Compared to cars, the sheer size of a truck and its massive power can cause severe accidents. Being involved in a wreck with a truck often leaves accident victims devastated both physically and emotionally.
Simply put, a truck driver’s negligence can change your life in an instant. Truckers might be negligent in a number of ways, such as violating federal trucking regulations and basic traffic laws.
Common Forms of Truck Driver Negligence
Some examples of negligent behavior among truck drivers include:
- Lack of proper training. If a trucker doesn’t command the knowledge of how to drive the truck, handle the load, and what to do when bad weather hits, it heightens the risk of a wreck for all sharing the road.
- Aggressive driving. Truckers may drive aggressively especially if they have tight deadlines to meet. They might follow too closely, speed, change lanes unsafely, and engage in other reckless activities to get to their destination on time.
- Exceeding federally-mandated Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules. Exceeding these limits often happens because of the tight deadlines for delivering cargo. A driver may knowingly violate federal laws stipulating how long drivers can be behind the wheel or on duty just to make the deadline, and trucking companies might look the other way.
- Prescription and illegal drug use. Some truckers may use medication and other drugs in order to stay awake while driving. Drivers may also use sleeping pills to help them rest when they finally get off the road, the effects of which may still be present when the driver wakes up and hits the road.
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving. This is dangerous for any driver; for a driver in command of such a massive vehicle carrying heavy and possibly toxic loads, this is exceptionally dangerous. Federal law prohibits truckers from texting or talking on handheld devices while driving.
How to Prove the Trucker’s Negligence
To hold a truck driver and/or its employer liable for your injuries, you must establish the driver’s negligence. A lawyer understands the ways to prove truck driver negligence, so consult an attorney if you’re pursuing a case. Further, be wary of providing insurers a recorded statement without first consulting a lawyer.
Some of the evidence you might need:
- accident reconstruction experts;
- interviewing witnesses to help reconstruct the period prior to the accident, as well as the scene;
- photos of the scene;
- evidence of the driver’s training and driving record (such as in the driver’s personnel and qualification files); and
- driver’s logbook, which details hours spent behind the wheel and more.
Collect all applicable evidence that not only establishes the driver’s fault, but demonstrates the extent of your damages. This may includes medical bills and records to prove the extent and cost of your injuries. It may also include evidence of lost wages to establish how much income you will lose as you recover or if you cannot return to work in cases of severe injuries.
Your Next Step Should Be To Call a Lawyer
If a negligent commercial truck driver injured you or your family in an accident in the Bellevue area, call Max Meyers Law PLLC to schedule a free consultation at 425-399-7000. You can also fill out our contact form to set up a consultation.