When an automobile collides with a commercial truck, the results can be devastating. Because of the size and weight of large trucks, they are capable of doing severe damage to other smaller vehicles on the road, especially passenger cars.
But just because a truck is bigger and heavier than other vehicles doesn’t necessarily mean that truckers are at fault for all the accidents they are involved in. You must prove that they were negligent—or acted in a careless manner—and their negligence caused you to suffer damages.
There are a number of ways that a truck driver can be held liable for an accident, such as:
- Driving while fatigued. Truck drivers are required to follow strict guidelines regarding hours of service and amount of sleep but the pressure to meet deadlines can sometimes cause them to drive longer than they should.
- Driving while under the influence. Driving a commercial truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is common worldwide for truckers trying to get through a shift, according to a 2013 study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.
- Speeding. In September, U.S. officials proposed requiring speed-limiting devices on all large trucks, but in an effort to “free business of unnecessary burdens,” President Trump signed an order putting the mandate in limbo indefinitely. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that speed-limiting devices on trucks would save hundreds of lives, lower fuel use, and provide up to $6.5 billion in other benefits per year.
- Distracted driving. Texting at the wheel plays a large role in accidents, and when the trucker is the one with the cell phone in hand, the results can be particularly serious.
Truck drivers who cause an accident due to these, or any other, forms of negligence can be held liable for your injuries, and if the negligence is related to improper training, defective parts or deadline pressures from trucking companies, then the company can be held responsible as well.
A trial lawyer for over 20 years, Bryan Pope is dedicated to fighting for justice while defending the rights of his clients. Bryan's influence often goes further—helping clients to navigate life-altering events and overwhelming grief. In addition to other areas of practice, Bryan specializes in helping sufferers of CRPS/RSD—a debilitating condition in which his in-depth knowledge enables him to lecture to other lawyers around the nation while also serving as a current chair for a CRPS/RSD organization.