There is little question that large truck accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injury and harm. While most trucks are operated safely, because of their size and cargo, when a truck is in an accident people in other vehicles are more likely to be permanently injured or even killed. But, the true cause of a truck accident is not always immediately apparent.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur for a number of reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of truck accidents, according to federal statistics:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver distractions
- Excessive speed
- Improperly loaded or secured cargo
- Substandard maintenance on the truck or trailer
While some of these causes are the responsibility of the truck driver, the company that employs the driver or owns the truck could also be responsible for the conditions that lead to truck accidents. Before the exact cause can be determined, an experienced truck accident lawyer should evaluate a case.
Trucking Company Responsibility
A trucking company may be fully or partially responsible for a truck accident. Some common ways trucking companies contribute to poor truck safety are:
- Encouraging drivers to ignore federal rest rules, or looking the other way in favor of meeting deadlines
- Not following safety protocols when loading a truck
- Loading a truck in excess of known road weight limits
- Hiring drivers with poor safety records
- Failure to properly maintain the brakes, lights, and tires of the truck
Why It Matters
Under Wisconsin law, when someone’s negligent actions cause you an injury, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. When an employee of a trucking company injures you, you may seek compensation from the company. In many cases, the trucking company’s insurance carrier is likely to offer a settlement for the damages caused by the driver.
However, that compensation may not be enough to pay for all of your losses. When the company itself has a pattern and practice of acting negligently, you may also be able to seek additional damages. In some cases, you may be able to seek punitive damages from the trucking company. These damages are designed to do more than just compensate you. They are also designed to punish the company and encourage the trucking company, and others in the industry, to pay more attention to safety. Punitive damages are not available in every case.
An Appleton Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Understanding the true causes of a truck accident and knowing who is responsible can make a big impact in the amount you are able to recover in a personal injury claim. If you were injured in a truck accident, you need to speak with a knowledgeable Green Bay commercial trucking crash attorney from Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. Call 920-739-7366 for a free consultation today.