In most trucking accidents, it is a complicated process to determine where responsibility for the accident lies. It is never an easy process and the details are never .cut and dry. Many factors weigh in on who (or what) was at fault. Sometimes, it isn’t even operator error.
The list of parties that are considered and investigated in trucking accidents can be lengthy. Everyone from the company or individual who owns the truck or trucking company, to the driver of the truck, to the operator of any other vehicle involved in the accident need to be considered.
Determining The Cause of a Truck Accident
Determining the cause of a truck accident requires a keen understanding of a number of details. Here are just a few:
- The trucking industry in general
- Standard operating procedures
- Driver credentials
- The duty of care standards that exist within the industry
- The laws and regulations that ensure safe operation of a large vehicle
- State-specific regulations
- OSHA regulations
In order to piece all the relevant information together, you need a lawyer. If you have been involved in an accident involving a Werner truck – as an operator or as another motorist – seek the advice of an experienced truck accident attorney today. Most will speak to you about your case for free and help you determine if you have cause to bring action.
Injuries and Fatalities in Truck Accidents
Over the past 20 years, the frequency and severity of truck accidents has increased by an average of 20 percent. An average of industry statistics over just the past few years shows close to 5000 deaths related to trucking accidents, with 130,000 non-fatal injuries every year.
Trucks may only be responsible for around three percent of all motor vehicle accidents that involve injury, but those accidents often result in much more serious injuries. The prospect becomes even more serious when one considers the number of deaths in truck-related accidents. The ratio of accidents involving trucks that result in death is much higher than in other types of auto accidents, even those involving motorcycles.
Because of the heightened risks involved with operating a large vehicle like a Werner truck, the federal government has issued a number of laws to govern the operation of the entire trucking industry. These laws establish specific standards to ensure safety for the driver and all other vehicles (and people) on the road with them. When an operator or owner fails to meet or exceed the standards set forth by law, accidents that result in injury or death are far more likely to occur.
With so many avenues to explore, it is not unusual for the various people and entities involved to argue over liability. For example: the owner may make an official statement citing defective brakes as a likely cause of the accident. The company that makes the brakes could then blame the installers or inspectors within the trucking company for incorrectly installing or failing to adequately test the brakes, and so on from there.
Truck accidents also lead, sometimes, to multiple lawsuits as there could be negligence at multiple links in the chain. For you, the injured person, your primary concern is getting well. This is why you need a seasoned truck accident attorney. While you focus on healing, your lawyer investigates your case, determines liability, and seeks compensation commensurate with the extent of your injuries.
In a vast majority of cases, driver error is determined to be the cause in truck accidents, however, this is not always the case. Since drivers are so much more likely to be responsible in truck accidents, most companies will first attempt to rule out driver error as the cause.
Equipment defects rank second as causes for truck accidents that involve injury. Even with thorough pre-trip inspections, certain defects can be difficult or impossible to spot. Most of the time, however, accidents occur as the result of negligence in upkeep or repair. Brakes, tires, and electrical system failures are common causes of accidents involving trucks.
No matter the details, you need an experienced lawyer on your side in a truck accident case. If you have been injured in any capacity in an accident involving a Werner truck (or any tractor-trailer vehicle), don’t delay in seeking the help and advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.