Without warning, a large truck smashed into your car from behind. You had been stopped in traffic, waiting along with other vehicles due to roadway construction. The force pushes your car into the vehicle ahead of yours, leading to a chain-reaction crash. However, your car received and you received the brunt of the damage and injuries.
This was a preventable accident that has led to your hospitalization for serious injuries that include fractures, a concussion and whiplash. But who or what was responsible for this accident? The truck driver played an obvious role, but negligence likely points to other parties as well.
From truck drivers to cargo-loading companies
Each year in the U.S., thousands of people are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents involved big-rig trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2018 that large truck accidents resulted in the deaths of nearly 5,000 people and caused injury to another 151,000.
Many factors contribute to such accidents, and a number of parties may share responsibility. Here is a list of them:
- Truck drivers: Perhaps the driver is inexperienced. In other scenarios, the driver may suffer from fatigue due to the long hours on the road and tight deadlines to meet. And do not forget reckless drivers who ignore traffic rules, distracted drivers on their cellphones or impaired drivers reliant on controlled substances.
- Trucking companies: These employers must hire the best candidate drivers and properly train them. Thorough training remains essential. If a trucking firm neglects to properly train its drivers on the rules of the road and how to effectively operate the colossal truck, accidents happen.
- Vehicle maintenance firms: A fleet of trucks requires regular inspections and maintenance work due to the long miles on the road and extensive wear and tear. Shoddy work from mechanics likely means these trucks may break down. Problems with brakes and steering can lead to serious accidents.
- Manufacturers: Periodically, you learn about vehicle recalls made by manufacturers. Defective parts lead to defective vehicles, and a reliable manufacturer does not ship defective products to the marketplace.
- Loading companies: Shipping cargo is at the foundation of the trucking industry. Trucking companies rely on other firms to safely load that cargo. The slightest weight shift can occur from an improperly loaded large truck, causing the big-rig truck to fall on its side.
As you can see, the negligence of a number of parties may contribute to a large truck accident. Naming any or all of them in a lawsuit is possible.