There are many causes of trucking accidents, and pinpointing the exact cause requires specialized legal knowledge. Once the cause of an accident is determined, the next step is to assign liability and then demand the maximum amount of compensation needed for a victim to fully recover. In Charleston, WV, the attorneys at Campbell & Smith can help evaluate and pursue your case. Our driver inattentiveness and trucking accidents attorneys fight for every component of damage suffered, to ensure our clients are made whole again after a trucking accident. Most trucking accidents result in devastating and lifelong injury, and we work hard to make sure you obtain all you are entitled to receive.
What Is Driver Inattentiveness?
A semi-truck is close to 20 times the size and weight of an average passenger vehicle. This drastic difference can spell disaster when trucks collide with cars, leaving drivers and passengers inside a small vehicle seriously injured. One of the leading causes of trucking accidents is an inattentive truck driver, which can occur when:
- A trucker has logged too many on the road hours and is too fatigued to pay enough attention to their driving to avoid an accident
- A driver who is actively engaged in other activities while driving, such as use of an electronic device or phone
- Drivers pay attention to other persons or items in the cab
- A trucker is driving at an excessive speed, in disregard to the posted limit
- The driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
These types of inattentive behaviors can lead to a trucker having little to no time to respond to an emergency on the road, especially given the extra time needed for a large truck to come to a stop or make an evasive maneuver.
Common Injuries in Trucking Accidents
Car crashes typically result in broken bones, cuts and scrapes, burns, head and neck trauma, and lower back pain. With a trucking accident, these injuries are also likely, but are usually much more severe. When a semi-truck collides with a car, the chances of being ejected from the vehicle are great given the force of the impact. It is also possible to be crushed under the truck in a rollover situation. Any resulting injuries can be permanent, requiring the victim to make a lifetime of adjustments. There is also a high probability that a victim of a trucking accident will require multiple, extensive surgeries and ongoing care or therapy. The costs of these medical needs is high, and should be paid by the trucking company, driver, or other party responsible for the accident.
What to do after a Trucking Accident
Establishing liability is the first step needed to hold a trucking company responsible for an accident. The trucking industry is regulated by both state and federal laws, many of which concern the number of hours a trucker may drive in a row, and certain safety and maintenance protocols that must be followed in order to ensure the rig is fit for operation. There are also limits on the weight of the load being carried and anytime these regulations are violated, the trucking company is at fault. Filing a suit takes a thorough investigation into the practices and procedures in place at the trucking company. A request for driver logs is also a great way to obtain the evidence needed to determine the cause of the accident. It is important that a victim of a trucking accident, or a loved one, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Campbell & Smith are always available, even after hours, in these situations.