association, 3,903 were people killed in accidents involving large trucks. Of these individuals, 73 percent were passengers of other vehicles. There were also an estimated 111,000 people injured.
If you are a victim of one of these accidents, you will need to prove liability. This guide will outline some of the most common causes of trucking accidents that passenger drivers should know.
As with passenger vehicles, distracted driving and speeding are two of the most common causes of tractor trailer accidents. Distraction and speeding impair defensive driving techniques, as they take their eyes off the road and cause crashes. Drivers may also be impaired by alcohol and drugs, which can be proven in court.
In some cases, drowsy driving can also impair drivers. When truckers are on the road for days at a time, they may not get adequate rest or take breaks according to regulations. Whether drowsy driving is caused by negligence or a condition like sleep apnea, your personal injury attorney will help you prove your case.
When a truck’s brakes, power steering, or other mechanical part fails, it can cause an accident. This failure can be due to a lack of maintenance by the mechanical crew or the driver. In some cases, the semi-truck will fail due to a manufacturing error. In these situations, it can be challenging to prove fault. Did the driver fail to report a cracked windshield? Is the trucking company missing a vehicle report? Depending on your state’s laws, these errors could fall under the umbrella of negligence.
Passenger car driver error
While the trucker and the trucking company can be at fault for vehicle accidents, passenger car driver errors can also hold the blame. For example, if a driver swerves in front of truck suddenly or merges in without accelerating, they may be liable for the accident. If a driver is not aware of the trucker’s blind spots or drives with negligence around them, this can cause a crash.
However, if you believe that you had some role in a semi-truck accident, you may still be eligible for compensation. This is due to the “comparative negligence” doctrine. Basically, the court will weigh your own negligence against the truck drivers. The specifics of this comparison vary by state. For example, a truck accident attorney California residents hire knows that clients are eligible for compensation no matter how much fault they hold. Your compensation will be adjusted based on the percentage of your liability.
The months following a semi truck accident can be challenging. By understanding the above causes of car accidents, you can better prepare to argue your case and earn the compensation you deserve. It’s also important to remember that there are many other possible causes of these big rig crashes, and multiple factors can be at play at once. With so many layers to truck accident law, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable attorney. By doing so, you can work to secure as much compensation as possible and move forward with your life.