It’s harder than ever for the trucking industry to find qualified drivers to operate their rigs. They’ll often turn to inexperienced people who have no business being behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound machine. The results shouldn’t be a surprise. Inexperienced drivers cause horrible accidents leading to debilitating injuries and tragic deaths.
If you’ve suffered a severe injury or lost a loved one in an accident caused by an inexperienced driver, the law firm of Penn Kestner & McEwen is here to help. We’ll investigate the accident, determining why it happened and who is to blame. Then we’ll pursue the negligent parties for the compensation you deserve.
How Do Inexperienced Truck Drivers Cause Accidents?
When someone doesn’t have a good feel for driving a large commercial truck, they will be much more prone to causing a devastating wreck. Inexperienced drivers aren’t comfortable operating all of the different systems found in a truck and won’t know how to navigate slick or wet roads in inclement weather safely.
They’ll often have trouble during normal conditions as well. An inexperienced truck driver might not know that stopping a big rig takes a lot longer. They might not be able to avoid slamming into the back of a passenger car, which could lead to catastrophic results.
Potential Liable Parties
A lawsuit stemming from a truck accident is highly complex since there can be several liable parties. The following is a quick look at two parties typically responsible for a wreck, the driver and the company that owns the truck.
The Truck Driver
No matter what their experience level, truck drivers are usually responsible when an accident occurs. They might cause accidents for many different reasons, including the following:
- Impairment – As hard as it may be to believe, truck drivers sometimes get behind the wheel even though they’re drunk or high. When an inexperienced driver does this, the chances of a disaster rise exponentially.
- Distractions – Technology surrounds truck drivers, and this doesn’t even account for their smartphones. Drivers who pay more attention to their gadgets than the road can easily cause an accident.
- Fatigue – Even drivers who have been on the road for decades have to fight fatigue. They often drive past their limits because they’re trying to meet unreasonable deadlines. Inexperienced drivers may try to prove their worth by staying in the cab for too long.
- Speeding – Young drivers may have to drive too fast because they’re in danger of missing their deadline. They might not know their route and could take a wrong exit that sets them back. Drivers might feel they have to speed to compensate for wasted time.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies often play a significant role in causing accidents involving young drivers. They’ll often hire unqualified people because they’re so desperate to fill driving positions. Trucking companies will often neglect maintenance because they’re so laser-focused on meeting deadlines and increasing profits. They could overlook problems such as worn-out tires.
Truck accidents are seldom cut and dry when it comes to blame. Accidents usually occur due to several factors, and several parties are responsible. For example, many accidents can be attributed to the driver and the trucking company. For instance, the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel, but when they tried to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident, the braking system failed.
In this instance, the inexperienced truck driver would be to blame for driving while fatigued. The trucking company would be liable for failing to fix the brakes. However, if those brakes were defectively designed or manufactured, you could sue the company that made them.
In other cases, you’ll be able to sue both parties because they both had a hand in causing the accident. For example, the inexperienced truck driver didn’t know how to react to a change in traffic and therefore caused a pile-up. They would be at fault for causing the pile-up, but the trucking company could also be at fault for hiring a driver without the proper experience.
How is Liability Determined for Inexperienced Driver Cases?
Your attorney will determine liability by investigating the accident. This investigation will be essential because it will uncover critical evidence. Not only will this evidence show who was at fault, but it could also show you did nothing wrong.
Steps to Take if You’re Hit by an Inexperienced Truck Driver
Being in any wreck is a terrifying experience. But a truck accident is even more horrifying. When a victim suffers a severe injury, it can be hard to take the steps necessary to protect their health and strengthen their case. But if you can keep the following in mind, you might be able to do both.
- First, make sure you call for medical help immediately. Check to see if others are hurt as well. Call 911 to report the accident and tell the dispatcher how many people need assistance. Accept whatever help emergency personnel offer. You might feel fine, but you could have a severe injury that will worsen if not promptly addressed.
- If you’re physically able to do so, take pictures of the accident scene with your smartphone. Get photos of the damage to all vehicles involved, and take pictures of the road surface. Please pay attention to fresh skid marks because they could show the truck was going too fast. Only do this if you’re 100% certain it will be safe.
- Next, get your vehicle to a safe place. If you can’t move it, stay inside with your seatbelt fastened. Turn the hazard lights on if possible.
- When the police arrive, tell them what happened to the best of your recollection. Don’t admit even the slightest bit of fault, however. The reason is your statement will appear in the police report, and the insurance company will try to use everything you say against you.
- Once you’ve received medical attention, talk to an attorney as soon as possible to learn about your potential legal options.
How Can Penn Kestner & McEwen Help You?
A Penn Kestner & McEwen attorney will quickly launch a detailed investigation. Our firm has the experience and the resources to determine what happened and identify all liable parties. We can also bring in expert witnesses if necessary to make your case even stronger.