With their enormous size and limited maneuverability, it doesn’t take much for an 18-wheeler to lose control. From hazardous road conditions to various forms of driver error, there are numerous factors that can cause dangerous collisions – and entitle collision victims to seek just compensation.
Our 18-wheeler accident attorneys have decades of combined legal experience and have helped numerous accident victims collect compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Based on our experience, the following are among the common causes of 18-wheeler accidents that can support claims for financial recovery:
1. Truck Driver Negligence
Truck driver negligence is easily among the most common factors in 18-wheeler accidents. Common truck driving mistakes that can lead to claims for financial compensation include:
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving includes talking and texting on the phone, communicating with dispatch, navigating, taking photos, eating and drinking, and watching movies in the driver’s seat.
- Driving Errors – Driving errors include following too closely, changing lanes or merging into oncoming traffic, harsh braking, speeding and driving too fast for the current traffic or road conditions.
- Driving While Fatigued – Federal regulations limit the number of hours that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. Drivers who log too many hours are prone to making mistakes and falling asleep behind the wheel.
- Driving While Impaired – Truck drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, over-the-counter sleep medications or controlled substances are significantly more likely to cause dangerous accidents.
Importantly, when a truck driver’s negligence leads to an accident, under Texas law the driver’s employer (i.e. the trucking company) will often hold financial responsibility.
2. Trucking Company Negligence
Trucking company negligence is another leading cause of 18-wheeler accidents. Trucking companies regularly make poor back-office decisions that lead to on-the-road accidents and injuries. Common examples include:
- Failing to properly maintain 18-wheelers
- Forcing drivers to log too many hours behind the wheel
- Hiring unlicensed and inexperienced drivers
- Improperly loading 18-wheeler cargo
- Violating federal motor carrier safety standards
3. Road and Weather Conditions
Road and weather conditions will often play a role in 18-wheeler accidents as well. When road design and maintenance issues lead to accidents or drivers fail to account for slippery roads, accident victims will often have several potential sources of financial compensation.
4. Truck Defects and Maintenance Issues
Truck defects – including defective tires, brakes, and cargo straps – are another common cause of 18-wheeler accidents. Faulty brake jobs and other maintenance issues can also lead to accidents, even when truck parts themselves are not defective.
5. Negligence of Other Drivers
Finally, it is important not to forget that truck drivers are not the only negligent drivers on the road. In fact, some truckers are very good at what they do. It may be the case that another driver collided with the 18-wheeler or cut it off in heavy traffic, leaving the truck driver with no room to avoid a dangerous collision.
Contact a Houston 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer at Morrow & Sheppard LLP
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident and you would like to find out if you have a claim for financial compensation, contact our 18-wheeler accident lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at (800) 489-2216 or request an appointment online today.