Truck accidents can be extremely complex and cause extensive damage and terrible injuries to those involved. Just the sheer size of a large semi-truck can tell you that a run-in with one will probably not end well. This is why a truck accident settlement can quickly become complicated, especially if an inexperienced truck driver causes it!
Inexperienced Truck Drivers
Unfortunately, truck accidents involving a driver with less than adequate driving experience happen more often than you might think.
Trucking companies are responsible for thoroughly assessing their employees as well as training them properly. Drivers must be screened, meet driver qualification requirements, complete a certain amount of driver training, driver health and wellness checks, and more.
Common Inexperienced Trucking Accidents
Some of the most frequent truck accidents that inexperienced drivers find themselves in are:
- Jackknifing crashes
- Side-impact collisions
- Blind spot pileups
- Rear-end impacts
While some of these accidents are due to carelessness, most occur because inexperienced drivers are just that – inexperienced. They are inexperienced with their rig, the areas they are driving in, how to get out of tough situations, and more.
How Inexperienced Truck Drivers Cause Accidents
Inexperienced truck drivers can be careless or put themselves in an unknowingly dangerous position. Accidents with these types of drivers are typically caused by negligence on the part of the driver, but some other explanations for inexperienced truck driver accidents include:
- Hazardous weather conditions – the weather is not always predictable. Even if we know a storm’s coming, new drivers often misjudge their ability to handle their rig properly in bad weather situations.
- Speeding – We all rush to get to our destination, but truck drivers have tight deadlines they must meet, so speeding is often the “go-to” to make those deadlines when time is of the essence.
- A sudden emergency situation – stopping quickly to avoid the car in front of them, dodging road damage, and more can pop up when you least expect it. Knowing what to do and how to do it in a large truck takes time and experience!
- Unmaintained rigs – trucks should be regularly maintained, but often, the need to be on the road making money can take priority. These kinds of mistakes can be deadly!
- Inadequate training – With the large shortage of truck drivers across the country, proper training that can take several weeks is sometimes cut short to get drivers on the job quicker. This inadequate training can cost drivers everywhere.
- Distracted driving – Texting, talking on the phone, eating an afternoon snack, or changing the radio station can all take your attention from the road, even if just for a second.
- Reckless driving – Ignoring the rules of the road by running stop signs, making dangerous lane changes, and more can wreak all kinds of havoc on other motorists, including the truck driver.
- Impaired driving – Driving drunk and using prescription drugs improperly are some ways inexperienced drivers can get in trouble on the road.
- Driver fatigue – There are very long hours required of truck drivers, and if you’ve ever been driving for a long period of time, especially on your own, it can get very tiring! Sometimes drivers can push the limit on their driving hours to make their employers happy. Losing control of their truck or being unable to think through situations quickly and efficiently because of fatigue can make a situation extremely risky.
Who Should Be Held Liable?
Truck accidents can involve several different people and even companies. They’re not as cut and dry as you might think, and figuring out who should be held responsible can become complicated. The following are possible responsible parties that may be held liable in your accident:
- The driver – as discussed previously
- Trucking company – if the trucking company is found negligent due to factors like:
- Hiring inexperienced drivers that are unqualified to do the job
- Not training drivers properly
- Asking drivers to drive longer hours than the FMCSA allows
- Failing to maintain their trucks properly
- Truck owner (if different than the driver or trucking company) – this will obviously depend on the contract between the owner and trucking company. Owners could be held liable if maintenance or inspections fail to take place.
- Cargo loader – imagine if a load is not secured or loaded correctly onto a truck. The poorly secured or uneven load distribution could cause a crash or a complete truck rollover. If this happens, the cargo loader could be held liable.
- Company that maintains the truck (if different from the driver or trucking company) – hiring 3rd party companies to maintain their trucks is common for large trucking companies. If this maintenance isn’t up to par, these 3rd party companies could be found negligent.
- Truck part manufacturers – if a manufacturer makes a defective part that leads to an accident, they could also be held liable. There are a lot of pieces that go into building a large truck. Any mistake could lead to a malfunction.
- Other drivers – if other drivers are found to be the reason for a truck accident, they could be responsible for damages for all involved. Always consider the possibility of all drivers making mistakes.
Ready to Get Started on Your Truck Accident Settlement?
Accidents involving semi-trucks, delivery trucks, buses, or other large vehicles like these result in serious injuries and even death over and over again. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in one of these accidents, you will need legal representation to get the full compensation you deserve.
Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. has a great deal of experience handling cases like these. With large companies and so many people involved, you want an attorney team confident in their abilities and knowledge and a great track record to back them up. If you are ready to get started on your truck accident settlement, call our team at (504) 522-2304. We will schedule your free consultation and get started on your case immediately.