Preventable Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act defines a preventable accident (on the part of the motor carrier) as an accident that involved a commercial motor vehicle and that could have been averted but for an act, or failure to act, by the motor carrier or the driver. Preventability is found if a driver, who exercises normal judgment and foresight could have foreseen the possibility of the accident that in fact occurred and avoided it by taking steps within his/her control which would not have risked causing another kind of mishap. A Board-Certified Truck Accident attorney can investigate whether a particular truck accident was a preventable accident.
If you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may have a valid injury claim if the crash was preventable. Preventability is one of the most overlooked aspects of truck accidents. Ordinarily, an injury lawyer hears a simple recounting of an accident and makes a nearly instantaneous decision as to whether the case should be pursued. A preventability analysis looks at all the actions taken by the commercial driver and his company before the accident occurred. Preventable truck accidents can arise from many different types of failures on the part of the motor carrier or truck driver. Hours of service violations, choosing to drive in hazardous conditions, improper securing of cargo and inadequate driver training can all lead to preventable accidents.
There are Rule Violations Meant to Prevent Accidents that Occur Before a Truck hits the Road.
The United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration produced the Preventable Accident Manual. The manual identifies multiple types of accidents and methods to reduce preventable accidents. With each accident category the manual identifies the potential causes of the preventable accident and the countermeasures that could have been taken to prevent the accident. Trucking companies and their drivers are not likely to volunteer errors and failures to follow rules that may have contributed to a crash.
An investigation conducted by a Board-Certified truck accident attorney could uncover whether a person was injured in a preventable accident. This involves seeking publicly available information, sending preservation letters and in some cases arranging inspections of the commercial vehicle. The failure to take these steps can result in the evidence being lost forever. Preventable accidents may appear to be difficult cases to win. But once evidence is obtained that the driver or truck company could have prevented the accident a valid injury claim can be pursued.
Preventable Accident Types
Preventable accidents that may permit claims against a truck driver or motor carrier include:
● Equipment Failure
● Rear End Collision
● Lane Change Sideswipe
● Vehicle Lighting and Conspicuity
● Driving in Adverse Conditions
● Failure to negotiate downgrades
● Negotiating curves
● Planning Schedules, Loads and Routes
● Full Trailer Coupling
● Wheel retention and deterioration
● Tire Inflation
● Unbalanced Payloads
● Suspension Failure
● Steering Failure
● Texting while driving
This website is not a substitute for legal advice and is meant to be an overview of truck accident law. If you were injured in a truck accident that may qualify as a preventable accident it is important to reach out to a Board-Certified truck accident lawyer.
Nearly all accidents caused by mechanical failures are the result of a driver not properly completing a pre-trip inspection. Drivers sometimes fail to complete an adequate pre-trip inspections while others ignore the requirement to save time.
Rental trailers are more likely to be in poor condition because they are frequently exchanged and utilized by companies that do not have a vested interest in the condition of the trailer. Some drivers do not bother to call for maintenance on a trailer because they may only need to drive that trailer for a few hours. A maintenance call can delay a trip and negatively impact the driver’s compensation.
Patterson Law helps truck accident, car accident, medical malpractice, criminal and truck accident clients to recover. Your recovery is our focus.
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