Truck accidents only account for about 3% total of all vehicular accidents on the road, but their incidents are on the rise quickly, despite the fact that we’re more aware than ever of the safety concerns and despite passing of new laws to keep people safe. In fact, these accidents are up by nearly 1% per year over the past 20 years.
Because of the sheer size and weight of the vehicles involved, truck accidents can be truly catastrophic, resulting in the kind of damage that can utterly destroy lives. Learn why truck accident causes can be so varied, why this can cause serious complexities in your injury case, and why you need a truck accident lawyer.
Truck Accident Causes
There can be many different truck accident causes that can result in serious injury or even death. Of course, the first one that comes to mind is driver error. When a truck driver is overly exhausted, distracted because they’re using a mobile device or eating, or even when they’re intoxicated, this can result in serious accidents due to slow reflexes and poor judgment.
Sometimes a truck accident is caused by poor weather — snow and ice, rain and sleet, even extreme heat can cause things like blown tires. Related to poor weather are bad road conditions like potholes, gravel, oil spills and the like.
Other times, the problem is with the vehicle itself. Perhaps the tires are too bald. Maybe the brakes go bad. Sometimes, even, the cargo could be badly secured and shift, causing the whole truck to go off balance. In short, with a big rig, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
Who Is Responsible?
This leads to another issue: who’s responsible for the accident once it happens? You’ll quickly find that all the potential parties—the shipping company, the trucking company, the parts manufacturers—all go to great lengths to shift blame onto each other and off of themselves. The insurance companies may even try to shift blame onto you so nobody has to pay out.
One of the most common strategies is for the trucking company to deny connection to the driver because the driver is an independent contractor. It’s important to note that current Federal laws don’t permit trucking companies to make this claim—they can be held responsible for an accident involving their company and their trucks, even if an independent contractor is driving.
As you can see, it can get very tricky trying to get to the bottom of these cases. While the various parties spend months or even years fighting over who (if anyone) has to pay, you’re stuck with mounting medical bills and a life that’s been turned upside-down. That’s why it’s best to have a qualified and experienced truck accident lawyer in your corner. The right lawyer will get to the bottom of the truck accident causes, hold the responsible parties liable, and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you’re in Tennessee, particularly in the areas of Chattanooga or Knoxville, the attorneys at the McMahan Law Firm can help. Complete our online contact form, or give us a call for a free consultation on your truck accident case today.