Truck Driver Negligence

Truck Driver Negligence

In 2018, 4,136 people died in truck accidents. Even though truck drivers operate a vehicle that can weigh up to 88,000 pounds, not all truckers take the safety of others seriously. They engage in dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, texting, eating, drinking, driving drowsy, and driving under the influence. Though some truck accidents cannot be prevented, negligence can always be avoided. If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident caused by driver negligence the personal injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm. We understand the complexity of your situation and have decades of experience on how to handle it. You may qualify for compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, or any other cost related to the truck accident. Learn more about your rights and how we can help by contacting the personal injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation at (225) 206-5625. 
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney at Murphy Law Firm?

Following a truck accident, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The law limits the amount of time you have to seek compensation after a car wreck. Accident investigations are most accurate when conducted immediately after the crash. If you wait too long to act, you could lose your chance to seek justice for your damages. The personal injury lawyers at Murphy Law Firm have over two decades of experience dealing with truck accident cases and strive to receive the highest compensation for their clients.

Types of Driver Negligence

Truck driver negligence can be described as virtually anything that a reasonable and prudent professional would not have done in similar circumstances. Common types of truck driver negligence includes:
  • Speeding or Breaking Other Roadway Rules
  • According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “speeding of any kind” is the number one truck-driver error involved in serious accidents.
  • Distraction: To save time, a truck driver might try to multitask behind the wheel, taking phone calls or eating fast food. Anything that takes the driver’s hands off the wheels, eyes off the road, or mind off driving is a dangerous distraction.
  • Driver Impairment
  • Fatigue
  • Illness

Substance-related impairment is the third most common truck driver error. The legal blood alcohol concentration level for commercial drivers in Louisiana is 0.04%

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations mandate that every trucking company maintains a driver qualification file (DQF) on all drivers. The following must be included in a DQF:

Critical Reasons                                            # of Trucks                              % of Total
Driver                                                                   68,000                                         67%
Non-Performance                                               9,000                                          12%
Recognition                                                        22,000                                         28%
Decision                                                              30,000                                         38%
Performance                                                       7,000                                            9%
Vehichle                                                               8,000                                          10%
Environment                                                        2,000                                            3%
Total $ of Large Trucks Involved in Crashes.         141,000                                         –
Total # of Large Trucks Coded w/ Critical Reason             78,000                                        100%
Total # of Large Trucks Not Coded w/ Critical Reason.       63,000                                           –

The experienced truck accident attorneys at Murphy Law Firm know trucking companies are reluctant to hand over DQF files, especially if the files contain information affecting the liability of the trucking company or their driver.
Here are the statistics on the most common causes of truck accidents:

Factors                                                 # of Trucks          % of Total       Relative Risk
Vehicle: Brake problems                           41,000                   29%                      2.7
Driver: Traveling too fast for conditions 32,000                   23%                      7.7
Driver: Unfamiliar with roadway               31,000                   22%                     2.0
Environment: Roadway problems            29,000                   20%                     1.5
Driver: Over-the-counter drug use            25,000                   17%                     1.3
Driver: Inadequate surveillance               20,000                    14%                     9.3
Driver: Fatigue                                            18,000                    13%                     8.0
Driver: Felt under work pressure from carrier16,000           10%                     4.7
Driver: Made illegal maneuver                 13,000                     9%                    26.4
Driver: Inattention                                      12,000                     9%                    17.1
Driver: External distraction                       11,000                     8%                      5.1
Vehicle: Tire problems                               8,000                      6%                       2.5
Driver: Following too close                        7,000                      5%                     22.6
Driver: Jackknife                                         7,000                      5%                      4.7
Vehicle: Cargo shift                                    6,000                       4%                    56.3
Driver: Illness                                               4,000                       3%                    34.0
Driver: Internal distraction                         3,000                       2%                    5.8
Driver: Illegal drugs                                     3,000                       2%                    1.8
Driver: Alcohol                                              1,000                      1%                     5.3

Our personal injury attorneys know how to investigate all of the factors associated with a truck accident. Some factors may include, whether the driver had consumed drugs or alcohol, how much time the driver was on the road since his last break, information recorded by the trucks’ black box (such as the truck’s speed when brakes were applied, velocity changes, sudden braking, changes in RPM’s, and gear shifts, and information gathered from a GPS device to show the trucks precise location and speed.)

Who is Liable for Truck Driver Negligence?
It’s not uncommon for trucking companies to try and avoid liability. They may claim the driver was not working for their company, or that they do not actually own the truck, specifically claiming that they are not responsible for the operation, maintenance, repairs, or regular inspections of the truck or trailer. Mistakes can happen, but truck driver negligence can be prevented. When you discover that a truck driver was negligent in some way causing your accident, you might assume the driver alone is the only party that can be liable for damages. Thanks to the rule of respondent superior, this might not be the case. Although most truckers are technically independent contractors and not employees, the law holds trucking companies responsible for the action of their drivers. Thus, truck driver negligence and recklessness during on-duty driving hours could place liability in the lap of the trucking company, not just the individual driver.

Do not go up against a trucking company’s insurer on your own. Make sure you achieve the settlement or jury verdict your injuries deserve with help from our truck accident attorneys. Call (225) 206-5625 for a free consultation.

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