Lawrence County Truck Accident Attorney
The American economy relies heavily on tractor-trailers, and thousands of these vehicles travel millions of miles every year all over the country to carry goods from place to place. While these large vehicles are crucial to many industries, they are also inherently more dangerous than typical passenger vehicles for many reasons. The law considers truck drivers to have a higher duty of care on the road than typical drivers, and trucking companies have a duty of care to ensure their employees act responsibly and that their vehicles receive proper care and maintenance. Anyone injured in a truck accident in Lawrence County should know what to do after an accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Tractor-trailers are exponentially heavier than standard passenger cars, and a fully-loaded tractor trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Tractor-trailers are also taller and sit higher off the ground than smaller vehicles, and therefore have higher centers of gravity. This makes them more susceptible to tip-overs and rollovers in certain situations. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver error. Truck drivers without adequate training or who drive aggressively put other drivers at serious risk.
- Illegal activity. Truck drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol present an extreme danger to other drivers.
- Driver fatigue. Truck drivers face tight deadlines and often spend long stretches on the road at one time, sometimes leading to fatigue. When truck drivers push themselves too far without adequate rest, the hazard becomes similar to a driver under the influence of alcohol.
- Poor truck maintenance. Tractor-trailers drive more frequently and for longer distances than most other vehicles. Trucking companies must ensure their vehicles receive prompt and thorough maintenance and follow all industry regulations concerning vehicle maintenance.
- Imbalanced cargo. It’s vital for the people loading tractor-trailers to balance the cargo and secure it for transit. An imbalanced load makes a truck more susceptible to tipping over during tight turns. Special types of cargo such as lumber, construction materials, smaller vehicles, concrete pipe segments, and other large items require special security fixtures.
- Road hazards. Inclement weather, low visibility, and debris on the road can present serious hazards to tractor-trailer drivers.
- Aggressive driving. Other drivers need to proceed with caution around tractor-trailers. These larger trucks typically can’t see smaller cars easily, and a driver of a smaller car who engages in aggressive driving can easily cause an accident.
Damages in Truck Accident Lawsuits
Depending on the nature of a truck accident, the damages in a resulting lawsuit can take many forms. An injured driver may need to sue a negligent driver, the driver’s employer, a parts manufacturer, or a combination of defendants depending on the situation. For example, a driver who caused an accident while under the influence of alcohol would likely incur liability for the resulting damages. An accident caused by improper maintenance or poor training would likely mean the trucking company would absorb liability. If a defective truck part causes an accident, the injured victim would file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
The best thing an injured victim can do after a truck accident is to reach out to a reliable attorney for legal counsel. The attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. Attorneys at Law have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury claims and other civil actions. We offer free consultations to new clients, so visit us online or call 1-800-777-4081.