Truck Driver Negligence
A truck driver is considered negligent when they fail to act with the level of care that anyone, under similar circumstances, would have exercised. There are many reasons why the actions of a truck driver who causes an accident may be considered negligent. Among them:
Driving While Using Alcohol or Drugs
Drunk driving is an issue with all kinds of drivers, but commercial truck drivers are held to a stricter blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.04% as opposed to the federal limit for passenger vehicle drivers of 0.08%.
Exceeding posted speed limits may increase a truck driver’s risk of losing control of their vehicle. Speeding trucks are responsible for much more serious accidents than accidents involving other vehicles at similar speeds because of the size and weight of the truck and cargo.
Reckless or Aggressive Driving
When a truck driver engages in reckless driving or shows signs of road rage, the result of their actions may be an accident in which people end up suffering serious injuries or even losing their lives.
Exceeding Hours of Service Limits
Despite the fact that there are strict limits to the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road in a day or a week, it is very common for them to exceed this number as they try to get their loads delivered on time. In these instances, it must be determined whether the trucker is responsible for the excess hours or it is the trucking company that schedules their rides.
Improper or Insufficient Training
Trucks require special skills when it comes to performing certain maneuvers safely. Just getting behind the wheel and pressing the accelerator is not enough. Having an untrained driver means an increased risk for accidents, and may be considered negligence on behalf of the driver as well as the trucking company they are working for.
Mechanical issues are found to be responsible for many truck accidents. In these cases, the negligence may lie in a failure to inspect or maintain a commercial truck that then gets involved in an accident. There are many parties that can be negligent when it comes to the maintenance of a truck:
- The driver
- The truck’s owner
- Whoever is responsible for maintaining and repairing the truck
Federal Regulations Regarding Maintenance and Repairs
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established a comprehensive set of regulations to make sure all commercial trucks are safe.
Among them, it is the truck driver’s responsibility to inspect the vehicle before starting any trip. An inspection is also required after the trip is completed.
Additionally, comprehensive records of the truck’s maintenance and repairs must be kept, as well as proof that the vehicle has passed its annual inspection. Not maintaining these records can result in liability for the truck’s owner.
The Impact of a Truck Accident
If you have been in an accident with a truck, it is more than likely that you will not be dealing with the driver directly. Most likely you will be contacted by the trucking company and their team of insurance professionals and lawyers to reach a settlement agreement. To even out the playing field it is crucial that you have legal representation as well.
Seek The Legal Representation You Need
At The Eslinger Law Firm, our accident lawyers understand the importance of conducting an immediate and thorough investigation as soon as possible after the accident in order to determine the cause of the collision.
When you work with the accident attorneys at The Eslinger Law Firm, you can be sure that we will work to prove negligence by exploring all possible breaches in the driver’s duty of care. Our experienced attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Make an appointment today and schedule a free initial consultation. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis with no out of pocket costs to you.
Our team of compassionate lawyers will listen to your case and recommend the appropriate course of action to get you the results you need.