Driving a big truck like an 18-wheeler, is not just like driving a really big car or SUV. Large truck drivers have to go through special training for skills like maneuvering their vehicles, allowing proper room to come to a stop, and how to be a more observant driver.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a big truck, it is of vital importance that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who has worked on these types of claims before. Truck accident cases are different from other types of accident cases. They can be much more complicated and you’ll need the skill of an experienced truck crash lawyer. To talk to an attorney in the Knoxville, TN area, contact Bill Hotz and Associates today at 865-684-4405.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Causes of truck accidents are often similar to causes of car wrecks. Other accidents, however, are because of the special features of a truck. Truck accident causes include the following committed by drivers:
- Fatigue or falling asleep
- Use of drugs (illegal, prescription, and over the counter) or alcohol
- Poor defensive driving
- Poor truck maintenance by the trucking company or driver
- Unsafe weather or road conditions
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Poor attention to the actions of other drivers
- Aggressive driving
- Inadequate evasive action
- Poor driver training
- Poor driver selection
- Packing an uneven or poorly distributed load
- Negligence of the trucker, such as eating or drinking, fiddling with radio buttons, being distracted by something on the truck or something in the road
- Negligence by other drivers, including those mentioned above plus cutting a truck driver off because of ignorance of the extra time a truck needs to stop, aggressive driving, distracted driving, inexperienced drivers, failure of traffic signals
Truck Accidents and Liability
Both the federal government and individual states have laws that determine who is responsible in a truck driving accident. Two U.S. government agencies monitor the driving industry in this country: the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
A number of different individuals or companies have been held liable for injuring someone in a truck accident. These include:
- Truck driver
- Truck owner
- Whoever leased the truck or trailer from the owner
- Manufacturer whose faulty truck parts may have contributed to or been responsible for the accident
- The person or company that loaded the contents of the truck
- Those responsible for truck maintenance
Federal law has determined that when a truck has an accident, the responsibility belongs to the company that owns the trucking permit when the truck has its placard or name displayed on the vehicle. The company may be held responsible for hiring an unreliable driver, allowing or urging fatigued persons to drive, or failing to properly train a driver.
Many high tech devices provide information about the situation a truck was in during an accident. Data recorders today are similar to the black boxes that provide information on plane crashes. The truck recorders can supply information at the time of the accident on how far the truck had driven, how long it had been driving, speed patterns of the driver and when the driver used the brakes.
In case you are involved in a truck crash, you need to be certain that these data are kept as records to help establish liability.
Talk to a Knoxville, TN Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important to collect as much information as possible at the accident scene. This would include taking pictures of the incident with a cell phone, if that is possible. This also is done by both federal and state officials whose job it is to check the circumstances of the accident before the truck is moved.
The next step is to speak with an experienced lawyer who can investigate the crash to determine exactly what happened and who is at fault. Bill Hotz & Associates has a team ofexperienced personal injury lawyers who represent individuals and families throughout East Tennessee in cases where negligence occurred. To find out how we can help you, call our office today at (865) 684-4405.