Hurt by a Negligent Truck Driver
Large truck drivers must follow the federal and state laws that dictate how they should operate their big-rig in a safe manner, sharing the road with everyone.
Because a large truck, big-rig, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, semi or commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a passenger vehicle weighing perhaps 3,000 pounds is no match in a collision.
You never want to be in an accident with a large truck because the injuries sustained are usually life-altering if not life-threatening. 98% of fatalities occur in passenger vehicles when a truck and car collide. If the car’s occupants survive, the cost of a lifetime of care must be determined in a case against a negligent driver.
Truck drivers will argue that motorists also have a responsibility to be safe on the road and that is true. Often a car will cut in front of a big-rig not allowing him room or time to respond, or they will travel in a driver’s blind spot. Truck drivers have plenty of complaints about motorists. But motorists also have many legitimate complaints about large truck drivers. If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, a Jacksonville truck accident attorney can help you determine if the collision could have been due to negligence.
Types of Negligence:
- Failure to Prepare – A driver is supposed to do an inspection before he begins his trip to ensure that there are no problems with his truck. The inspection includes brakes, hydraulics, and making sure the load is secured and weighted properly.
- Driver Error – Whether tail-gating or driving aggressively, a truck driver has a major responsibility to avoid endangering other vehicles. An inexperienced or careless driver can endanger the lives of other drivers if he or she does not pay attention to surroundings.
- Speeding – According to federal data from 2008, speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to about 31 percent of fatal crashes. Federal data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2008, 11,674 lives were lost in speeding-related collisions.
- Distracted Driver – Between the computer, CD player, cell phone, even a monitor and paper records, a driver has a myriad of distractions behind the wheel.
- Cargo Loads – We’ve seen loads that are not properly secured onboard a big-rig. Whether it be logs, automobiles, scrap metal, or even live animals, when the truck load or door is not secure, the load can spill over onto the road and present major hazards. A driver must make sure the load is properly balanced and secured. The driver is obligated to inspect the truck for this hazard repeatedly throughout the drive.
- Sleep Deprivation – Federal law dictates how many hours of sleep and rest a driver must have before getting behind the wheel, but in the quest to deliver freight quickly, these rules are often pushed to the limit. Many drivers also suffer from sleep apnea, caused by a restricted airway, which, if left untreated, can result in a fatigued truck driver.
- Driving Under the Influence – Driving drunk, on prescription or illegal drugs is unacceptable and illegal on the open road with an 80,000 pound load.
- Poor Driving Conditions – A driver should know when he can or cannot reasonably make it to his destination in rain, snow, sleet, hail, thunderstorms, tornadoes, or hurricanes.
Nearly one-quarter of all large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashe in 2008 had at least one prior speeding conviction, as did 18 percent of passenger car drivers.
Hurt in a Serious Accident in Jacksonville? Contact a Truck Driver Negligence Attorney Today
If you have been involved in a crash with a large truck, an attorney and investigator will need to inspect the company’s records, review log books, the black box data recorder on the truck, the driver’s work log books, receipts from the road, the load weight, phone records, and work history to determine if the driver or company was negligent. Truck drivers are required to keep log books and track all stops, breaks, hours slept, and mileage and should these documents be falsified by a negligent driver, an Jacksonville truck accident lawyer may be able to help you.
With a vast network of legal resources, the injury attorneys of Farah & Farah can help determine who was at fault and whether or not you’re eligible for compensation for medical bills, wages lost and other damages. For more information and a free consultation, call our office at 877-245-6707 today.