Any vehicle crash is a devastating event, but crashes that involve commercial trucks or semis are even more damaging. When one of these crashes occurs, it is easy for victims, their families and the public to have questions. How can victims move forward? Could future crashes be prevented? Who is to blame?
Did one of the drivers involved in the crash cause the accident?
From distracted driving and driving while exhausted to straightforward careless choices, drivers can easily cause crashes on the roadways. This is just as true when semi-trucks are involved as it is in other motor vehicle accidents. However, when commercial trucking is involved it is important to look at all the factors that caused the crash.
Could the trucking company have contributed to the issue?
Truck drivers’ employers could also be held liable for driver errors. If drivers have been driving for longer than the law allows and becomes distracted as a result, their employer could be to blame. They might also be held responsible if they did not properly maintain their truck and this maintenance was to blame for the crash.
What was the truck hauling?
The government places restrictions on the cargo that a truck can haul because it is easy for a load that is imbalanced, poorly secured, or too heavy to impact the driver’s ability to control the vehicle.
Hazardous materials can also be a contributing factor in particularly devastating crashes. In 2017, 3% of trucking accidents involved hazardous cargo. While this cargo wasn’t necessarily the cause of the initial crash, it can cause even more damage, from causing fires to releasing toxic chemicals into the surrounding area.
Could a manufacturing fault be to blame?
With large vehicles, there are many ways that an issue with design or manufacturing can cause a crash. Brake failure can make it difficult for big rigs to stop in time. Problems with the steering system can make trucks difficult to control. A defective trailer hitch can cause the trailer to become difficult to control, off balance or entirely detached. If the failure of one component of the truck caused a crash, then the manufacturer might be responsible for the accident.
Because of the complexity of trucking accidents, it can be particularly important for victims to work with an attorney who knows injury law. A lawyer can help examine the evidence, determine who could be held responsible for the accident and help victims and their families pursue the compensation that they need after the accident.