October 5, 2017 · FLEMING | NOLEN | JEZ, L.L.P.
Accidents involving commercial trucks are known for their devastating consequences, including high rates of serious injuries and death. While truck accidents may share the common threat of increased risks for causing harm and damage, they can vary drastically when it comes to their underlying cause.
At Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P., our national trial attorneys have extensive experience protecting the rights of truck accident victims in cases involving all types of issues. Given our experience, we are able to leverage our insight when conducting investigations into the cause of trucking wrecks and who can be held liable for damages suffered by victims, including their lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses and more.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver Fatigue – Tired drivers pose risks to public safety no matter what vehicle they are in. In fact, studies show that missing even a few hours of sleep can increase a driver’s crash risks to that of a driver who is legally too intoxicated to drive. When a tired driver who’s more likely to crash is behind the wheel of a big rig, the risks become even greater. That’s why there are strict regulations in place that limit the amount of hours truckers can be on the road and on the clock, as well as rules for mandatory rest breaks. Violations of these Hours-of-Service rules not only endanger the public, they amount to negligence.
- Negligent Hiring / Retention – Trucking operators are ultimately accountable for the conduct of their drivers. They also have a legal obligation to ensure the drivers they choose to hire and keep as employees do not pose unreasonable risks. Hiring or retaining drivers with a history of driving errors and tickets, drug or alcohol problems, medical problems that would prevent them from passing medical certifications, and insufficient training or licenses are just a few examples of trucking company negligence.
- Poorly Maintained Trucks – State and federal laws require trucking operators and truckers to routinely inspect their fleet and address any potential hazards that could increase risks of accidents, such as broken headlights, old brakes, aging tires, and other dangerous issues. Failing to do so can amount to a safety violation, as well as liability in cases where poor maintenance caused or contributed to preventable wrecks.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo – Trucks that ferry goods and cargo can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and may transport dangerous or hazardous materials. For these reasons, ensuring the proper loading and securement of cargo is vital to roadway safety and preventing accidents. When truckers and their employers fail to abide by cargo securement regulations, including placement of cargo, securement devices, and more, they can be held liable when cargo falls off rigs and causes wrecks, or when shifting cargo causes trucks to lose control and crash.
Whether you know the cause of your trucking accident are not, one of the most important things you can do is to seek the assistance of qualified and experienced lawyers. Backed by over 170 years of collective experience, our legal team at Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P. is prepared to put our insight, resources, and commitment to work for you. Discuss your rights and whether you have a claim for compensation by calling (713) 621-7944 for a free consultation.