There are various potential causes of trucking accidents. In many cases, fault lies with the driver’s negligent conduct. However, the driver is not always the sole party who has engaged in negligent conduct. There are many individuals who may have a hand in the negligence. The trucking company may be at fault along with the driver.
It is the trucking company that is responsible for hiring the truck drivers. In many instances the trucking company does not conduct a thorough background check. In some instances the truck driver does not have a commercial driver’s license and in other instances the truck driver was never properly trained. The trucking company is responsible for the reckless conduct of hiring an untrained truck driver, potentially placing the lives of many at risk.
As of July 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration lowered the number of hours a truck driver may drive in an effort to reduce truck driver fatigue. In a maximum average work week, the driver will be permitted to drive no more than 70 hours. The maximum number of hours had been 82. Truck companies that permit or encourage drivers to exceed allowable hours are in violation of federal and state laws.
Truck companies often hire subcontractors to load their trucks. Improperly loaded trucks can result in accidents that can cause catastrophic injuries. Overloading trucks can cause top-heavy weight imbalance and can lead to trucks falling on their sides or jackknifing. Improperly secured cargo can shift around and cause the truck to lose its balance, also resulting in falls and jackknifing. These kinds of accidents often lead to pile-ups and multiple car crashes.
Truck companies are responsible for properly maintaining their trucks. Brakes and tires in particular need to be constantly checked. Tire pressure must be accurate or a blowout can easily occur from too much or too little pressure. Truck companies that do not maintain their trucks are engaging in negligent conduct and if an accident occurs because of this, liability can fall upon the trucking company itself.
If you were in an accident with a truck, the trucking company and/or the driver – as well as others – may be liable for damages. Attorney VanDerwerken and his staff will investigate the accident and those who are party to the accident. The truck driver’s background must be checked and the maintenance records of the truck should be checked as well. The driver’s logbook may reveal information that is relevant to the case. If management participated in negligent conduct, a personal injury lawsuit will pursue compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, property damage, lost income and more. To schedule a free case review, call Attorney VanDerwerken at 702-385-5050.