Top Causes of Large Truck Accidents
Large truck accidents can happen when we least expect them, and massive damages are a common result. This can make recovery challenging and stressful. However, you may not have to pay for all these damages yourself if the other driver was partially at fault. Learning about the top causes of large truck accidents might help you with filing your car accident claim for compensation. Ask a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer about what steps you can take today.
Most Common Truck Accident Causes
Large truck accidents continue to happen each year, resulting in tragic deaths and serious injuries. Around 4,014 people passed away from large truck accidents in the year 2020 alone. About 68% of those people were other drivers and passengers. Passengers in other vehicles are significantly more likely to die from a large truck accident that passengers in large trucks.
Most deaths from large truck accidents happened on major roads. The next most common locations for fatal large truck accidents were interstates and freeways. Minor roads represented the lowest rate of fatal large truck accidents in 2020 with more accidents happening with multiple vehicles.
The most common causes of large truck accidents are distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, failure to yield, and reckless driving. Less common causes include truck vehicle problems like brake or engine failure. Distracted driving includes any behavior that takes the truck driver’s mind, hands, or eyes away from driving. Common examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting while driving
- Using any electronic device while driving
- Looking for something on the floor
- Searching through CDs
- Changing the radio
- Arguing with passengers
- Eating while driving
Impaired driving includes drugged driving, drowsy driving, and unexpected medical emergencies. Driving under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medications that advise consumers not to drive can increase the chances of an accident. So can driving while sleep-deprived. Unexpected medical emergencies are the one exception that drivers are not normally held liable for.
Speeding, especially in inclement weather, can make a truck driver lose control of the vehicle. Failure to yield means not yielding to street signs and to other drivers who are merging or traveling down intersections. Reckless driving can take many forms such as:
- Aggressive road rage
- Rapidly shifting lanes
- Turning too quickly
- Slamming the brakes unexpectedly
Other large truck accident causes come specifically from large truck driver errors. The top truck driver errors include performance, decision, recognition, and non-performance errors. Performance errors made up the lowest cause of truck accidents. These include panicking and overcompensating to avoid a hazard on the road. This can easily make a large truck driver lose control over the vehicle.
Decision errors made up the most frequent cause of large truck accidents. These occur when a truck driver misjudges what other drivers are doing or engages in risky driving behaviors like speeding or tailgating. Recognition errors happened with moderate frequency and involved inattention and failing to notice changes on the road.
Less common errors like non-performance errors happen when a truck driver falls asleep while driving or becomes physically impaired. Medical emergencies like heart attacks or fainting are some examples.
Steps to Take After a Large Truck Accident
Taking certain steps after a large truck accident can protect you from physical, financial, and legal harm. Taking these car accident steps might improve your chances of significant compensation. You could use this compensation to cover your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Car accident repairs
- Property damage expenses
The most important first steps to take revolve around safety. Move away from danger like oncoming traffic if you can do so without worsening severe injuries. Certain injuries like spinal cord damage could worsen with the wrong movement. Call 911 if you or anyone else is injured or property damages are severe.
Not only does calling 911 provide you with help, but this also generates a police report. Most auto insurance companies require a copy of the police report for your car accident claim. This is an important piece of evidence along with other evidence you can collect at the accident scene like:
- Photos or videos of your injuries and vehicle damages
- Copies of your medical records
- Bill statements from car repairs and medical costs
- Witness names and statements
Avoid the mistake of leaving out important details like the police report or what happened. Not writing down the details of what led to the accident might cause difficulties later on. Having your details documented is important for keeping your story coherent. Other common mistakes to avoid include:
- Accidentally admitting fault through statements of guilt or apology
- Not collecting the truck driver’s contact, auto insurance, and trucking company information
- Signing a contract that removes your rights to compensation
Once you have all the information and evidence about the truck accident, submit this to the auto insurance company as a car accident claim. Prepare to answer questions from the auto insurance agent about the accident. Be careful about the answers you give. Anything you say could be used against your claim. Try contacting a Los Angeles car accident lawyer if you have concerns.
An experienced lawyer can help you strengthen your car accident claim and maximize your compensation. If you suffered severe injuries from the truck accident, a lawyer could help you prove additional damages. These damages may include disabilities caused by the accident and other damages like:
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Lost earning capacity
A lawyer can also negotiate with the insurance agent if your claim is rejected. Going to trial with a lawsuit is another potential option.
Truck Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Facing the aftermath of a large truck accident can be overwhelming. You may not have to face the stress and complications of this without legal guidance. Reach out and call the Law Offices of Jennie Levin by dialing (323) 951-1188 to speak with a California car accident lawyer for a free consultation today. Our experienced legal team can help you seek substantial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. We serve clients throughout Los Angeles, California.