One out of every eight traffic-related deaths and four percent of all injuries in auto accidents involve large commercial trucks — also known as tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and big rigs. Trucks are larger and heavier than other cars on the road, which explains why over 70 percent of those injured and over 80 percent of those killed in large truck collisions are the occupants of smaller vehicles, such as cars, SUVs and motorcycles. Those injured parties and their families are left to face a life-changing conditions.
Attorneys at Goss & Williams, PLLC fight to hold trucking companies responsible for the harm they cause by negligent driving.
If you have been injured by the carelessness actions of a truck driver, contact us today by calling our Jackson office at (601) 981-2800 or our Meridian office at (601) 485-6355 or use our convenient online form. We are experienced in protecting the rights and interests of those injured in tractor-trailer collisions, and we have a history of obtaining successful verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Using our legal knowledge, resources and experts, we handle truck wreck cases, including those involving excessive speed, driver fatigue, aggressive driving, alcohol and drug use, unsecured loads, defective equipment, and improper maintenance or inspection.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision with a large truck, the attorneys of Davis, Goss & Williams, PLLC, are ready to be your legal advocate.
Contact us today at our Jackson office at (601) 981-2800 or our Meridian office at (601) 485-6355 or use our convenient online form for your free consultation.
Common Causes of Trucking Collisions
Truck collisions involving passenger vehicles often cause serious injury and death. Federal and state legislation has sought to reduce these incidents by regulating the trucking industry. There are however several common causes of accidents between trucks and passenger vehicles. For victims of truck collisions, knowing these common causes may assist you in identifying areas of interest to discuss with your attorney.
Driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents. Both federal and state law regulate the number of hours a driver can drive in a given day and week. These rules are designed to keep drivers alert and limit the fatigue which can cause an accident. The driver keeps a log book in which his on-duty and off-duty time is recorded. A truck accident attorney will review the log book to determine whether these regulations have been met. Substance Abuse
It isn’t easy maintaining the focus necessary to safely drive a tractor trailer. Some drivers turn to illegal drugs to get a boost to stay awake. Trucking companies are required to make a mandatory substance abuse screening when each driver is hired. During their employment, truck drivers often undergo regular screening or monitoring for substance abuse. If illicit substances or other drugs are found in a driver’s system following a crash, this can be further grounds for a negligence claim against both the driver and the employer.
Speeding and Failing to Adhere to the Rules of the Road
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that over 25% of truckers involved in a fatal crash had a prior conviction for speeding on their record. Trucks are particularly dangerous when driven at a high rate of speed given their size and the longer breaking period to stop. The speed, braking measures and other actions of the driver are measured by investigating police officers and data can be retrieved from an ECM (electronic control module) found on tractors. An expert will oftentimes be involved to download such material and explain it.
Failure to Properly Inspect and Maintain Trucks
Drivers and their employers are legally bound to prevent any known hazards to others on the roadway by rigorous inspection and maintenance of the tractor and trailer. At a minimum this involves appropriate maintenance of the tractor and trailer as well as a pre-trip inspection performed by the driver at every stop. Many companies detail exactly how the pre-trip inspection is to be performed and careful drivers know this process well.
Improperly Loaded Trucks
A poorly loaded trailer impairs the handling ability of the driver and may cause the trailer to tip. Liability for an accident may include not only the driver’s failure to respond to the condition of the traffic on the roadway, but the poor loading of the trailer which affected the ability to control the truck and keep it under control. The weight of the trailer at the time of impact as well as the type of material being hauled must be considered.
Road rage and other forms of aggressive driving
Unsafe lane changes, failure to signal, Wide Right Turns, Ignoring Blind Spots, Ignoring the right of way, blowing stop lights or stop signs are only a few examples of overly aggressive tactics and rushing to stay on time tactics employed by a truck driver.