Collisions between passenger vehicles and big rigs can lead to serious injuries or death. Drivers in California should know that driver error is not the only reason behind truck accidents, even if it is the most frequent cause. There are four others that are especially common.
In regard to driver error, it’s clear that truckers can engage in unsafe behaviors like drowsy or drunk driving just as easily as passenger vehicle drivers. However, it’s important to note that passenger vehicle drivers are responsible for the majority of truck accidents caused by driver error. Some studies put the number at 81%.
The other four common causes are bad weather, lack of maintenance, equipment failure and the improper loading and securing of cargo. In bad weather, when the roads are slick or snowy, truckers may brake in such a way that they wind up hydroplaning or jackknifing. By failing to inspect and maintain their rigs, truckers will let hazards like worn brake pads interfere with safe driving.
Equipment failure and improper cargo loading, on the other hand, are not always the fault of truckers. Equipment manufacturers can create defective products, and companies may sell trucks with these defective products. As for cargo loading and securing, this is usually the job of someone other than the trucker.
Before filing a personal injury claim, a truck crash victim may want the advice and guidance of a lawyer. A truck accident law firm may have a network of investigators, medical analysts and other professionals to build up the case against the trucker, the equipment manufacturer or whoever was responsible. The lawyer may then proceed to negotiate for a settlement with the other side, litigating if a reasonable one cannot be achieved. A successful claim could cover medical bills, lost wages and more.