Big Truck Drivers can be Reckless
One thing that sets apart 18-wheeler accidents from normal auto accidents is the fact that the 18-wheeler industry is very heavily regulated, with the goal in mind of preventing accidents with cars. As such, an experienced attorney can often find something that the driver or the employer of the 18-wheeler did wrong and use that as the basis for a lawsuit. Below are some recent mistakes made by 18-wheeler drivers and companies which were the basis for successful lawsuits:
- Ten Hagen Excavating, Inc. v. Castro-Lopez: Strong evidence that the 18-wheeler drove negligently and sideswiped a cement truck into the victim.
- Westfreight Systems, Inc. v. Heuston: 18-wheeler driver exited out of the unloading site’s entrance rather than exit and subsequently blocked all lanes on a dark highway, which was against company policy. The truck also had dirty reflective tape, which led to reduced visibility and contributed to the victim driving into the 18-wheeler.
- Minter v. Great American Insurance Co.: Driver of 18-wheeler had two past DWIs and was intoxicated when he hit the victim.
- Simmons v. Bisland: Driver of 18-wheeler loaded with limestone negligently failed to stop or slow down and rear-ended the victim, knocking his car several hundred feet down the road.
Other instances of mistakes made by truck drivers but not featured in recently published cases:
- Use of cell phone by 18-wheeler driver at time of crash;
- Failure to place reflective cones in front of stalled 18-wheeler;
- 18-wheeler company retention of driver with long record of unsafe driving;
- Use of poorly maintained truck, particularly in regard to failing brakes;
- Falsification of driver logs, which serve to cap driving hours, leading an exhausted 18-wheeler driver to be on the road;
- Failure to adhere to weight limits, resulting in overloaded and difficult to control 18-wheelers being on the road; and
- Failure of truck driver to maintain commercial driver’s license.
As one can see, there are numerous ways by which an 18-wheeler driver can cause an accident, ranging from plain bad driving to using alcohol and drugs to using a truck that has been poorly maintained and should be taken off the road. As professionals, the drivers of 18-wheelers are held to a higher standard than the average driver, and may be held responsible for a large number of mishaps that may occur in the operation of their vehicle. With a little creativity and a thorough review of the facts leading to an accident involving an 18-wheeler, there is a good chance that an error of some kind may be found on the part of the driver of the 18 wheeler. If this error is significant enough, it can often form the basis for a lawsuit against the 18-wheeler and the recovery of monetary damages.If you or a love one have been injured in an 18 wheeler accident, Call Carabin Shaw we can help