The commercial trucking industry is a billion-dollar business in the United States. Large trucks are one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods of transporting goods across the country. Unfortunately, these extremely large, heavy vehicles can be very dangerous on the road. A passenger vehicle stands no chance in a collision with an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer.
Therefore, it is crucial that trucking companies and truck drivers take steps to decrease the risk of being involved in a truck accident. Federal laws and regulations are in place to help ensure trucking companies and their drivers take these steps. Sadly, money and profit sometimes override good decisions, and the result can be catastrophic.
If you are injured in a commercial truck accident, don’t wait until the insurance adjuster contacts you. Contact The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation. You need an experienced Erie truck accident attorney on your side to protect your right to receive full compensation from the trucking company.
Hiring Inexperienced Drivers and Failing to Train Them
According to the information provided by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 4,067 people died in truck accidents during 2015. Seventy-four (74) percent of those fatalities were occupants of other vehicles, and 10 percent were non-occupants (i.e. bicyclists, pedestrians, etc.). In that same year, 116,000 people were injured in large truck accidents, a four percent increase from the previous year. Again, 73 percent of those injured were occupants of other vehicles and four percent were non-occupants.
It is clear that the vast majority of deaths and injuries in large truck accidents are suffered by individuals who had no control over the truck. Therefore, the companies and the drivers have a duty to do what they can to prevent commercial truck drivers. For the company, this includes hiring trained drivers and providing ongoing training to ensure their drivers operate the vehicles in a safe manner. If the trucking company was negligent in its hiring procedures or training practices, it might be held liable for damages sustained in a collision.
Examples of negligent acts that a truck company may commit include:
- Hiring drivers with little to no training
- Hiring drivers with little to no experience behind the truck and then putting them in a solo truck
- Failing to check driving records for crashes and violations, including drugged and drunk driving
- Hiring drivers with a history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Hiring drivers with a history of violating the safe driving hours regulations
Proving Liability in a Large Truck Accident
Proving negligence and liability in a truck accident case can be difficult. The trucking industry and its insurance providers work extremely hard at preventing claimants from receiving large settlements. The insurance company for the truck company and the driver often begins an investigation immediately to mitigate damages.
Key evidence, such as the information on the truck’s black box, employee records, maintenance history, training records, and health reports can provide the information we need to prove the company and the driver are liable. However, we must work quickly to preserve and obtain this evidence. The company and its insurance provider may try to hide or destroy evidence. By hiring an Erie truck accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident, you increase the chance that the attorney can get this information while it still exists.
Call an Erie Truck Accident Attorney for Help
Contact The Travis Law Firm toll-free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Erie truck accident attorneys.