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What happens when a truck driver gets into an accident?

Updated: Mar 8

Experiencing a truck accident can be overwhelming, but it's important to know what steps to take to protect yourself and build a strong case if necessary.

How trucking accidents happen

Truck accidents can result from various factors, and drivers or companies may be held responsible for their negligence. Some of these factors include distracted driving, fatigue, failure to adjust driving to road and weather conditions, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, reckless driving, negligent hiring and training of drivers, failure to maintain trucks properly, and failure to observe drivers' break periods. Safety defects and long working hours are also significant contributors to large truck crashes.

It is crucial to drive defensively, remain attentive, and follow posted speed limits to prevent accidents involving large commercial vehicles. It is essential to keep in mind that trucks require more time and distance to brake and accelerate, so maintaining a safe distance from them is crucial. Avoid sudden and unpredictable lane changes and use your indicators prudently. Driving behind a truck reduces your visibility, so leaving ample space and avoiding blind spots can help you react to traffic situations more effectively. Remember that trucks cannot maneuver as quickly as cars and have larger blind spots, making it vital to pass them on the left side whenever possible.

When a truck driver gets into an accident, it can be a very serious situation. What are the consequences for the truck driver?

In the event of a truck driver's accident, there are various consequences that can arise. Apart from the potential criminal penalties that a driver may face, their employer could also be held responsible. If a truck driver is involved in an accident resulting in injury or death, they could be charged with vehicular manslaughter or homicide. Additionally, if a driver was driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may face criminal charges. Apart from criminal charges, the truck driver's company may also be sued for negligence, leading to expensive settlements or judgments against the company.

How do you prove it was the truck driver’s fault? If the accident was caused by another driver, the truck driver may be able to file a claim against their insurance company.

Most traffic accidents, including those involving trucks, are caused by careless or reckless mistakes made by drivers. However, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to additional rules and regulations, making it possible for them to misbehave in various ways and cause accidents. Some examples of this include driving for extended periods without taking breaks, not taking sufficient breaks for rest, failing to secure their load properly, not adhering to weight restrictions, not conducting pre-trip inspections, and failing to follow other regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These cases are more complicated because the truck driver is not the only liable party, even if they are found to have caused the accident. If this were to be the case, this is something that would be handled by the insurance and legal teams.

Reach out to us if you have questions regarding an accident.

Steps to take after your truck is in an accident

Experiencing a truck accident can be an overwhelming event, but it's important to know what steps to take in order to protect yourself and build a strong case if necessary. Here are some key procedures you should follow if you're ever in a truck accident:

  1. Stay at the accident scene: Whether you were involved in the accident or just witnessed it, it's your responsibility to remain at the scene until law enforcement releases you. This ensures that you won't be charged with leaving the scene or hit-and-run. You can also assess the situation and provide any necessary aid, but don't put yourself in danger.

  2. Contact law enforcement and emergency services: It's crucial to call the police and any necessary emergency services so that the accident can be properly documented and investigated. Don't let the truck driver convince you not to call.

  3. Exchange information with other parties involved: Make sure to exchange contact and insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident. Write down the trucking company's name and direct contact information as well.

  4. Find witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information and/or a written statement if possible. This information will be valuable if you need to file a lawsuit.

  5. Notify your insurance company: Be sure to let your insurance company know that you were in an accident. However, do not admit fault or provide a statement until you've consulted with a personal injury attorney.

  6. Document the accident: Take pictures of any damages, injuries, and the accident scene itself. This can help provide evidence of the extent of the damage.

  7. Keep all necessary documents: Keep any medical bills, records, shop bills, and proof of income related to the accident. This will help calculate a fair settlement.

Truck drivers are an essential part of our economy, however, it is important to acknowledge that they are human and capable of making mistakes. We must remain aware of the potential dangers that trucks pose and take precautions to ensure our safety when around them. In the event of a truck accident, it can have far-reaching effects on the economy. The transportation of goods and supplies is heavily reliant on truck drivers, and their absence can lead to supply shortages and price increases. It is crucial that we remember the humanity of truck drivers and offer support in the event of an accident, helping them to recover and return to work as soon as possible.

Reach out to us if you have questions regarding an accident.

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