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What are the most common causes of truck accidents caused by commercial drivers?

There are approximately 500,000 commercial truck driving accidents in this country every year. One of the most common causes is driver fatigue, which is responsible for almost 40 percent of truck accidents. This is often due to the trucking company’s unrealistic delivery schedules they often have their drivers on. The pressure this schedule may put the driver under can also lead to the truck driver traveling at excessive speeds or failing to follow other rules of the road. Other causes include:
  • Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks: When trucks are carrying too much weight, or loads that are not evenly distributed throughout the vehicle, there is a much greater chance the driver will lose control of the truck, which often results in over-turned accidents.
  • Improper training or lack of experience of the truck driver.
  • Improper inspection and/or maintenance of the truck.
  • Truck drivers operating the vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Drivers with a reckless driving history.

What kind of damages can I seek for truck accident injuries?

There are two different types of damages you can receive when you are injured in a truck accident. These are economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that cost you money out of your own pocket. These can include immediate medical expenses, such as emergency room and hospital bills, and can also include long-term medical expenses, such as physical and occupational therapy, medications and other ongoing medical treatment. Lost income because of time missed from work because of injuries, or lost earning capacity, also falls under economic damages. Damage to property, such as a vehicle replacement, would as well.
Non-economic damages are for those losses which are not tangible ones. A truck accident victim can seek damages for the pain they suffered and may continue to suffer from; the emotional impact the accident may have had on the victim, as well as the mental anguish the victim may still struggle with.

I was in an accident where a tractor trailer rear-ended my car, and it appears the driver may have fallen asleep. Do I have a valid claim against him even if I can’t prove for sure he fell asleep before he struck my vehicle?

In serious car accident cases involving large, commercial trucks, a myriad of federal regulations require that truck drivers not exceed a certain number of hours of service in each calendar day and also measured over several days.  A skilled Virginia and North Carolina trucking injury attorney with our firm can require the trucking company to produce log books, and other data which shows how much the driver was operating the truck in the couple of days before the incident.  This becomes very important in any case like the one you describe.