Why do most trucking accidents occur? Is it driver error? Is mechanical failure to blame? Who is liable in a trucking accident? What rights do accident victims have? Sharing the road with 18-wheelers and other large trucks can be dangerous or deadly, particularly in heavy traffic areas in Indianapolis or other urban centers in Indiana. For vulnerable drivers and occupants of nearby passenger vehicles, the size of a tractor-trailer, the weight of the load and the speed of travel make a commercial truck particularly dangerous when a collision occurs. While any motor vehicle accident is capable of causing a substantial amount of property damage, injury, or loss of life, trucking accidents are considered to be among the most dangerous of all vehicle accidents. In 2013, 3,602 people were killed in trucking accidents, according to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Of those who lost their lives in two-vehicle accidents between a large truck and a motor vehicle, 97 percent of the fatalities were passenger vehicle occupants.
Truck Accident Causes
Drivers in the trucking industry are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which has put forth as its mission to “prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.” The FMCSA gathers and analyzes crash information to identify the underlying cause of truck accidents. In one of its analyses, the FMCSA found that of the critical reasons identified in crashes, these driver errors were the most common:
- Errors in Decision: Driver was traveling too fast for existing conditions, driver failed to accurately judge the speed of other vehicles, or the driver was following too closely behind the vehicle in front.
- Recognition Failure: Driver was distracted, not paying attention, or simply failed to adequately assess the situation.
- Non-Performance: Driver fell asleep, had some kind of physical problem, a medical complication, or became physically impaired for some other reason.
- Performance Problems: Driver overcompensated, exercised poor vehicle control, or may have panicked due to inexperience or lack of proper training.
Other factors that also were found to have contributed to causing truck accidents were:
- Mechanical problems
- Environmental issues
- Lack of familiarity with the area
- Alcohol or drug use
Liability in a Trucking Accident
Liability in a trucking accident is different than liability in a car accident. In many trucking accidents, multiple parties could be held liable, depending upon the facts in the case. Every truck accident case should be managed by a legal professional who can correctly determine all parties that can be held liable, and file a claim or lawsuit to seek to recover monetary damages. Getting help from an experienced attorney is critical in a trucking accident injury or wrongful death case. A truck accident lawyer will help you determine whether the trucking company, the owner of the truck and trailer, the truck driver, the shipper, the company hired to load the truck, the truck’s manufacturer, the tire manufacturer, or another party was at fault. An attorney can also help you protect your interests by going up against insurance companies and their corporate defense lawyers who will seek to reduce the value of a claim, or in some cases, deny responsibility.
Been Involved in a Trucking Accident? Call Our Firm Now!
If you or someone you love has been in a trucking accident, call our firm now. Speak with an Indiana truck accident attorney at Jacobs Law to find out how to move forward with your injury case. As the victim of an accident you have the right to be fully compensated for your injuries and other damages. We are steadfast in demanding justice and fair monetary compensation for our clients — call now for legal help you can trust.