How will you prove a trucker's negligence?

The sheer size of big rigs makes them a hazard on Missouri roads. Be alert when you share the highways with 18-wheelers or the city streets with tractor-trailers. The consequences of truck vs. car accidents are often catastrophic.

Truckers travel across the country to bring consumers the goods they need. The fact that their incomes often depend on the miles they travel, the number of deliveries they make and their turnaround times may play a role in the number of truck accidents on Missouri roads. Not getting enough rest and driving while fatigued could make a truck driver a deadly weapon.

Common truckers' errors

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident that involved a truck, you could file a personal injury lawsuit. Any of the following truckers' errors might help you to establish negligence:

  • Fatigue and illness: Failure to take mandated rest breaks can reduce a driver's alertness. Driving while ill could prevent a driver from focusing on safe driving, but some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can make a driver feel dizzy and drowsy.
  • Vigilance: Drivers of commercial vehicles must be observant and vigilant at all times to detect unanticipated hazards like poor road conditions, traffic issues, road construction zones and other vehicles that might move into the truck's blind spots.
  • Failure to consider conditions: Truck drivers must adapt their driving to suit prevailing conditions. The failure to slow down in adverse weather or poor road conditions can hamper control of large trucks -- often leading to rollovers, crashes or cargo spillage.
  • Safety signals: Truckers must alert other drivers of intent to turn or pull off the road by using brakes, flashers, road flares and reflective triangles.
  • Maintenance and load safety: Failure to do pre-trip checks to ensure the safety of tires, brakes, etc., can lead to accidents. Furthermore, to avoid rollovers or load spillage, checking that the cargo load is balanced and secure is essential before taking to the road.
  • Failure to plan the trip: Navigation systems for non-commercial vehicles do not provide information about weight and height limitations. Unpreparedness for commercial vehicle restrictions, road and weather conditions and detours could force truckers to turn their massive rigs around in limited spaces.
  • Distracted driving: While texting might be the worst distraction, other dangerous activities during driving can have similar consequences. These include, among others, drinking, eating, reading maps or interacting with navigational devices.
  • Construction zone safety: It is essential to be alert and scan ahead for work zones to avoid unpreparedness for uneven road surfaces, lane changes, unanticipated stops, moving construction equipment and workers. Truck drivers who fail to obey work zone warning signs can cause catastrophic accidents.

Help is available to recover damages

If a negligent truck driver caused the accident that led to your injuries, you could pursue financial relief by filing a personal injury lawsuit in a Missouri civil court. However, establishing negligence could be the most challenging. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help with that as well as determine the parties to name as defendants. Along with a trucker, the vehicle owner, employer and even the entity responsible for maintenance of the truck might have a hand in the circumstances that led to the accident.

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