Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its 2015 Traffic Safety Facts for Large Trucks. According to the report, there was a four-percent increase in the number of deaths and injuries in accidents involving large trucks (i.e. semi-trucks, commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, etc.) from 2014 to 2015.
It is estimated that 116,000 people were injured and 4,067 people died in large truck crashes during 2015. In Tennessee, 8.3 percent of the traffic accidents in 2015 involved a large truck, and 116 people died in truck crashes in our state.
Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents
Traffic accidents involving large trucks are extremely dangerous for the occupants of other vehicles. Roughly 74 percent of the people who are killed and 73 percent of the people who are injured in these accidents are occupants of other vehicles. Passenger vehicles simply cannot withstand the impact of a collision with a truck as well as the truck can withstand the impact. Therefore, the outcome of the collision is typically far worse for the passengers in the other vehicle.
Causes of truck crashes vary; however, some of the most common causes of truck crashes include:
- Distracted driving (i.e. texting, cell phone use, watching videos, using social media, checking emails, etc.)
- Failing to obey traffic laws (i.e. speeding, failing to yield the right of way, etc.)
- Drunk driving and drugged driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Reckless driving
- Drowsing or fatigued driving
- Improper or dangerously loaded cargo
- Failure to maintain the truck or trailer
- Defective parts or repairs
- Blind-spot accidents
- Blown tires, road debris, or weather conditions
Determining who is liable for damages from a truck accident usually involves discovering the cause of the accident. A truck accident attorney must perform a thorough investigation and gather evidence to determine what caused the crash to identify the potential parties who are responsible for paying compensation to the victims.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?
There are several parties who may be responsible for a truck accident. In some cases, multiple parties may be liable for the same crash. When investigating the crash, it is crucial to identify each of the parties with potential liability to increase the chance of recovering maximum compensation for damages, injuries, and losses.
The parties who may be held responsible for damages in a truck crash include:
- Truck Driver — Driver error including impaired driving, distracted driving, and fatigued driving.
- Truck Company — Causes can include improperly trained or inexperienced drivers, failing to check driver records, improper maintenance, and pushing drivers to exceed service hours.
- Loading Facility — Improperly loaded cargo or overloaded trailers.
- Maintenance or Repair Companies — Faulty repairs or lack of service.
- Manufacturers — Defective parts, trucks, tires, trailers, brakes, etc.
Insurance companies aggressively defend truck accident claims because the damages can be substantial. If you are injured in a collision with a truck, you need to make sure that evidence proving another party caused the crash is preserved in an early investigation before the evidence can be lost or destroyed. Your truck accident attorney will take steps to preserve key evidence, such as the information on the truck’s black box, but you need to act quickly to allow your attorney as much time as possible to investigate and gather evidence to establish liability.
Have You Been Hurt in a Truck Accident? Call Our Tennessee Truck Accident Attorney Now!
Investigating and identify the liable parties in a truck crash is one of the most important steps in filing a truck accident claim. We urge you to call our Tennessee truck accident attorney now for a free consultation.
Call Mitch Grissim & Associates at 615-645-3391 to schedule a free no-obligation appointment. You may also request additional information by using the Live Chat feature on our website or by using our online contact form.