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.
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:
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.
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|
|# of Large Trucks Involved in Crashes||141,000||---|
|Large Trucks Coded w/ Critical Reason||78,000||---|
|Large Trucks Not Coded w/ Critical Reason||63,000||---|
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||1.9|
|Driver: Over-the-counter drug use||25,000||17||1.3|
|Driver: Inadequate surveillance||20,000||14||9.3|
|Driver: Felt under work pressure from carrier||16,000||10||4.7|
|Driver: Made illegal maneuver||13,000||9||26.4|
|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|
|Vehicle: Cargo shift||6,000||4||56.3|
|Driver: Internal distraction||3,000||2||5.8|
|Driver: Illegal drugs||3,000||2||1.8|
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.)
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) 928-8800 for a free consultation.