What Causes Most Truck Accidents?

According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on large truck crash causation, the causes of most truck accidents are a mechanical failure or operator negligence. The FMCSA identifies brake issues, speeding, alcohol consumption, and fatigue as major crash issues. However, driver training and experience, vehicle design, road conditions, traffic signals, weather conditions, driving errors, distraction, and last-second decisions can also influence the incidence rates of truck accidents.

Understanding Truck Accidents

A combination of factors causes most truck accidents. It is important to remember that the causal factors behind accidents are not limited to those mentioned above. They include other factors, such as the time of day, the size of the vehicle in question, and the type of road on which a driver may be driving. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that in 2018:
  • Over 4,800 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents.
  • Most motor vehicle deaths involving large trucks were those of occupants of other vehicles.
  • Truck accidents were more common in rural settings (57%) than in urban settings (43%).
  • The vast majority (about 75%) of truck accidents occurred on non-interstates.
  • Most truck accidents (64%) occurred in the daytime.
  • The overwhelming majority of truck accidents (over 95%) occurred in non-work zones.

Truck Accident Litigation

If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by another party’s negligence, they might owe you compensation for your damages. Determining the cause of your accident, identifying liable parties, and understanding the insurance rules that apply to your case are critical aspects of any truck accident claim you may wish to file. First, you must determine how your accident was caused. If it was caused by driver errors or negligence, you might be able to sue the at-fault truck driver who caused the accident for damages. If the truck driver who caused your accident was the employee of a shipping or trucking company, their employer might be liable for your accident through the legal principle of vicarious liability. If a faulty part or poor servicing caused your accident, you might be able to hold the truck owner, the team responsible for servicing the truck, or the manufacturer of the part that broke down liable for damages. If your accident was caused by environmental factors, such as road damage, traffic control device issues, or unclear lane markings, you might be able to hold a local city or town liable for your damages.

Proving Liability in a Truck Accident Case

In general, as long as you can prove the following, you can seek compensation for your losses after a truck accident:
  • You must prove that the negligent actions of an at-fault party caused or contributed to your accident.
  • You must prove that the accident in question led to losses and damages on your part, either in the form of physical injury, material losses, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional damages, or otherwise.
Evidence such as police reports, eyewitness statements, or photos or video recordings of the accident may help you establish liability in your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Contributory Negligence in Maryland

It is important to keep in mind that Maryland is one of just four states in the U.S. that have a contributory negligence law in which being found just 1% at fault for the accident can bar a claimant or plaintiff from any compensation in their case. Because of this law, collecting evidence of the full extent of the responsible party’s liability is often essential in truck accident cases.

Contact the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow Today

Coordinating a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit after an accident can be difficult, especially if you are injured. This is where we can help. The Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow represents truck accident victims in Edgewood. If you qualify, a lawyer from our firm may be able to coordinate all aspects of your case, including the evidence-gathering, communications, deadlines, and paperwork. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related damages. For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow today at (410) 777-8960. We operate on a contingency-fee-basis with no upfront payments required. This type of fee agreement means that our clients do not owe us attorney fees unless and until they win their case and are awarded compensation.