Clients come to us with trucking accident claims all the time. Driving down I-82, I-182, 240, or 395 around Kennewick, WA, you’ll find dozens of trucks on the road. The causes of accidents involving a truck can be put into two general classes: Those caused by the trucks, and those caused by passenger vehicles.
Truck Driver Fault
Truckers can be at fault for accidents, and they are not immune to driver error. Being distracted, falling asleep at the wheel or substance abuse can cause a trucker to lose control of their rig and cause an accident. But, there are also other common causes of trucking accidents:
Equipment failure is common. Defective tires, mechanical issues, brake failure or other equipment can cause a trucker to lose control of their vehicle. There could be multiple parties at fault. It is important to find out:
Which company did the maintenance? Were they at fault?
Who sold the failing component/equipment?
Were the failing components/equipment worn or misused?
Driving a big rig is much more difficult in hazardous weather conditions. Snow and rain make it more difficult for trucks to stop quickly, and this often leads to an accident. Multiple entities could be responsible for the accident. It is important to find out:
Was the city/county/state negligent in maintaining the road? Were they aware of the hazards?
Was there adequate signage warning?
Were the hazards visible?
Improper loading is a major concern. While the freight on the truck may stay intact, it’s possible to put too much weight on either side of the truck causing a major weight imbalance. There could be multiple parties at fault. It is important to find out:
Which company was responsible for loading?
Did the load cause the accident?
Was the weight in compliance with state and federal regulations?
Trucking accidents are complex because, as stated above, multiple parties can be at fault: The driver, the trucking company, external maintenance companies, equipment manufacturers, local, state, and federal entities, etc. may be at fault. It’s important to discuss your options with a lawyer if you’ve been in an accident involving a big rig.
Passenger Vehicle Fault
Truckers are highly trained and on the road all the time. Many truckers will run the same route over and over, and the accidents that occur may be caused by the passenger vehicle rather than the fault of the trucker.
Many of these accidents include:
Passenger vehicles that change lanes abruptly in front of a truck. Large trucks take a much longer time to come to a stop, and this can cause an accident.
Truck drivers have blind spot mirrors, but there are “no zones” where a truck driver has limited visibility. Passenger vehicles that enter into the “no zones” are at a higher risk of getting into an accident.
Passing a truck on the right side often leads to accidents. Trucks need to make very wide turns, and they may be in the left lane when making a right turn in some cases. Some drivers will try to go around the truck on the right side, and cause an accident as a result.
Passenger vehicles that are in accidents with trucks are often to blame because they do not realize that trucks take much longer to brake, turn and accelerate. Swerving in front of a truck or merging into a lane where a truck would need to decelerate quickly is often the cause of an accident.
It is important to note that trucks can contribute to an accident even if a passenger vehicle is also at fault.
Trucking Accident Attorney in Kennewick WA
If you have been involved in a trucking accident, it’s important to reach out to a trucking accident attorney as soon as possible. Call Rodriguez Interiano Hanson & Rodgers PLLC today at (509) 783-5551.