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Hidden Causes of Truck Accidents and Why They Matter

— April 1, 2022

The trucker seems to be the one at fault, but in a truck accident, you can have multiple liabilities.

Austin, TX – If you live in Texas, especially in a big city like Austin, you’re 30 times more likely to be in a truck accident than a South Dakota resident. This is because Texas leads the country in trucking accidents, whereas South Dakota has the fewest truck crashes in the US. To recover damages for a truck accident, you should look for the best Austin truck accidents lawyers because this type of crash is much more complex and requires a thorough investigation to determine who may be liable for damages. 

For insurance purposes, you cannot rely on the facts described in the police report. For instance, the investigating officer might write down that the truck veered abruptly into your lane and hit your car. You may totally agree with the officer’s findings, but you need to ask yourself why. Why would the trucker do such a thing? This is exactly the kind of question you can expect seasoned Texas truck accident lawyers to ask. The answer to this question will point to who is liable for damages. The trucker seems to be the one at fault, but in a truck accident, you can have multiple liabilities. This may complicate matters, but establishing all the liable parties will be very useful if you have a lot of money to recover.

Here are a few of the most common hidden causes of truck accidents that require an independent investigation only a skilled lawyer can conduct.

Driver fatigue

Let’s say that the accident was caused by the fact that the trucker decided to switch lanes. You may accuse the trucker of reckless driving, but what if he was so tired he couldn’t think straight anymore. Driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. To prevent fatigue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration imposed the Hours of Service regulations, which require truckers to take a 10-hour rest after every 11-hour shift. If the trucker decided to ignore the HoS for personal reasons, he will have to pay for it. However, if it was the trucking company that told him to forget about sleep and hurry up, your lawyers can hold it accountable for damages. 

Mechanical failure

Trucks need a longer time to stop and if there’s a problem with the brakes’ system a crash may become unavoidable. The police report might mention that the trucker did not hit the brakes on time, but what if he did but nothing happened? Under federal regulations, trucking companies must provide regular maintenance to their vehicles, keeping them roadworthy. For instance, the truck’s brakes need to be checked before each trip. What if nobody bothered to do that and this is why you’re now in a hospital bed? Your lawyers will ask the trucking company to provide access to their maintenance logs, to see when the truck was last serviced. In such a case, you may be able to file a claim against the trucking company’s insurance.

Negligent hire

Police in Connecticut administer the one leg stand test to a driver after a crash. Photo by Versageek, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0

You simply cannot allow an inexperienced driver behind the wheel of a big rig. Even if the law allows it to hire an 18-year old, the trucking company is required to provide adequate training to its drivers. At the same time, drivers must undergo a drug test before they are hired. The employer also needs to conduct a background check to see if the driver had any alcohol-related offenses. If lack of training or substance abuse played a role in your crash, the trucking company can be accused of negligent hire or failure to provide adequate training, and it can be held accountable for damages.

If you were recently involved in an accident or have other legal issues and you’re wondering where can I find attorneys near me, don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away. Just follow the link and select your state and city, choose your lawyer, and schedule a free consultation. They’ll take care of your problem in no time.

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