Accidents that involve 18-wheelers, also known as tractor-trailers or big rigs, are very serious events that will often result in serious injuries and damage. Understanding how these accidents happen might be helpful in preventing or mitigating the consequences that they can lead to. In addition, knowing what you can do afterwards if you have been involved in a truck accident to ensure that both your health and legal rights are protected is important to alleviate some of the stress that you’re inevitably going to have in the aftermath.
Trucking accidents can happen for any reason, but some of the most common causes of 18 wheeler truck accidents include:
Lack of Driver Training
Some trucking companies can be held liable for the collision if they neglect or fail to correctly train their employees. As a result, employees who have not received the correct training or the right amount of training before heading out on the road may not be equipped to handle and operate the vehicle correctly, leading to an increased risk of causing an accident.
Truck drivers will often be on the job for hours – in some cases, driving for twelve or more hours per day. Because of this, it’s not surprising that driver fatigue is a very common cause of large vehicle crashes. Although there are laws in place to ensure that drivers get adequate rest while on the job, these regulations are not always carefully followed, and pressure to meet targets and deadlines can lead to more stress and tiredness while on the job.
Trucking companies need to follow careful maintenance rules to ensure that their vehicles are operating safely. The companies may be held liable for causing an accident if they are found to have neglected to maintain the company vehicles correctly, for example, insufficient maintenance that can lead to faulty brakes, dim headlights or overworn tires.
Who Can You Sue After a Collision?
After a collision with an 18-wheeler, things are different compared to a collision with another car. There may be multiple parties that can be held liable for the collision including: the truck driver themselves if they acted negligently or recklessly on the road; the trucking company if the accident was due to poor training or maintenance; or other drivers on the road who contributed to the accident, for example, if a driver pulls out in front of the truck causing it to swerve into other vehicles. In some cases, you may also be able to hold the manufacturer of the vehicle responsible due to product liability.
What to Do After the Accident
Knowing what to do in the aftermath can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting your legal rights. The first thing to do is get medical attention, even if you feel fine, since these accidents can often cause internal injuries that may not be immediately obvious. Report the collision and get a police report as early as possible and get in touch with an attorney who can help.
A car being hit by an 18-wheeler can be very serious with various potential causes.