Truck Accidents and Truck Driver Negligence
Over the past several years, the number of big rig accidents has continued to increase. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents involving semi-trucks account for a high percentage of fatal traffic accidents. Some of the leading causes of these accidents include the following:
- Short delivery window in which the goods must be delivered put unreasonable demands on the driver
- Long-distance truck drivers often suffer from lack of sleep and exhaustion
- Stressful situations can result in the driver’s ability to pay attention
- It is difficult to see small objects when operating a big rig truck
- Lack of driving lane space cushion can result in automobiles being wiped out
- Defective parts on the truck can lead to catastrophic loss
- Exceeding the maximum load allowed for the truck and the particular roadway
Liability and Fault Determinations
The National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that truck driver fatigue accounts for nearly 30 to 40 percent of big rig accidents. Many of these are due to drivers using excessive speed. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) collects data regarding f fatal traffic crashes that occur in all 50 states in the nation, including the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. If it is determined that the truck driver caused the accident and is at fault, then both the driver and the trucking company can be held liable for any wrongful death that could result in a charge of manslaughter or wrongful death.
Because of the tremendous size and inherent dangers of big rigs, truck owners and operators bear a high burden in terms of safety. Big rig truck accidents may appear simple in terms determining liability, for example, if the driver runs or red light or was traveling at excessive speed. However, if the maintenance of the vehicle hasn’t been properly maintained, the truck driver and the trucking company can both be held liable for any accident damages.
Big Rig Accidents with Pedestrians
Each year thousands of pedestrians are hit and severely injured and killed in big rig truck accidents. These accidents often happen as people are crossing the street. A truck driver may experience a brake failure and be unable to stop. Often, these accidents occur in populated towns and the truck ends up smashing into local businesses killing people inside. When a commercial truck hits a pedestrian, there may be several parties liable for damages. If the victim is killed, the victim’s family can bring a lawsuit for wrongful death by hiring a personal injury attorney. Any monetary compensation recovered from insurance companies and other parties (the manufacturer of defective trucks) will be given to the members of the victim’s family.
Consult a Truck Accident Attorney For Advice
When a fatal truck accident is caused due to truck driver error or truck driver fatigue, the family of the victim is entitled to seek damages against the driver and the trucking company responsible. Personal injury cases can be extremely complex. Therefore, you will need to hire an attorney who specializes in these types of cases.