One of the most harmful and hazardous sorts of accidents that can happen on the road is a truck accident. Owing to these vehicles’ size and weight, truck accidents frequently cause severe injuries and fatalities. Even though there are numerous potential causes of truck accidents, negligence is one of the most frequent ones. Like other states, Utah witnesses its fair share of truck accidents every year. In 2019, there were 4,314 crashes involving commercial vehicles, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety. Big vehicles like buses and trucks both fall under this category. There were 862 injuries and 29 fatalities as a result of these collisions. This is a small improvement over the prior year.
Driver errors, such as speeding, distracted driving, and exhaustion, as well as equipment failure and bad weather, are the main contributors to truck accidents in Utah. Contact Utah truck accident attorneys immediately if you or your loved one ever got involved in a truck accident. This blog post will look at how negligence causes truck accidents and what you can do to keep other drivers and yourself safe.
What is Negligence?
The failure to exercise due care to prevent harm to others is referred to as negligence in the law. Negligence in the context of truck accidents can take many different forms. For instance, truck drivers may be at fault if they fail to maintain their vehicles correctly or if they drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs. If a trucking business fails to provide adequate training for its drivers or coerces them into breaking the law to achieve deadlines, this may constitute negligence. Truck accidents can result from negligence in a variety of ways. Here are a few illustrations:
The regulation mandates that truck drivers take regular breaks and keep their daily driving time to a minimum. To achieve arbitrary delivery deadlines, many truckers and their drivers disregard these rules. As a result, a lot of truck drivers are worn out and could pass out behind the wheel, causing terrible accidents.
Improper Vehicle Maintenance
For trucks to run safely, routine maintenance is necessary. To save money, some trucking businesses, however, might forgo doing regular maintenance on their fleet. This may result in tire blowouts, brake failure, and other mechanical problems that could result in collisions.
Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Vehicles
Overloaded or inadequately laden trucks can be challenging to control, especially when moving quickly. Moreover, unattended cargo might move while a truck is in motion, leading the truck to topple over or jackknife.
Like all drivers, truck drivers are susceptible to distractions from their phones, GPS, or other technological devices. Truck drivers, however, may find distracted driving to be particularly risky due to the size and weight of their vehicles. A distracted truck driver may be unable to stop in time to prevent an accident, which could result in fatalities or major injuries.
Because of the pressure to meet deadlines, truck drivers may occasionally drive fast and rashly. Speeding increases the likelihood of a truck accident because it gives drivers less time to react to unforeseen circumstances and can make driving more challenging.
Driving Under Influence
Much like other drivers, truck drivers are not allowed to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while intoxicated can affect a person’s coordination, judgment, and reaction time, increasing the likelihood that they will be in an accident.
Getting involved in a truck accident, especially when you were not at fault, is a very frustrating experience. However, you can always seek compensation for your loss by following the legal system. Check out Swenson & Shelley Law to know more about how truck accident cases can be dealt with in Utah.
There are various things a driver can do to safeguard themselves and other people on the road. Some of them are:
While driving, stay attentive at all times and watch out for other trucks and vehicles. Trucks have sizable blind areas, so be cautious when overtaking or changing lanes and leave plenty of room.
Avoid Cutting off Trucks
Never cut off a truck because they need considerably more space and time to stop than cars do. If you pass too closely behind a truck, the driver can lose control and have an accident.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Never operate a vehicle while using a phone, GPS, or other electronic devices. Pull over to a secure area first if you need to use your phone or GPS.
Report Careless Conduct
Inform the police if you observe a truck driver or trucking firm acting irresponsibly, such as driving when exhausted or overloading their vehicle. Your report might aid in averting a serious mishap.
Although truck accidents can be fatal, they are frequently avoidable. You may help lower the likelihood of these types of accidents by being aware of how negligence causes truck accidents and taking precautions to protect yourself and other road users. Always be vigilant, don’t cut off trucks, don’t text and drive, and report any careless activity you notice.
Things to Do if You Ever Get Involved in a Truck Accident
Being in a truck accident can be traumatic, especially if the truck driver’s irresponsibility contributed to the disaster. It is crucial to know what to do in this case to protect yourself and make sure you are fairly paid for any damages or injuries you may have sustained. Following are some steps you can immediately take in the aftermath of the accident;
Seek Medical Care
After a truck collision, getting medical help should be your first and most vital priority. It is crucial to see a doctor for an examination even if you feel well and don’t believe you have been hurt. Delaying treatment for some injuries can result in more serious problems that may not be immediately obvious. Also, going to the doctor will document your injuries, which is crucial if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
Call the Police
Calling the police should come next after you’ve sought medical assistance. A police record detailing the incident is crucial because it will be proof if you want to pursue legal action. To identify who was at fault, the police will also be able to interview witnesses and examine the accident scene.
Collect Data and Evidence
Gather as much information about the collision as you can while you wait for the police to come. This contains both the name and contact information for the truck driver’s employer as well as their own. Take pictures of the accident scene, your vehicle’s damage, and any injuries you might have sustained.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
You can feel overburdened and unclear of what to do if you’ve been in a vehicle accident. Hiring a truck accident lawyer to assist you in navigating the legal system and obtaining the compensation you are entitled to be one of the most crucial actions you can take. But not all lawyers are the same, so it’s important to pick the best one for your needs. What to look for in a truck accident lawyer includes the following:
Truck accidents can be complicated, so it’s important to deal with a lawyer who has experience resolving situations similar to yours. Choose a truck accident lawyer that has the experience and a successful track record.
Understanding Federal Regulations
Federal regulations governing the operation of commercial motor vehicles must be complied with by truck drivers and trucking companies. These rules are intricate, so it’s crucial to deal with a lawyer who is familiar with them and who can use them to your advantage.
Expert witnesses, accident reconstructionists, and other specialists may be necessary in truck accident cases. Choose a lawyer who can create a compelling argument on your behalf and who has the contacts to do so.
Your lawyer should be able to translate difficult legal terms into language you can comprehend. Also, they ought to keep you informed regarding the development of your case and be accessible to respond to any queries you may have.
Seek out a lawyer who has a positive reputation in the legal sector. You can check with regional bar groups, look up online reviews, or get recommendations from friends and family.
Even though the majority of truck accident cases are resolved outside of court, it’s crucial to engage with a lawyer who has experience in courtroom proceedings and is prepared to take your case to trial if required.
While truck accidents can be painful events, it’s important to deal with a kind and understanding lawyer. Choose a lawyer that will take the time to hear your case, comprehend your needs, and fight to get you the money you are due.
A lot of truck accident lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means they are only paid if you win. Clients who do not have the financial means to pay for legal assistance upfront may benefit from this.
Choose a lawyer who is acquainted with the courts and legal system in your area. They have to be capable of navigating the legal system effectively and comprehending the rules and legislation that are relevant to their situation.
Your lawyer should be prepared to give your case their full attention and be committed to it. Choose a lawyer that will work closely with you and spend the time to comprehend your needs and objectives.
In conclusion, retaining a truck accident lawyer is crucial to obtaining the settlement you are due following a truck accident. When selecting a lawyer, consider the above factors to hire an experienced attorney to make your case legally strong.
Make Your Insurance Company Aware
Moreover, you ought to inform your insurance provider as soon as you can about the incident. Informing your insurance provider of the incident is always crucial, even if you weren’t at fault for the accident. To make sure that you are fairly compensated for any damages or injuries you may have sustained, your insurance company can assist you in making a claim and will coordinate with the other driver’s insurance provider.
Never Sign Anything
It’s crucial to exercise caution if the insurance provider for the other driver contacts you following the collision. Insurance firms frequently put their interests first rather than making sure you receive a fair settlement. It’s crucial to speak with your lawyer first if an insurance adjuster wants you to sign any paperwork. If you are requested to sign any documents, your lawyer can explain their legal ramifications to you and assist you in deciding whether or not to do so.
It is crucial to maintain thorough records of everything that occurs while handling a truck collision. This covers any costs you may have incurred as a result of the accident, such as medical bills, repair costs, and other expenses. If you decide to take legal action, keeping thorough records will make it simpler for you and your attorney to put up a compelling defense.
It might be stressful to be engaged in a truck accident that was caused by the driver’s recklessness, but it’s crucial to know what to do to protect yourself and make sure you get fairly reimbursed.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Agency (FMCSA) has established rules that control the trucking sector to lessen the frequency of truck accidents brought on by driver irresponsibility. For instance, truck drivers are forbidden from using cell phones or other electronic devices while operating the vehicle, and they must take rest breaks after a specified number of hours on the road. Also, trucking businesses must guarantee that their drivers are properly licensed and trained and do routine maintenance on their trucks.
Even though truck accidents are a major worry in Utah, the state has taken action to address the problem and raise the level of safety on its roads. It is intended that by carrying out safety programs and infrastructure upgrades, the frequency of truck accidents in Utah can be decreased in the future.
Truck drivers must accept responsibility for their actions and make sure they are taking all required procedures to prevent accidents because negligence is a major contributing factor in truck accidents. It is crucial to seek legal counsel from an experienced truck accident attorney if you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident as a result of a truck driver’s carelessness. An attorney can assist you in understanding your legal rights and options and fight for the compensation you are entitled to.