Causes of Truck Accidents

April 3, 2024 |
Causes of Truck Accidents

Commercial trucking accidents usually happen because of negligence by other individuals, including truck drivers, trucking companies, repair facilities, or truck part manufacturers. If you suffered injuries in a recent truck collision that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you may have several legal options to consider.

A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer in your area can thoroughly investigate your accident circumstances, determine the likely settlement or verdict value of your case, and help you select the best option.

During settlement negotiations, your lawyer can aggressively fight for your legal interests or threaten the insurance company with litigation.

If your case must go to a trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding, your lawyer can argue on your behalf, introduce evidence, and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.

How Do Truck Drivers Cause Collisions?

Negligent truck drivers may contribute to a variety of accidents through their actions or inactions on the road.

One common factor is distracted driving. When truck drivers engage in activities like texting, talking on the phone, or using in-cab technologies while driving, their attention diverts from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.

Fatigue is another significant issue. Truck drivers may exceed allowable hours of service regulations, leading to drowsiness and impaired concentration. Fatigued driving can result in slower reaction times, poor decision-making, and an elevated likelihood of accidents, including rear-end collisions and lane departures.

Speeding is another common form of negligence among truck drivers. Driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for weather conditions reduces the driver's ability to react promptly to obstacles, increasing the severity of accidents. Speed-related accidents may include rollovers, jackknifes, or collisions with other vehicles.

Failing to maintain a safe following distance is another frequent cause of accidents involving trucks. Tailgating or following other vehicles too closely reduces the truck driver's reaction time and may lead to rear-end collisions.

Insufficient following distance is particularly dangerous, considering the longer stopping distances required for large trucks.

Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo may also contribute to serious accidents. Negligent truck drivers or cargo loaders may fail to secure the load adequately, leading to cargo shifts or spills. Unstable cargo can result in rollovers, loss of control, or debris on the roadway, causing accidents and potential injuries to other drivers.

Neglecting to check blind spots is another hazardous behavior among truck drivers. Large trucks have significant blind spots, and failing to adequately check these areas before switching lanes or making turns can lead to collisions with other vehicles – especially smaller ones, like cars or motorcycles.

Inadequate maintenance practices pose additional risks. Negligent truck drivers may operate vehicles with faulty brakes, worn tires, or other mechanical issues. Poorly maintained trucks are more prone to accidents, including brake failures, tire blowouts, or other mechanical malfunctions that can lead to collisions.

Running red lights or disregarding traffic signals is another form of negligence among truck drivers. Violating traffic signals can result in intersection accidents, broadside collisions, or other incidents that jeopardize the safety of other road users.

Overall, various negligent behaviors by truck drivers contribute to a range of accidents on the road. Addressing these issues requires heightened awareness, adherence to state and federal motor carrier regulations, and stringent enforcement to ensure the safety of all road users.

How Can a Trucking Company Cause or Contribute to an Accident?

Tractor-trailers are lined up in rows at the trucking company.

Negligent trucking companies can play a significant role in causing or contributing to truck accidents through various practices and oversights.

A common factor is inadequate driver training. When trucking companies fail to provide comprehensive training for their drivers, it increases the likelihood of accidents. Inexperienced drivers may struggle to handle large vehicles, leading to errors in judgment, improper maneuvering, and a higher risk of collisions.

Another key issue is the enforcement of unrealistic schedules. Trucking companies may impose tight delivery deadlines on drivers, encouraging speeding and disregarding safety regulations to meet unrealistic timeframes. This pressure can result in driver fatigue, compromised decision-making, and an increased likelihood of accidents.

Negligent hiring practices may also contribute to the problem. If trucking companies fail to conduct thorough background checks on potential drivers, they may unknowingly employ individuals with a history of traffic violations, substance abuse, or inadequate training. This oversight can lead to drivers who pose a higher risk on the road.

Inadequate vehicle maintenance is another significant concern among negligent trucking companies.

Failing to perform regular inspections, address mechanical issues promptly, or maintain proper record-keeping for maintenance activities can result in accidents caused by equipment failures. Brake malfunctions, tire blowouts, or other mechanical issues can lead to serious accidents on the road.

Non-compliance with safety regulations is another area of concern. Negligent trucking companies may overlook or deliberately ignore safety standards, including hours of service regulations, weight restrictions, or proper cargo securement guidelines.

This non-compliance increases the risk of accidents, as it compromises the safety of the truck and the surrounding road users.

Overloading or improperly loading cargo is another common practice among some negligent trucking companies. Loading cargo beyond weight limits or failing to secure it adequately can lead to accidents, including rollovers, loss of control, or cargo spills. Such incidents pose significant dangers to other motorists on the road.

Lack of oversight and monitoring is also a prevalent issue. Negligent trucking companies may fail to adequately supervise their drivers, ensuring compliance with safety regulations and proper conduct on the road. Inadequate supervision can lead to a lack of accountability, fostering an environment where unsafe practices go unchecked.

Addressing these issues requires increased accountability, stringent enforcement of safety regulations, and a commitment to prioritizing safety over profit. By holding negligent trucking companies accountable for their practices, the industry can work towards creating a safer environment for all road users.

Responsibility of Repair Facilities or Part Manufacturers for a Truck Crash

A truck has been involved in a road accident, and repairs are currently underway.

Truck repair facilities and truck part manufacturers can inadvertently contribute to truck accidents through various negligent practices and oversights.

One significant concern is inadequate maintenance by repair facilities.

When these facilities fail to conduct thorough and proper repairs on trucks, it can lead to mechanical failures that pose serious risks on the road. Issues such as faulty brakes, worn-out tires, or other malfunctioning components can result in accidents, jeopardizing the safety of both the truck driver and other motorists.

Substandard or defective truck parts produced by manufacturers can also contribute to accidents. If manufacturers prioritize cost-cutting measures over ensuring the quality and safety of their products, it can lead to the production of parts that are prone to failure.

Defective brakes, tires, or other components increase the risk of accidents due to unexpected malfunctions, compromising the overall safety of the truck.

Negligent installation practices at repair facilities further increase the potential risks. When technicians improperly install truck parts, it may lead to mechanical issues that can trigger accidents. Whether it’s incorrectly fitting brakes, improperly installing tires, or neglecting other critical components, these errors can result in catastrophic consequences on the road.

Inadequate testing and quality control procedures by manufacturers may also play a role. If manufacturers do not rigorously test their products or fail to implement proper quality control measures, the chances of defective parts entering the market increase. This negligence can lead to accidents, as trucks experience failures in critical components while in operation.

Failing to recall or address known defects is another serious concern. If manufacturers or repair facilities are aware of defects in their products or services but neglect to issue recalls or rectify the issues promptly, it increases the risk of accidents. Trucks on the road may be equipped with known faulty parts, posing a danger to drivers and other road users.

Common Injuries in a Truck Accident

The emergency response team is providing first aid to a man who has been involved in a truck accident on the road.

In a truck accident that results from someone else's negligence, drivers and passengers are susceptible to numerous injuries due to the significant size and force involved in these collisions.

Some of the most common truck accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) 
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Paralysis 
  • Bone fractures 
  • Soft tissue sprains and strains
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage

Psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, are often overlooked, but they can have a profound effect on an accident victim’s life.

The emotional trauma experienced during a truck accident can lead to persistent distress, nightmares, and changes in behavior, affecting the mental well-being of those involved.

Recovery from these injuries often involves extensive medical treatments, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. Seeking prompt medical attention after a truck accident is crucial for diagnosing and addressing injuries.

Additionally, consulting with legal professionals can help victims navigate the complexities of their personal injury claims and pursue compensation for their accident-related losses.

How to Prove a Truck Accident Claim or Lawsuit Successfully 

Legally proving a truck accident claim or lawsuit involves presenting a compelling case supported by documentary evidence and witness testimony.

One crucial piece of evidence is the accident report generated by law enforcement officers who responded to the scene. This official document provides details about the accident, including statements from involved parties, witness information, and observations that the responding officers made.

The accident report contains foundational evidence that can establish the facts surrounding the incident.

Photographic evidence also plays a vital role in documenting the aftermath of a truck accident. Clear and detailed photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries help recreate the circumstances of the collision. These photos can provide a visual narrative for the insurance company or the court.

Medical records are also essential for proving the extent of injuries sustained in a truck accident. Detailed records of medical treatments, diagnostic tests, and physician assessments provide an overview of the physical effects on the individuals involved. This evidence also helps to establish the causal connection between the accident and the injuries which the victim suffered.

Witness testimony adds a human perspective to the legal proceedings. Eyewitnesses who observed the truck accident can provide firsthand accounts of what transpired. Their statements may also support or clarify details presented in other evidence, offering valuable insights into the dynamics of the collision.

Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals, can provide specialized knowledge to support the truck accident case.

Accident reconstruction experts can analyze the scene, vehicle damage, roadway marks, and other factors to recreate the sequence of events leading to the accident. Medical experts can offer insights into the nature and extent of the victim’s injuries, connecting them to the collision.

Preserve physical evidence from the accident, such as damaged vehicles or roadway debris. Experts may analyze and inspect this evidence to gain insights into the mechanics of the collision.

Communication records, including emails, text messages, or other correspondence related to the accident, can also contain relevant evidence. These documents may reveal discussions or admissions that support the accident victim’s case.

By carefully assembling and presenting these types of evidence, a strong legal case can be built to establish liability in a truck accident claim or lawsuit.

A skilled truck accident attorney can navigate the complexities of gathering and presenting evidence effectively and can aggressively advocate for fair compensation on your behalf.

Damages for Truck Accident Injuries

Tractor-trailer collision during cargo transport. High-risk driving conditions demand elevated insurance coverage.

Victims of truck accidents may be eligible to recover various damages to address the physical, emotional, and financial repercussions of the incident. Compensation for lost income is a crucial component, accounting for income lost during recovery due to the inability to work.

This compensation helps to lessen the financial effects on individuals who suffer injuries that prevent them from earning their usual income.

Medical expenses are another significant category of damages. Victims can seek compensation for the costs associated with immediate and ongoing healthcare needs, including hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and other necessary treatments related to their injuries.

Pain and suffering damages address the physical and emotional distress the accident victim experienced due to the accident. This includes compensation for the pain, anxiety, and overall reduction in quality of life resulting from the injuries. These damages aim to acknowledge and provide compensation for the non-economic effect of the accident.

Loss of earning capacity may apply if the truck accident injuries result in a diminished ability to work – or a permanent disability. This compensation seeks to account for the potential future income that the victim may have earned if not for their accident-related limitations.

Damages for mental anguish are intended to address the psychological effects of the accident. Victims may experience emotional distress, anxiety, or depression as a result of the traumatic event, and these damages aim to provide compensation for the mental toll.

Permanent disfigurement or disability damages acknowledge lasting physical changes resulting from the truck accident. This compensation seeks to address the effects of visible scarring, disfigurement, or long-term disabilities that alter the victim's life.

Finally, loss-of-consortium damages extend to spouses or family members. These damages address the loss of companionship, emotional support, and care resulting from the injuries that the victim suffered in the truck accident.

By understanding these damages, truck accident victims can pursue compensation that fully addresses the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of their collision.

Speak with a Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Andrew L. Hope, Personal Injury Lawyer
Andrew L. Hope, Truck Accident Lawyer

Serious truck accidents may result from a variety of factors, including driver negligence, trucking company negligence, and negligence by repair facilities or part manufacturers.

If you sustained injuries in a recent truck collision, a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can determine the cause or causes of your accident by performing a thorough investigation.

Your personal injury attorney may then file a personal injury claim or lawsuit on your behalf and aggressively fight for your interests in recovering the fair compensation you deserve.