Driver Error and Negligence in Truck Accidents

If you were recently involved in an accident with a commercial truck, statistics suggest that the driver is likely to blame. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study website from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

  • 12 percent (9,000) truck crashes nationwide were attributed to a physical driver factor such as sleeping at the wheel or a heart attack
  • 29 percent (22,000) were attributed to a driver recognition factor such as inattention or distraction
  • 38 percent (30,000) were attributed to a driver decision factor such as driving too fast, following too closely, or performing illegal maneuvers
  • 6 percent (4,000) were attributed to a driver performance factor such as overcompensation or poor directional control.
  • 10 percent (8,000) of crashes were attributed to vehicle-related factors
  • Highway environments were the critical factor in 2 percent (2,000) of crashes.

While the driver is frequently to blame for most commercial truck accidents, they are not always the only party that is liable. Trucking companies are  responsible for hiring good drivers, training them properly, and ensuring they are getting enough rest. Often, an accident caused by driver error indicates that the truck company did not fulfill this responsibility.

If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a truck accident caused by some kind of driver negligence in the Roseville area, it will be very important for you to quickly seek legal representation. An experienced lawyer will know how to obtain the necessary evidence to prove that a driver’s negligence caused your crash.

Sevey, Donahue, & Talcott has more than 150 years of combined legal experience and has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. You can have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (916) 788-7100 or complete an online contact form to set up a free consultation.

Types of Truck Driver Error and Negligence

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study identifies four types of driver errors. Non-performance errors involve drivers falling asleep at the wheel or being disabled by heart attacks, seizures, or some other medical impairment. Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is also considered a non-performance error.

Decision errors involve incorrect judgments about speeds or actions of other vehicles as well as following distances. Illegal maneuvers are considered decision errors.

Recognition errors involve distraction or inattention. FMCSA restricts use of hand-held mobile devices by truck drivers, and violations are punishable by fines and possible driver disqualification.

Inadequate performance errors involve actions by truck drivers such as overcompensation or poor directional control.

Some of the most common driver errors of all types include, but are not limited to:

  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Tailgating
  • Distracted driving
  • DUI (drugs or alcohol)
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Failure to yield
  • Improper backing
  • Improper turns
  • No-zone/blind spot
  • Failure to inspect vehicle

It can be very difficult to obtain the evidence necessary to prove a truck accident was caused by driver negligence, which is why you want to make sure that you are working with a skilled personal injury lawyer. Experienced truck accident lawyers will know how to extract and interpret the evidence from the truck’s black box, how to identify the liable parties based on this evidence, and how to negotiate to get you the compensation you deserve.

Truck Driver Error Accident Injuries

Commercial trucks are some of the biggest vehicles on the road, and when they are involved in accident, the injuries victims suffer are likely to be severe, even fatal. In addition to the significant costs involved in the initial medical treatment of these injuries, many victims will need to receive continuing care for their injuries. Many injuries will also involve victims being unable to return to work. These extended absences from places of employment lead to significant difficulties created by the loss of income.

Medical bills and lost wages are two of the types of compensation that people can seek to recover in their settlement negotiations or civil actions. Some of the types of injuries that people suffer in accidents caused by driver error include, but are not limited to:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Neck injuries
  • Muscle strains
  • Back injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Head injuries
  • Sprains
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation
  • Fractures

Some injuries end up being fatal. The families of people killed in truck accidents caused by driver error can file wrongful death claims against the negligent parties to recover compensation for final expenses, loss of support, and more.

It is extremely important for all people involved in truck accidents to always seek medical care, regardless of whether they think they were hurt. You may not know if you suffered a more serious injury with delayed symptoms, and failure to have an injury immediately treated will be used against you by most insurance companies.

People who have suffered serious injuries are often in desperate circumstances, and insurance companies frequently try to capitalize on this situation by offering lump-sum settlements to victims to resolve their cases. You should know that most settlement offers from insurers are much less than what victims are actually entitled to, and people who accept these settlements do not realize until the funds have been exhausted that they will not be enough to cover all of the future costs victims must bear.

Do not try to deal with an insurance company on your own after a truck accident. You should refuse to make any recorded statement until you have legal representation, and you should also avoid signing any paperwork you might be presented at the scene of your crash by any party that you do not know, regardless of how important they might claim it to be.

Contact a Truck Driver Error Accident Attorney Today

Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a truck accident caused by driver error in the greater Roseville area? You will want to contact Sevey, Donahue, & Talcott as soon as possible.

Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for our clients, including a $2.5 settlement for a client who suffered head injuries in a truck accident. Call (916) 788-7100 or contact us online to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free consultation.