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What Victims Don’t See: The Hidden Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents

truck wreck liabilityThe truck driving industry is an important part of America’s infrastructure.  It is not uncommon to see many trucks on the highways, just as it is not uncommon to see or hear of a truck wreck on the highways.  While speeding or improper lane change are easy to determine, sometimes causes of truck wrecks are not so clearly identified.  The cause of a truck wreck could actually be hidden and only discovered through litigation.

Truck drivers often get paid by load.  And the companies that pay by the load are typically paid by the load too.  Under that financial arrangement, the more loads delivered and the quicker they are delivered means better profit margins for the trucking company and drivers.  For that reason they have a big incentive to get to their destination as fast as possible.  This incentive can cause truck drivers to cheat their log books since they are only legally permitted to drive a certain number of hours to prevent driver fatigue.  Being on the road for long hours can be draining and mentally taxing.  A fatigued driver may not be easy to spot – especially after a truck wreck when his or her adrenaline is pumping.  However, fatigued drivers are one of the most common causes of truck wrecks.  Drivers can be experts at cheating their log books, and it takes a thorough investigation to uncover the discrepancies.  The hours of service rules are in place for a reason, and drivers that violate them put the public in danger.

Trucks also require routine maintenance.  Failure to maintain a truck can cause serious problems.  Drivers are required to inspect their truck before and after a trip.  Unfortunately, time spent inspecting the truck is time not spent driving.  Truck drivers often skimp on doing thorough pre- and post-trip inspections so they can get on the road faster.  Additionally, trucking companies will use cheap materials when performing maintenance to keep their maintenance costs down.  Trucking companies will also delay major maintenance to avoid down time and expenses allowing drivers to utilize trucks that are unsafe to drive.

Finally, if a truck is not properly loaded, it can lead to an truck accident.  If the cargo spills causing the truck to flip, the cause of the wreck is obvious.  However, if the cargo is not loaded properly, the load distribution can be off causing the truck to drive improperly.  If the cargo shifts and changes the load distribution, the truck can fish tail and cause a wreck.

Not all causes of truck wrecks are obvious.  Sometimes, it takes a detailed investigation to find the cause of a truck wreck.  Trucking companies and their insurance companies have an army of lawyers doing everything possible to minimize and prevent paying damages, even if they are at fault.  If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you need a lawyer who can fight these tactics and get you the compensation you deserve.  Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.