Who's at fault in Truck Accidents?

Semi-truck crashes into car

A commercial truck, a semi or tractor-trailer, wreck devastates everyone involved because of the size and weight of those vehicles. And, truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to work long hours and haul more loads at maximum speeds while sharing our highways and roads with passenger cars.

There’s always a reason for a truck crash. And, the damage goes beyond medical bills and vehicle damage. The harm includes lost wages, loss of use of your car, scarring or disfigurement, disability (temporary and permanent), along with pain and suffering, both mental and physical. Also, the victim’s family suffers as any recovery period lingers or due to the death of their loved one in a truck accident.  

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” found driver performance to be the critical reason in about 9 of 10 wrecks where the truck driver was the primary cause of the crash. At fault truck drivers were often speeding and/or unfamiliar with the road. Some faulty truck drivers were using over-the-counter drugs, were poorly supervised, fatigued, under work pressure to over perform, distracted or just not paying attention. Mechanical truck problems that helped cause a truck accident included brake problems, tire problems, and shifting cargo.

Commercial vehicle accident statistics involve semi-trucks, dump-trucks, box trucks, and multi-axle flat-bed trucks that ordinarily drive our highways hauling big loads. Buses and light commercial trucks account for a significant number of commercial vehicle accidents too. Whenever a commercial truck is involved in a wreck the truck driver and the truck driver’s employer can be responsible, along with any contractors involved with the truck’s load.

An experienced truck accident lawyer identifies everyone and every entity that is liable or responsible for the negligence. If a settlement out of court cannot be reached, an experienced injury lawyer can go to court for just compensation.

Under federal, and state, laws and trucking regulations, an experienced personal injury attorney proves the truck driver and his/her employer:

  • had a duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care,
  • failed to exercise that duty, and
  • that failure caused injury and loss to the plaintiff(s).

An experienced injury lawyer can prove negligence from: police reports and investigations, witnesses, driver’s logs, truck maintenance logs, truck company training or financial records. Expert witnesses are often used to establish a truck driver’s duties and how trucking transportation companies typically meet their duties to hire good drivers, supervise them and maintain semi-tractor trailer trucks.

Insurance and trucking companies will sometimes hold a “carrot” out and offer a quick settlement. But, be aware that someone who settles early is unable to collect costs and damages later discovered. All the medical bills might not arrive for weeks after related treatment ends. And, in a serious accident, care providers might recommend additional or future care.

Tim Gilpin of Gilpin Law Office has been successfully representing victims of trucking accidents and highway crashes for over 34 years. Of course, there is a free consultation and no attorney fee is there is no recovery.