Myths abound about commercial trucks and truck accidents. This article will dispel four of these common myths while providing factual information on truck accidents.
We hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions about truck accidents or your particular case, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified truck accident lawyer at Tate Law Offices, P.C.
Myth #1 – Trucks are less likely to cause accidents than other vehicles.
Truck drivers are as likely to cause crashes as drivers of passenger vehicles on the road. The training required to become a truck driver and obtain a commercial license is not as stringent and thorough as many people would think. Also, truck drivers have the same risk factors as other drivers, including distracted driving, driving while fatigued, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and failing to obey traffic laws. These behaviors make truck drivers just as likely to be the cause of an accident.
Myth #2 – Truckers can get by without much sleep because they are used to it.
Drowsy truck drivers are a danger to everyone on the road. Sleep-deprived drivers are much more likely to cause accidents than those who are well-rested. In fact, driving while awake after 18 hours is the equivalent to driving while intoxicated. Although truck drivers are required to follow schedules for breaks to decrease the chances of accidents, truckers often ignore these regulations because they are paid by the number of miles they drive and are under pressure to make deliveries quickly.
Myth #3 – Trucking companies cannot be held liable for accidents caused by their drivers.
It’s not uncommon for trucking companies to be liable when their negligence contributes to or causes an accident. Examples of trucking company liability include:
- Negligence in hiring. This may include failure to complete a background check, verify a commercial driver’s license, or administer a drug test for new drivers. It could also involve knowingly hiring a driver who is unqualified.
- Inadequate truck maintenance. When trucking companies do not regularly inspect their vehicles – or do not repair issues discovered from an inspection – they can be held liable if a truck crashes as a result.
- Failure to comply with trucking regulations. This form of negligence includes not verifying that drivers are in compliance with trucking regulations and setting demanding drivers schedules that make truckers want to violate regulations.
Trucking companies may also be held liable for the negligence of a driver who is an employee. In many cases, a company may label a driver as an “independent contractor,” but in reality, the driver was an employee and the company is responsible a crash caused by the driver.
Myth #4 – Trucking companies and insurance providers make it impossible to get settlements after accidents.
It is true that trucking companies and their insurers will usually seek to avoid liability for accidents to save themselves money. Even if they accept liability, they will likely try to undervalue a victim’s losses. But you can fight back. An experienced truck accident lawyer can conduct and independent investigation into the true causes of the crash and identify everyone who should be held responsible. A truck accident lawyer can build a solid case for compensation and take a strong stance when meeting the insurance companies at the negotiating table to negotiate a fair settlement.