When do you need a truck accident lawyer?
Truck accident attorneys are familiar with the problems and root causes behind this niche of auto accidents. When do you need a truck accident lawyer? And what value does a truck accident lawyer bring?
Sometimes the accident isn’t due to driver error but equipment failure. Perhaps the connections holding the load onto the 18 wheeler failed, causing the trailer to impact the victim’s car. A car hauler might have had the end restraints come loose, and then the car comes off the trailer and hits the person behind the truck. You need a truck accident lawyer any time your vehicle has been struck by a truck, regardless of cause.
There are many trucks with signs that say “if you don’t see my rear view windows, I don’t see you” and “truck makes wide left turns”. If a truck lacked this warning and you were struck, the trucking company or equipment manufacturer may be at fault. Conversely, the accident may be due to deferred maintenance leading to equipment failure.
Truck drivers are often at fault for their accidents by not looking around enough. If the truck driver changed lanes without checking all sides, backed up without seeing who was around them or making a turn without taking the path least likely to hit anyone. In some cases, the problem is actually due to dangerous weather conditions or defective roadways. Only a truck accident lawyer has the expertise and engineering experts on hand to determine fault and prove it in court. In other cases, the driver is at fault by driving too fast for the weather conditions – and an attorney that knows how to read the driving logs and related paperwork can determine if this is the case.
Many truck accidents are due to driver fatigue. If the driver fell asleep before causing a wreck due to pressure to drive overnight or longer than they safely could do so, a truck accident lawyer could help you sue the trucking company instead of just the truck driver. Truck drivers should have driving logs to track how long they drive and how long they sleep, but a truck accident lawyer will know which firms have had a history of altering these records to hide incidents and what signs suggest that is exactly what happened.
Truck accidents can occur when the driver isn’t at fault. For example, a truck carrying construction materials or debris could have items fly up and hit the car behind them, damaging the windshield at best, causing an accident at worst. The truck driver may not be at fault, but those who failed to put a tarp over the gravel to prevent it raining down on innocent bystanders or didn’t tie down loads so that beams didn’t fall of the vehicle could be at fault. Improperly loaded and overloaded trucks are a public hazard, but the driver may not know that’s what has happened until after there is a failure.
There are occasions when the company providing the drivers is at fault, whether in part or in full. A trucking company or contracting firm that hired drivers without checking their driving record or criminal record could be liable for any accident the unsafe driver causes. Companies are certainly at fault if they ask someone who isn’t qualified to drive a big rig or large truck and the person then gets in a wreck.
Truck accidents tend to be worse than standard car wrecks due to the size of the truck and the sheer bulk and weight of the load. The death rate is much higher if a truck is involved. If your family member was killed in a truck accident, you must have a truck accident attorney on your side.