Causes of Truck Accidents

If you were hurt in a truck accident, or your relative was killed, you need to find out what happened. Figuring out what caused the crash isn’t about your curiosity. It’s an essential step in bringing a claim for truck accident compensation.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find the cause of the crash on your own, though. It’s better to hire a truck accident law firm with experience getting to the bottom of commercial truck accidents. Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers can start an independent investigation right away. Our Las Vegas and Henderson teams are available 24/7.

You can reach us through our online form or by calling (702) 878-2889. We offer free, no-risk consultations.

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Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Las Vegas

Truck wrecks happen for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s truck driver error. Other times, the truck driver does the best they can, but they can’t make up for their equipment failing or a vehicle defect.

Our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers will immediately gather and review the evidence. We’ll find out what caused the truck accident, even if that means hiring an accident reconstruction expert.

Fatigue

There are “Hours of Service” regulations for truck drivers. Truckers hauling property can drive up to 11 hours after having 10 consecutive hours off. They can drive up to 14 hours total after coming on duty. When a driver hits eight hours, they have to take a 30-minute break. Overall, they can drive up to 60 or 70 hours in seven or eight consecutive days.

The point of these rules is to prevent truckers from getting behind the wheel while drowsy. Unfortunately, truck drivers often push their limits. Sometimes they or their employers lie about their hours. All too often, drivers are overly tired, which increases the risk of a mistake and crash.

Intoxication

There are strict rules for truck drivers and alcohol or drugs. They even have a lower BAC limit than regular drivers. The average driver has a BAC limit of 0.08, while commercial drivers must have a BAC lower than 0.04. Truck drivers also have to be drug-free.

Despite the ban on drugs and alcohol while driving semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles, some truckers still drive while impaired. Some truckers use drugs to keep themselves awake, like cocaine and amphetamines. But these drugs have serious side effects, like hallucinations, agitation, and aggression. Like alcohol, drug use increases the risk of the trucker causing an accident.

Speeding

Speed is a common factor in all auto accidents. Truckers need to be particularly careful about going too fast. Their trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, so they can’t stop on a dime. The faster they’re moving, the longer it takes to stop, and the greater the risk of crashing into another vehicle or object.

Lack of Training

Driving a big rig isn’t easy; it takes time to learn how to operate commercial trucks safely. Training includes operating air brake systems, hydraulic brake systems, and manual transmissions, to name a few. A driver without adequate training shouldn’t be on the road with others. When they are, they’re much more likely to make a serious mistake.

Lack of Qualifications

Similar to a lack of training is a lack of proper qualifications, which could be as obvious as the truck driver lacking a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Truckers have to get a CDL through their home state.

If a trucker wants to operate certain vehicles, they need special endorsements. There are six endorsements for double/triple trailers, passengers, tank vehicles, hazardous materials, a combination of tank vehicles and dangerous materials, and school buses. Someone who operates a truck or carries cargo they haven’t endorsed for puts everyone at risk.

Vehicle Defects

Truck defects come about in several ways. A truck might have a design defect. That means a part of the truck isn’t designed to function as safely as possible. Another possibility is a manufacturing defect. Something might have gone wrong during the manufacturing and assembly process, which makes the truck less safe.

It’s also possible that the truck becomes defective over time. Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for performing inspections and consistent maintenance. Too many people fall short of maintaining safe vehicles, though. Truck defects from a lack of care can put dangerous trucks on the road. Tires can blow, brakes can fail, and people can get hurt.

Road Defects

Sometimes the crash has nothing to do with the truck or its operator. Accidents can happen because of bad roads and traffic controls. Some streets and intersections are poorly designed. Many roads throughout the U.S. are poorly maintained. These issues can contribute to, or cause, serious crashes.

Improperly Secured Cargo

It matters how a business loads and secures cargo. The materials have to be secure to prevent them from falling or spilling out of the truck. It’s also vital that cargo can’t move around in the truck. Heavy objects or liquids that can slide and slosh increase the risk of an accident.

The cargo has to be balanced, too. Weight distribution affects a truck’s center of gravity. A truck driver has to know that to drive safely and avoid rollover accidents.

We Investigate the Cause of the Crash

The cause of a trucking accident isn’t always apparent. That’s why it’s essential to hire a lawyer with experience investigating these accidents. Not only that, but you want a law firm with a history of success in truck accident lawsuits.

Our attorneys at Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers have decades of experience tackling truck accident cases. We know how to get started gathering evidence, including the police accident report, photos, video, and witness statements.

We also know how important it is to file a lawsuit. An initial investigation can uncover a lot. It’s how we identify the liable party or parties, which means we know who to name in the lawsuit. But in truck accidents, it’s often necessary to use the discovery process to learn more.

We can demand business, employment, inspection, maintenance, and hours of service records through discovery. We can get more information about the truck, including the information on its “black box,” the electronic control module, or event data recorder. We’ll find out what happened and who was responsible.

Find Out More About How We Can Help

Getting hurt or losing a loved one in a truck accident is challenging. We can’t make everything better, but we do have the knowledge and skills you need to pursue compensation.

Give us a call at (702) 878-2889 today and set up your free consultation. We can get started on your case right away. We’ll find out what happened and who is liable for compensating you.