What Are Some Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents?
Driver error is the most common cause of commercial vehicle crashes.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), speeding is the most frequent error drivers make, followed by driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Other common driver errors that cause accidents include reckless driving, distracted driving, and driving while fatigued.
While driver error causes the majority of commercial truck accidents, other factors can contribute to semi-crashes as well, including the following:
- Negligent training and supervision. A truck company must ensure its drivers drive safely and responsibly and follow FMCSA regulations. Accidents happen when truck companies hire drivers without conducting mandatory screenings or without checking the driver’s driving record, work history, and medical certification.
- Negligent inspection and maintenance. Federal and state laws and regulations require trucking companies to regularly inspect, maintain, repair, and document all maintenance for the commercial vehicles in their fleet. Failure to follow these regulations can lead to life-threatening accidents.
- Overloaded or poorly positioned or secured cargo. When truck companies overload commercial trucks in violation of FMCSA regulations or Texas size and weight limits, or they fail to secure the load correctly, serious accidents can occur.
- Poor road conditions and road hazards. A poorly maintained road, an unplowed highway, or a poorly marked construction zone can cause a truck driver to accidentally swerve, run off the road, or overcorrect and flip over.
- Defective equipment. The truck itself or its parts may be faulty or defectively designed or manufactured, leading to an accident.
Understanding why and how your accident happened helps build a stronger case and helps you identify all of the parties that might be liable for your damages.
If you have been injured and need an experienced trucking accident injury lawyer, San Angelo law firm Armstrong Lee & Baker can review your case and help determine what caused your accident.
Whom Do I Hold Liable for My Truck Accident?
Truck accident victims often assume the truck driver caused their accident. But other parties may be liable for a trucking-related collision.
Depending on the circumstances, responsible parties may include:
- A truck driver;
- A truck owner;
- A government or municipality;
- Other passenger vehicle drivers;
- Trucking companies;
- Cargo loaders;
- Truck manufacturers, and
- Truck parts manufacturers.
Multiple factors and parties can also contribute to an accident, and more than one party can be held liable. Unfortunately, determining liability can be difficult, particularly when parties blame each other.
That is why working with an experienced truck accident attorney who knows how to use evidence and expert opinions to establish liability is essential to getting a just outcome.
How Do I Establish Liability?
To prevail in a claim against an at-fault party, an accident victim must show that the party’s action or inaction amounted to negligence.
In Texas, to establish negligence, an accident victim must prove that the at-fault party owed them a duty of care and that the at-fault party breached their duty of care.
An accident victim must also prove that the at-fault party’s breach caused their losses and that they suffered losses they can be compensated for. You must prove all four of these elements to be able to recover compensation.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Collect After a Commercial Truck Accident?
A truck crash victim may receive damages through an insurance company, private settlement, or court order. Damages are divided into three categories: economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages compensate you for out-of-pocket expenses and monetary losses like medical bills, permanent disability, and lost wages.
Be sure to save copies of your medical bills, repair invoices, and pay stubs to help your attorney accurately calculate your economic losses.
Noneconomic damages are more subjective and can include an award for things like emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Although rare, courts can also award punitive damages to punish the at-fault party. However, courts only grant punitive damages when the liable party’s conduct was exceptionally horrible or shocking.
If you need an accomplished truck accident lawyer, San Angelo law firm Armstrong Lee & Baker can thoroughly investigate your accident, calculate all of your damages, and build a robust case to help you recover your losses.
Contact a Trucking Accident Lawyer | San Angelo
If you need a trucking accident lawyer, San Angelo firm Armstrong Lee & Baker is ready to help. Our battle-tested attorneys can answer all your truck accident questions and help you decide the best way forward for your unique situation.
If you choose to hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you win the compensation you deserve.
From collecting evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and advocating for you in the courtroom, we take pride in being a client-centered law firm and will always put your interests first.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. We never take a fee unless we win.