According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2018, 74% of all truck accident fatalities involved semi-trucks. Because many truck accident claims are not public record, there is no telling how many of these accidents were caused by semi-trucks.
Information from 2018 is the most recent data available from the IIHS. At the time of publication, the organization said truck accidents were on the decline.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
While we don’t know precisely how many truck accidents are caused by semi-trucks, here’s what we do know:
Most Accidents are the Result of Driver Error
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) says that most car accidents result from human error. Examples of driver error include things like:
- Distracted driving
- Drug use
- Reckless driving
- Road rage
- Improper lane changes
- Failure to obey traffic signals
If a truck driver’s error caused your accident, you could hold both them and their employer responsible.
Poor Weather Conditions and Vehicular Defects Also Cause Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that while human error is the leading cause of collisions, inclement weather and vehicle defects are also contributors.
Inclement weather can include snow, fog, ice, rain, and windstorms. Vehicle defects can consist of anything from worn brake pads to deflated tires.
Evidence to Prove the Cause of Your Truck Accident
If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident, you can pursue compensation through a claim or lawsuit. Making a case will not be easy without evidence, though. Some information that could prove who (or what) caused your accident includes:
The Police Report
You are required to file a police report within 24 hours from the date of your accident. If you cannot file a report within this timeframe, you should report the collision to the authorities.
The police report will contain the following:
- Diagrams of the accident scene
- The contact information of those involved
- The time, date, and location of the collision
- The circumstances the led to the accident
When arguing your case, you will need this information to recover compensation.
The Truck’s Black Box Data
All trucks come equipped with something called a “black box.” This device captures important information about a truck’s overall operation, including:
- The times and dates when the truck was driven
- The truck’s minimum and maximum speeds at certain times
- The force of impact
- The truck’s various destinations
- How long the truck was being driven in a consecutive period
If the truck that hit you was equipped with this device, our firm can request this information and build your case.
The Trucker’s Driving Logs
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has something called the “Hours of Service” regulations. This mandate outlines how long truckers can drive in a solid period. For the most part, truckers cannot drive more than 14 hours a day.
If the trucking company does not keep records of how long its employees drive, truckers are required to record their hours in a logbook. In the event of a collision, we can use the trucker’s logbook and check for inconsistencies and rule violations.
Nowadays, many trucks carry dashcams. We may be able to use this information to show that the trucker was acting negligently when they hit you. Additionally, if the driver struck you at an intersection or on a main road, we could use traffic camera footage to show how your accident happened.
Accident Reconstruction Expert Testimony
Your legal team may consult experts to learn about the circumstances of your collision. Accident reconstruction experts use a combination of scientific techniques to determine the cause of accidents. For example, they may use mathematical formulas, computer simulations, and physics.
We can work with an accident reconstruction expert on your case. They can prove the cause of your accident, which can give us vital information on how to move forward.
You Have a Predetermined Window of Action
If you are interested in filing a lawsuit in the aftermath of a truck accident, you must take action within the state’s statute of limitations. According to Va Code §8.01-243, you generally have two years to file your lawsuit. You have the same amount of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a late loved one.
Your window of action could be shorter if you are suing a government agency. Our team can review your case and explain how much longer you have to file your lawsuit.
Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC to Learn More
We do not know the exact percentage of accidents caused by semi-trucks, but if you were harmed due to negligence, you could have the makings of a personal injury case.
Our law firm can take care of everything involved in your case while you spend time with your loved ones. To begin a free case review, dial (571) 229-1800.