Because of the size and weight of a commercial semi-truck, a collision involving one of these vehicles can be devastating. Often, truck accident victims suffer severe injuries that can result in permanent disability or death.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, it may be in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney to review your claim and determine if you may be entitled to compensation.
The Knoxville truck accident attorneys at Greg Coleman Law will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your collision and help you identify which party may be liable for your injuries and financial losses.
Below, are some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
1. Vehicle Defect
In some cases, a truck accident can be caused by a vehicle part that malfunctions or is inherently defective because of a design flaw. Some of the most common types of truck defects include:
- Blown-out tires
- Axle damage
- Defective hitches
- Faulty braking system
2. Poor Truck Maintenance
Commercial trucks are required to undergo routine maintenance and vehicle safety inspections to prevent accidents caused by wear and tear, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
This includes maintenance inspections performed by drivers before departing on a run, as well as more thorough inspections made by the truck’s owner on a regular basis.
Often, drivers and truck owners are required to perform inspections and maintenance on the truck’s:
- Braking system
- Light systems
- Electrical system
- Hitches and couplers
3. Truck Driver Fatigue
To prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, commercial truck drivers must stick to the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations when driving long-distance hauls.
The hours of service regulation limits the amount of time a driver can be on the road and how much time he or she must rest before driving again. Driver fatigue leads to dangerous effects that contribute to truck accidents, such as:
- Lane drifting
- Difficulty focusing
- Delayed reactions
Additionally, the FMCSA requires drivers to keep logbooks that detail their daily schedule and the number of hours they drive during each shift.
If a truck driver violates the hours of service regulations, the driver or the trucking company he or she works for can potentially be held liable for an accident caused by driver fatigue.
4. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
The FMCSA considers drug and alcohol use to be one of the leading causes of commercial truck accidents. For this reason, drivers are strictly prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can affect a driver by:
- Limiting his or her reaction to changes in traffic
- Reducing his or her ability to make critical driving decisions
- Reducing his or her vision, coordination and judgement
Trucking companies are required to submit their drivers to random drug and alcohol tests, as well as after they are in an accident involving serious damage, injury or death. If a truck driver tests positive for drug or alcohol use, he or she can be held liable for any resulting injuries or death after an accident.
5. Truck Driver Error
Like all motorists, truck drivers have a duty to follow all state and local traffic rules, while driving in a safe and reasonable manner. When a truck driver does not do this, it can result in a serious accident. For this reason, truck drivers should avoid unsafe driver behaviors such as:
- Failing to check blind spots
- Unsafe lane changes
- Aggressive driving
- Following too closely
- Distracted driving
- Running red lights
6. Improper Cargo Loading
A commercial truck driver must ensure the truck’s cargo follows the FMCSA’s weight requirements and is properly secured.
If a trucking company fails to properly load a truck’s cargo, it may result in the contents falling off the vehicle, which can cause an accident.
Additionally, a truck traveling with excessive weight may be prone to tipping, falling over during sharp turns, or affecting the driver’s ability to steer and stop the vehicle.
Contact a Lawyer for Help with Your Case
Because of the damage that occurs during a collision between a passenger vehicle and commercial semi-truck, victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and financial losses.
The lawyers of Greg Coleman Law have experience handling truck accident claims and helping victims recover the compensation they deserve. We will investigate your accident and help you pursue maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation to find out which legal options may be available to you after a truck accident. Our attorneys do not charge clients upfront legal fees, and we only require payment if we recover compensation for your claim.