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Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
When a semi-truck or 18-wheeler is involved in an accident, the damage to people can be extraordinary, and the circumstances of the accident are almost always complex. Truck accident cases require careful investigation and accident reconstruction.
At TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm, we utilize every resource at our disposal to uncover the causes of truck accidents for our clients. We bring more than 50 years of experience and knowledge, a network of accident reconstructionists and other forensic experts to get the best outcomes possible in the cases we handle. For the convenience of our clients, we have offices in Northern Kentucky and Ohio and we handle cases throughout these areas.
The Dangers of Big Truck Accidents
Crashes involving large trucks and passenger cars can be incredibly dangerous and cause severe injuries, property damage, and even fatal crashes. This includes semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, and any other large commercial vehicle. These large vehicles are much heavier and harder to maneuver than passenger vehicles, making them more difficult to control and stop quickly in emergencies. Due to their size and weight, collisions with big trucks can result in catastrophic consequences, such as severe injuries, fatalities, and destruction of property. Additionally, the cargo carried by these trucks can be hazardous, such as chemicals or flammable materials, which can further increase the risk of accidents. Therefore, it is crucial to take precautions and drive safely around big trucks to prevent accidents from occurring.
Finding The Causes Of Truck Accidents
Determining the cause of an accident involving a large truck is crucial in assigning responsibility for an insurance claim for injured passenger car drivers. Our attorneys investigate many possible causes of large truck crashes, including but not limited to the following:
Equipment failure is one of the leading causes of big truck accidents. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can put significant strain on their mechanical components, causing them to malfunction or fail altogether. Defective brakes, tires, and steering systems are just a few examples of crucial components that can fail, leading to catastrophic consequences on the road.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Maintenance issues, such as worn tires, inadequate repairs, or inadequate inspection can exacerbate the problem and increase the risk of accidents. It is essential for trucking companies and truck drivers to prioritize regular and proper truck maintenance and inspections to ensure their vehicles are in proper working order and minimize the risk of equipment or mechanical failure. Unfortunately, negligent maintenance is more common now that rates and reimbursements have been cut back.
Overloaded trailers can cause semi-truck accidents, putting both the driver and other vehicles on the road at risk. When a trailer is overloaded, it puts excessive pressure on the vehicle’s suspension, braking, and steering systems, making it more challenging to control and maneuver. An overloaded trailer can also affect the truck’s stability, making it more prone to tipping over or jackknifing, especially when traveling at high speeds or on steep inclines. Additionally, an overloaded trailer can cause tire blowouts, brake failures, and other mechanical issues, increasing the risk of accidents. It is crucial for trucking companies and drivers to adhere to weight limits and avoid overloading trailers to ensure safe transportation on the road.
Improper Cargo Loading
Poor cargo loading is another common cause of commercial truck accidents. When cargo is not loaded correctly, it can shift during transport, causing the vehicle to become imbalanced and difficult to control. Unsecured cargo can also fall off the truck, creating a dangerous situation for other motorists on the road. Additionally, overloading or unevenly distributing cargo can cause excessive strain on the vehicle’s suspension and braking systems, leading to premature wear and increased risk of equipment failure.
Poor Weather Conditions
Poor weather conditions can be a significant contributing factor to big truck accidents. Rain, snow, ice, fog, and high winds can all create hazardous driving conditions for big trucks, making it more challenging to control and maneuver the vehicle. Reduced visibility, decreased traction, and longer stopping distances can increase the risk of accidents, especially when drivers are not experienced in handling adverse weather conditions. Moreover, poor weather can also exacerbate equipment failures, such as brake failure or tire blowouts, putting both the driver and other motorists on the road at risk. It is crucial for truck drivers to be aware of weather conditions and adjust their driving accordingly to ensure safe transportation on the road.
Commercial truck drivers have a responsibility to follow all traffic laws and regulations and to exercise caution when operating their vehicles. However, truck driver error is still one of the leading causes of commercial truck accidents. There are many ways in which a truck driver’s mistakes can lead to accidents, including speeding, aggressive driving, improperly changing lanes, distracted driving, failure to obey posted speed limits, failure to yield, and more.
Fatigued driving is yet another significant cause of large truck accidents. Long hours of driving, irregular schedules, and inadequate rest breaks can lead to driver fatigue, impairing a driver’s ability to react quickly and make sound judgments on the road. Fatigue can also cause a driver to fall asleep at the wheel, increasing the risk of accidents. Furthermore, fatigue can exacerbate other risk factors, such as poor weather conditions, equipment failure, or poor cargo loading, putting both the driver and other motorists on the road at risk. It is essential for trucking companies and drivers to prioritize sufficient rest and adhere to regulations limiting driving hours to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue.
Disobeying Safety Regulations
Commercially licensed drivers must adhere to strict standards and safety regulations when on the road. Failure to follow DOT rules and regulations can result in serious accidents and even more serious injuries.
Driving Under the Influence
Truck drivers who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause large truck accidents, posing a significant threat to other motorists on the road. Substance abuse impairs a driver’s ability to concentrate, make sound decisions, and react quickly to changing road conditions, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. Additionally, drugs or alcohol can affect a driver’s motor skills and coordination, making it difficult to control and maneuver the vehicle, especially when driving a large truck.
Road hazards can be a contributing factor to large truck accidents. Potholes, debris, construction, and uneven surfaces can create hazardous driving conditions, making it difficult for truck drivers to control and maneuver the vehicle. Poorly designed or maintained roads can exacerbate the problem, creating dangerous situations for both truck drivers and other motorists on the road. It is crucial for truck drivers to be aware of road hazards and adjust their driving accordingly to ensure safe transportation on the road. Likewise, road authorities must prioritize regular maintenance and inspection of roadways to minimize the risk of accidents caused by road hazards.
Injuries Caused By Large Truck Accidents
Large truck accidents can cause serious injuries due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicle. Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and even a fatal crash. Other common injuries include fractures, burns, internal injuries, and soft tissue injuries. Victims of most truck accidents require extensive medical treatment, including surgery, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, resulting in significant medical expenses and long-term disabilities. Additionally, the emotional and psychological impact of a large truck accident can be devastating, causing anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is crucial for victims of large truck accidents to seek medical and legal assistance to ensure proper treatment and compensation for their injuries and losses.
Determining Liability in a Commercial Truck Accident
In a large truck crash, multiple parties may be held legally liable, including:
- The truck driver: If the truck driver was at fault for the accident due to negligence, such as driving under the influence, driving while fatigued, or driving recklessly, they may be held liable for the accident.
- The trucking company: The trucking company may be held liable if they were negligent in hiring, training, or supervising the driver or if they failed to properly maintain or inspect the company vehicles.
- The truck manufacturer: If the accident was caused by a defect in the truck’s design or manufacturing, the truck manufacturer may be held liable.
- Cargo loading company: If the commercial vehicle accident was caused by poor cargo loading, the company responsible for loading the cargo may be held liable.
- Government agencies: If the accident was caused by a road hazard, such as a poorly maintained road, the government agencies responsible for maintaining the road may be held liable.
- Other drivers: Even a third-party driver may hold some or all responsibility for the truck crash if their negligence led to a truck driver losing control of the vehicle.
Determining liability in many truck accidents can be complex, and multiple parties may share responsibility. As such, it is essential to seek the advice of a qualified attorney to determine liability and ensure that victims receive proper compensation for their injuries and losses.
See our blog post: Who is Responsible for a Commercial Truck Accident?
Why You Need an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
The Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky truck accident lawyers at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm, have the experience and knowledge to deal with the complex factors involved in a truck accident leading to serious injury as well as fatal truck accidents. We have a wide range of capabilities, including the ability to investigate and reconstruct these complicated accidents to determine cause and liability. We have the experience and capabilities to analyze which party or parties are liable for your injuries, medical costs, and property loss.
Further, a truck accident lawyer from our firm has the resources necessary to investigate, develop, and try a major truck accident case and the technical ability to use video re-enactments, simulation, and animation technologies to show accident causes.
Contact The Ohio and Northern Kentucky Trucking Accident Attorneys at TLF for a Free Consultation Today
Trucking accidents can be absolutely devastating for those involved. If you or a loved one received injuries from such an accident, you deserve the full amount of compensation you’re entitled to to pay for the losses and damages you’ve faced as a result. The Northern Kentucky and Ohio commercial vehicle accident lawyers at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm can help. Call us today at 800-698-4054 (toll-free) or send us a message online as soon as possible to discuss your case. The sooner we get involved, the more we can do to help you obtain the compensation you need.
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We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.