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Causes of Truck Accidents

Causes Of Truck Accidents

If you have been hurt in a truck crash, you will want to work with a lawyer who has handled trucking accident cases before. The interstate trucking industry is governed by a unique and complex set of federal regulations. Your legal counsel will need to understand these, as well as understand how to investigate the possible causes of the truck crash.

As a Spartanburg/Greenville truck accident attorney and founder of the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, I have been representing accident victims and their families for more than 35 years. I work with skilled investigators and accident reconstruction experts to review the evidence and build a strong case for financial recovery. I have the resources, the skill and the determination it takes to get results for my clients.

Inexperienced Truck Drivers May Be Responsible for Accidents

The trucking industry in the Spartanburg/Greenville area has grown significantly in recent years, especially along the I-85 and I-26 corridors. As a result of this expansion in business, trucking companies are having to hire drivers with less experience driving big rigs.

A driver may have completed a truck driving class but not driven many miles in real-life highway conditions. Drivers may bring their reckless driving practices of a personal vehicle into their work life — driving at high speed or following too close. In a recently completed case, a truck slammed into the back of my client's car because the truck driver was driving too fast, following too close, and the driver failed to notice that the traffic in front had slowed to a crawl. The case resulted in a jury verdict of $854,000 for my injured client.

Identifying Truck Accident Causes

Trucker error, defective maintenance, driver fatigue, which can result in white line syndrome, and drunk driving are possible causes of a truck accident that need to be investigated after a crash. I will check the truck driver's past driving record for DUIs. Federal regulations can make it a little easier to identify when truckers are driving while overly tired because they require drivers to keep accurate records of their miles and driving hours in a logbook. However, logbooks can be falsified, so it's essential to investigate further to see if the record is true.

  • Could a truck driver reasonably drive from point A to point B in the time specified, without speeding?
  • Did the truck clock in at a weighing station or get gas along the way so its progress can be accurately gauged?
  • Is any evidence available from the black box the truck is outfitted with to tell investigators what the truck was doing at the time of the crash?

As an experienced trucking accident attorney, I know to look for CB radio and other communication devices that can provide important information. A cellphone could also play a role in distracted driving so I look at cellphone records.

Further, I subpoena documents about company policies, procedures and hiring practices.

Maintenance problems can create hazardous vehicle conditions and defective equipment. Deferred or negligent maintenance can lead to brake failure, steering problems and problems with the vehicle load. In a recent case, a truck driver lost control of his vehicle when a spring broke. I was able to prove that the vehicle had been repeatedly and seriously overloaded, causing the spring to weaken and ultimately break. I examine records of weights being carried; often they have been in excess of those limited by law.

Sometimes it's not a maintenance problem that causes a part to fail but a defect in the part itself. For example, a tire blowout due to a tread defect could cause a smaller truck to lose control.

Finally, I also examine road conditions and road hazards. Did the crash occur in or near a road construction zone? Was there construction debris in the roadway? Did signage obstruct the driver's vision?

Contact a South Carolina Defective Brakes Attorney

I can help identify all causes of a truck accident, from driver error to defective brakes and other parts. Contact me, a Spartanburg/Greenville truck accident lawyer, online. Consultations are free and confidential.