Truck accidents cause traumatic injuries and deaths each day in the United States. Many commercial truck accidents are the result of driver error and could have been prevented. Truck drivers have a duty of care to operate trucks in a manner that does not put others on the road at risk. However, some drivers make costly mistakes that result in horrific crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
- Drowsy Driving – Drowsy driving or fatigued driving is one form of driver negligence that has had a good deal of media coverage ever since the truck accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan. The truck driver in this case was charged with first degree aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and eight counts of aggravated assault. It is believed that driver fatigue was the cause of the tragic truck accident. A trucking company can also be held liable for damages from a truck accident if the company required drivers to exceed allowing hours.
- Speeding and Other Traffic Violations – It is extremely dangerous for a vehicle the size of a tractor trailer to be traveling at high rates of speed. A fully loaded commercial truck weighs approximately 80,000 pounds. Trucks cannot stop as quickly as other vehicles; therefore, there is a risk that the truck will overturn or jackknife if the truck is traveling at a high rate of speed and the driver loses control if he has to stop the vehicle short. If a commercial truck has to suddenly brake, it may be impossible to avoid a rear end collision if the truck driver is exceeding the speed limit. A rear end collision involving a tractor truck is often fatal for the occupants in the other vehicle. If the trucking company pushed the driver to drive unsafely to meet deadlines, the truck driver could also be held liable for damages resulting from a truck accident. Other traffic violations that could result in a truck accident include changing lanes without signaling, failing to yield the right-of-way, driving through a stop sign or traffic light, and not checking for blind spots.
- Lack of Training – Driving a commercial truck is much different from driving any other type of motor vehicle. Truck drivers require special training in order to operate the vehicle in safe manner. Truck companies who take shortcuts in driving training to save money and put drivers on the road can be held liable if inexperienced drivers cause truck accidents.
- Driver Impairment – Drivers who use alcohol or drugs while driving can be held liable for any accidents that occur as a result of the impairment. However, this also includes prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications that can impair driving ability. Even the act of not use a prescribed sleep apnea machine could be considered driver impairment if it results in fatigue that causes a truck crash.
Truck drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure every precaution is taken to protect others on the road. When a driver fails to do so, he can be held liable for medical bills, lost wages, emotional suffering, physical pain, property damage, and other losses caused by the truck accident.
Do You Need a New Orleans Truck Accident Attorney?
If you are injured in a Louisiana truck accident, contact the truck accident lawyers of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a no obligation, free consultation and case evaluation. You can also schedule your free consultation by filling out our short contact form. Remember, there are time limits to file a trucking accident claim in Louisiana, get started today by talking to an attorney at The Olinde Firm.