Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes a truck accident is simply a result of momentary error. However, we have often found that trucking company negligence or deliberate violation of the law sets the driver up for a wreck and endangers everyone on the road.
I was just counseled about a truck accident in which a truck improperly changed lanes on an interstate highway, striking a passenger car and forcing it into another car. Multi-car collisions are not unusual when trucks are involved. The weight differential between a large commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, momentum and speed often combine to result in catastrophic injuries and damage.
It is very important to get to the root cause of the wreck. Why did the truck driver drive into an occupied lane?
Did he drift into the other lane, as he was starting to doze off? If so, how long had he been driving? There areregulations limiting the number of consecutive hours a driver can drive without rest. The log book, fuel records, and destination points can help pin this down. Did his company set him up to suffer driver fatigue, with a route that pressured him to drive too long or too fast? Was the driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Did the company know? What was this driver’s safety record? Should he have been driving?
Sometimes drivers are distracted, causing serious errors. Was this driver talking on his cell phone? Was he talking to his dispatcher? Was the distraction caused by the company? Was a passenger causing a distraction? Was the driver allowed to have passengers?
Did the steering mechanism play a part? How about visibility? Were required mirrors in place and in good repair? Were the company’s maintenance rules adequate? Were they enforced? Once the driver realized he was in an emergency situation, did his equipment function properly? All brakes on all wheels must activate as designed for maximum control in emergency stopping. Company maintenance, inspection and repair policies, as well as their execution, are often the root cause of an “accident”.
An experienced truck accident attorney knows the questions to ask and how to get crucial information. If you are involved in a truck accident, you need to know if it really was “just an accident”or, an accident waiting to happen.