Causes of Tractor-Trailer Crashes
There are fewer tractor-trailer crashes than car crashes, but when tractor-trailer wrecks occur, they are usually more disastrous, sometimes resulting in catastrophic injuries and even death to multiple people. The injuries sustained in these types of collisions may include brain trauma, spinal cord damage, paralysis, broken bones, amputations, burns, disfigurement, and death. The cause of a tractor-trailer crash may affect whether you can recover compensation for your injuries. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Maryville truck accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe can examine your case closely and determine an appropriate strategy.Causes of Tractor-Trailer Crashes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has found that most of the common reasons for tractor-trailer crashes involve truck driver mistakes or the condition of the driver before the wreck. Causes may include prescription drug use, over-the-counter drug use, speeding, unfamiliarity with the road, congestion, fatigue, brake problems, and road surface problems. In some cases, drivers may fall asleep behind the wheel or suffer a seizure or heart attack. In other cases, drivers may overcompensate or panic. This may result in jackknifing, in which the trailer goes one way, while the cab moves another.
While a truck driver may walk away unscathed from a wreck, people in vehicles around them at the time are unlikely to be injury-free. You may be able to recover compensation from the driver by establishing their negligence. The driver's breach of duty (dangerous driving) may be based on their use of over-the-counter drugs or distracted driving, for example. Both the driver and the trucking company need to be properly investigated as part of a trucking company investigation.
It also may be appropriate to look at the truck company's liability when the condition of the driver or the truck is the cause of the crash. Under FMCSA regulations, trucking companies are required to conduct background checks on drivers and provide adequate supervision and training. If a driver has a red flag, such as a DUI or a crash related to a medical condition, in their background, the trucking company should not hire or retain that driver as an employee. A trucking company may be held directly liable for its own negligence under a theory of negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent training.
When brakes or other components of the truck are at issue, the pool of potential defendants is expanded to include not only the trucking company but also the manufacturer of the truck or the brakes. In some cases, a trucking company's negligence in maintaining the brakes is to blame for a wreck. The FMCSA has strict rules related to truck maintenance, and a company's violation of these rules may be a breach of duty, or perhaps in some cases negligence per se. A manufacturer may be held strictly liable for defective auto parts, and it may be appropriate for it to be joined as a defendant.Enlist a Truck Crash Attorney in Maryville to Assert Your Rights and Get Your Justice
Not all motor vehicle collision attorneys are equipped to go up against truck drivers, trucking companies, and their insurers. Trucking crashes may be complex, and usually the defendants are well represented. A truck wreck case requires a resourceful and knowledgeable plaintiff's attorney. Maryville truck accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe understands the potential causes of tractor-trailer crashes and can develop an appropriate strategy to seek compensation. The Hartsoe Law Firm has an accident reconstructionist on call to immediately investigate truck wreck scenes prior to the loss of physical evidence. Properly documenting the scene with photographs and measurements can sometimes make the difference in a case. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to set up a free consultation. We represent victims throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.