When a commercial truck is involved in a serious accident, the driver is usually the first one in the spotlight when determining the cause of the wreck — and rightly so. The size and weight of trucks require that drivers be both highly skilled and focused on controlling these multi-ton behemoths. The injuries caused by an 18-wheeled semi tend to be catastrophic. Because of the severity of the injuries and property damage, commercial truck accidents often produce very large claim amounts. So the employers of these drivers (and their insurance companies) use everything they can think of – whether it’s right or not – to limit their exposure to damage claims. Truck driver error tends to be to blame, however.
One of the most common examples is their failure to check blind spots – known in the trucking industry as “no-zones” — before turning or changing lanes. They are on all four sides of the semi, and many accidents happen when the trucker maneuvers into these spots without carefully checking for clearance first. Because they’re operating a dangerous vehicle, driving the rig defensively is part of truckers’ “expanded duty” to protect us.
Other truck driver errors are similar to those that anyone can make, such as not paying attention to surroundings (distracted driving), speeding, not knowing routes, exhaustion, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If you are injured by a negligent trucker, an experienced accident lawyer with Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., can offer sound advice about your ability to file a damage claim and the prospects for its success when the accident was not your fault. That investigation should be exhaustive. Not only should physical evidence be examined, but also witnesses must be interviewed, and other documentation examined carefully, such as:
Trucking companies (and their insurance companies) are adept at shifting the blame for negligence onto drivers. Sometimes you can be fooled so it is vital to identify the true cause of your accident. Maybe it was due to driver negligence, and sometimes it can be someone further up the chain of command who decided to cut corners, ordered the driver to take unnecessary risks or looked the other way when the trucker altered driving logs to get cargo to the destination on time.
Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits claiming truck driver error can become even more complicated when the trucker is an owner-operator rather than a company employee. Some owner-operators are also employed by a truck driving “contracting” agency, which can be found liable for an accident if they failed to check the driver’s background thoroughly or the full nature of the load the contractor was carrying. But the one constant is that everyone in the industry must have insurance to pay damage claims for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and additional wrongful death losses.
The seasoned attorneys with Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer protect the rights of all commercial truck accident victims and their families in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including Toledo, Findlay, Lima, Sandusky, Oregon, Defiance, Fremont and other local communities. If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident because of driver negligence, contact us for a free consultation at 567-455-5470 or fill out our online contact form to protect your full compensation rights.