In 2016, 28 fatal truck accidents (involving semi-trucks, also known as 18-wheelers or big rigs) occurred across the state of Nevada, accounting for nearly 1% of the 3,864 fatal truck accidents that occurred across the US that same year. Severe injury, heavy property damage, permanent disability and multiple deaths are a few of the many devastating consequences of a truck accident, and these serious consequences mean that damages tend to run high.
Because of this, trucking companies will staunchly defend themselves to make sure that they do not have to pay you for their negligence. At Cap & Kudler, our team is dedicated to making sure that you recover full compensation in any truck accident case you have been involved in, while also holding truck companies accountable for their actions.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or suffered a wrongful death due to a truck accident, our experienced attorneys are here to help. We believe in helping you by building your case, fighting for your rights, and seeing that you are justly compensated for your medical expenses, as well as any additional damages that may have been incurred as a result of a truck accident.
Causes of Truck (Big Rig) Accidents
Taking a critical look at the causes of trucking accidents leaves one to reflect on how the actions of big rig drivers can have such an impact on the lives of innocent people. This is the essence for the presence of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Nevada state regulations. They are designed to ensure adequate safety for both truckers and the other motorists that ply the roads.
It is due to the belittlement of these regulations that leads to unquantifiable loss of lives and properties. Even when there is no loss of lives, there are usually severe cases of injuries. Examples of such causes of accidents on the part of the truckers are:
- Inattentive driving: This is when the mind is lost in thought due to being busy with other things asides driving. Examples of such distractive devices are mobile phones, CD or DVD players, adjusting the air conditioner, etc.
- Excessive speed: When drivers are under the influence of alcohol or similar substances, they tend to misbehave which results in driving in unsafe conditions.
- Poor maintenance of trucks: Sometimes, the truck driver is not to blame directly. If the truck acts up due to improper maintenance, it could result in accidents. Examples of these truck maintenance includes checking the brake lights, inspecting the conditions of the tires,
- Less attention to road conditions: There’s a high possibility that the usual routes which these truckers ply every day have suddenly become bad due to a weather condition. This is more reason why the truckers have to be on the lookout for signboards or indications along the road concerning bad roads ahead.
- Drowsiness as a result of fatigue: When drivers work beyond the optimal period of driving, tiredness automatically sets in. Most times, this is because of the numerous destinations they have been instructed to cover.
- Disregard of speed limits: Areas such as construction zones are indicated with a specific speed limit that’s optimal for driving. Drivers, especially those operating a big rig are meant to survey the roads as a result of the reduced speed limit.
- Wrong loading of trucks: When the loads are wrongly placed on the trucks, there’s a high tendency of imbalance. This will make it easy for the truck to swerve easily during sharp turnings on the highway.
- Inability to use blind spot mirrors: Blind spot mirrors will indicate the cars that are generally not obvious with the side mirrors. Failure to do so will be drastic.
Trucking companies are also to blame. A good truck accident attorney will help you investigate to see where the truck company involved in your case has conflicted with contributed to these mistakes as well. Examples of mistakes trucking companies make, which can help with your personal injury case, includes:
- Poor maintenance of their trucks
- Unreasonable deadline demands
- Improper hiring, training and retaining of drivers: In the quest to cut down the cost of proper drivers’ training, trucking companies overlook its importance as well as hiring and retaining inexperienced and/or poor drivers.
What Makes Truck (Big Rig) Accidents Different?
Trucking accident cases are unique in the sense that large semi-trucks differ from other vehicles in significant ways; for example, semi-trucks are prone to jackknifing, which usually occurs when the truck is forced to make a sudden brake or turn. If a truck-driver brakes suddenly on a slippery road, or turns suddenly to avoid hitting another vehicle, the truck driver may not be entirely at fault because in many some cases, conditions that require sudden braking or turning are unforeseeable.
Semi-trucks also tend to have trouble turning, and some truck drivers will use two lanes in order to make a right turn. Sometimes the truck driver will be held responsible for an accident if he or she was trying to turn from an inside lane or trying to make a turn while taking up two lanes.
Another difference between a truck accident and an accident between two cars is the presence of a third party—the trucking company itself. Because truck drivers often answer to a trucking or shipping company, the company may be held responsible for the accident rather than in addition to the individual driver. In these cases, the driver often shares responsibility with the employer, contractor, trucking company, and insurance company—all of which may be separate entities.
How We Can Help
If the truck driver or another party connected to the driver is found to be at fault for an accident, then that party may will be legally required to compensate the plaintiff for damages caused by the accident. This may include compensation for medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident, lost wages for any time taken off work for recovery, as well as pain and suffering damages. In a fatal accident, the victim’s family may be entitled to recover damages on behalf of the deceased through a wrongful death claim.
When an accident of any kind occurs, it is critical to take appropriate action as soon as possible. Above anything else, ensuring the safety of all involved parties should be a priority, followed by gathering the names and contact information of all involved parties, as well as any eyewitnesses. No matter who is at fault in an accident, it is important to know your rights and ensure that each negligent party is held accountable for their actions.
Over years of representing truck accident plaintiffs, we have come to know how traumatizing a truck accident can be for victims and their families. When you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, retaining an experienced truck accident attorney is highly recommended before making any kind of statement or settlement.
Cap & Kudler is dedicated to putting in the legwork with the courts and insurance providers so that you can focus on what’s important—rest, recovery and peace of mind. Contact us for a free case evaluation and to learn more about seeking compensation for your truck accident claim today.