Truck accidents are often unique in how they occur. However, they do fall into general categories in most situations. Even when the primarily responsible driver is operating a standard vehicle, truck drivers can also often contribute to causing the accident in a variety of ways. An experienced North Carolina truck accident attorney can evaluate the actions of all involved drivers and pursue damages from any operator who has contributed to causation, which means that multiple parties could be held liable. Here are a few ways a truck driver can be part of the overall accident claim scenario.
The most common way truck drivers cause accidents is by making bad driving decisions. While they are often in tenuous situations while behind the wheel, they are also trained to respond effectively in those situations. Seemingly small actions such as failing to provide a signal when changing lanes in traffic can result in serious and even fatal accidents.
Another common accident scenario is malfunctioning equipment such as failing brakes or tread tearing away from a tire. Of course, failing brakes are the most horrific of all truck accident situations, often resulting in fatalities. A tire malfunction is not always as serious, but it can cause a vehicle to strike another motorist or cause the initial driver to steer away trying to avoid striking the object. This can also result in a driver taking a path off of the highway to avoid any collision.
Drivers who choose to drink alcohol before driving or even exceed speed limits commonly cause accidents due to their bad decisions. The alcohol consumption limit for truck drivers is 0.02% blood alcohol concentration, which can be achieved with even one drink. Speeding is another very common reason for truck accidents, and it is also an unlawful action according the rules and regulations of the road. Some of the problems that often result in speeding accidents are typically making delivery deadlines, being slowed in certain sections of traffic, and employer pressure to arrive at a destination before a certain time for a financial incentive.
Fatigue and Lack of Rest
Truck drivers have strict regulations to follow on the highway, and one of those is driving hour limitations. Even with governors installed in tractor-trailer rigs, they can still find ways to skirt the rules. Logs are supposedly digitally controlled in the modern-day, but there is also no method to enforce that drivers get adequate rest in between driving shifts. This causes fatigue to still be a factor in many truck accidents.
Shifting Loads and Improper Cargo Balance
Many truck accidents are caused by shifted loads and bad internal balance in containers. Most loading is performed by shipping contractors that may also be held liable in a truck accident due to improper internal loading techniques or overweight loads. Flatbeds are also susceptible to cargo moving and falling off of platforms and onto passing vehicles when the items have not been properly secured with booms or other anchoring equipment. While this can happen when trucks hit potholes in the road while in transit, they are also often caused by the failure of the truck driver to inspect the load at every stop.
Contact a North Carolina Truck Accident Attorney
It is important to remember that North Carolina is a contributory negligence state, and shipping companies work diligently to deflect liability to any other party involved in any truck collision. It takes an experienced and comprehensive truck crash law firm to diligently represent anyone who has been injured in an accident because even 1% of personal contribution to causing the crash by an injured driver can result in total denial of any financial damage reimbursement. Not only can damages from a truck accident be extensive due to serious injury, but wrongful death cases also are not uncommon as additional legal actions as well as bad faith claims against the insurance provider. Regardless of the material case facts, also retain an aggressive truck accident professional who can craft a solid case for whole damages.