Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
Thousands of truck accidents happen every year on the highways of California. What is the root cause of most of these crashes? Simple negligence and inattention can be found at the center of the average truck accident, usually carried out by the truck driver, not the motorists they hit.
Forms of truck driver negligence that cause accidents include:
- Driving while exhausted: Truck drivers can be scheduled to work shifts that are arguably unreasonably long. It is not uncommon for a trucker to drive 11 hours in a single 14-hour shift, which causes exhaustion to set in well before their shift is close to ending.
- Driving while impaired: To try to combat the symptoms of exhaustion, some truck drivers are tempted to take stimulants that can cause unsafe side effects. When a stimulant wears off, the exhaustion it was delaying can feel ever stronger, too.
- Speeding: Finishing a route quickly is the priority for many truck drivers, which can tempt them to break the speed limit. A speeding truck is a recipe for a disastrous truck accident, though.
- Overloading the trailer: A commercial truck must be at or under its federal weight limit, which is often 80,000 pounds. Overloading the trailer to try to deliver more cargo in fewer trips will increase the truck’s braking distance and make it more difficult to control.
Can You Sue the Trucking Company?
You might want to sue the trucking company after you are hit by a reckless or negligent truck driver. This might not be an option, though, depending on the circumstances of the trucker’s employment.
The legal rule of respondeat superior allows you to sue an employer for the harm caused by their employees’ acts of negligence. However, many truck drivers are independent contractors, not employees. While this difference might seem like a small difference, it could be what stops you from being able to name the trucking company as a defendant or liable party in your claim.
Let’s Figure Out Your Accident Claim Together
BD&J, PC would be happy to help you explore your legal options after being in a serious crash involving an 18-wheeler, big rig, tractor-trailer, semi-truck, or any other kind of commercial truck. Our Beverly Hills truck accident attorneys are fully dedicated to making your case the most it can be, so you can recover the most compensation possible. By the time we are done with your case, we want you to be confident that your future will be comfortable as can be thanks to a sizeable recovery, whether that is achieved through a settlement or award.