A truck rollover accident often involves incredible physical forces capable of destroying other vehicles and seriously hurting people. Even though commercial vehicles are enormous and weigh many tons, they can still be tipped over if the driver is not paying attention, or if other drivers on the road force a bad decision. Poor road conditions, mechanical failure, and reckless business practices on the part of the driver’s employer can all factor into a crash as well. In fact, because there are several parties involved in every accident, these claims are much more complex to organize and represent.
WHAT NORMALLY CAUSES A TRUCK ROLLOVER ACCIDENT?
A commercial vehicle requires a specially trained driver to operate properly. They are harder to bring to a stop, harder to handle, and possess larger blind spots. Because of this, drivers are expected to observe all traffic laws at all times, pay attention to changing road conditions, keep a lookout around them, and maintain safe speeds. Drivers must also be alert as long as they are behind the wheel and pull over if they start feeling fatigued.
Unfortunately, many commercial vehicle operators do not observe these safety measures. According to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver error is far and away the most common cause of commercial vehicle accidents. In fact, the FMCSA states that nearly 90 percent of all commercial vehicle accidents are primarily the result of a driver’s inaction or action. A truck rollover accident is no different, and is usually the result of a driver overcompensating for some reason. Perhaps they were driving too fast and the trailer starting drifting. Maybe they didn’t see a sign warning of construction and tipped after hitting a bump. Perhaps the driver struck the guardrail after falling asleep at the wheel. There are many reasons why a driver may lose control of their vehicle, and it’s usually due to negligence, at least in part.
Sometimes, though, a commercial vehicle may tip after experiencing sudden tire or brake failure. When mechanical failure is the cause, either the owner of the vehicle or defective part manufacturer will be responsible for damages. It is the truck owner’s responsibility to maintain the vehicle, regularly inspecting its engine, brakes, tires, trailer connections, and trailer bed or box. Failure to perform inspections and respond to mechanical concerns represents clear negligence.
WHAT SHOULD A VICTIM DO IF THEY ARE INVOLVED IN A TRUCK ROLLOVER ACCIDENT?
The most important thing following a crash is getting medical attention. It will be possible to collect all of the necessary information in the weeks following the wreck, so make sure you are going to be okay first. As soon as you can, consider consulting with a Board Certified personal injury attorney. When a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, the state will perform a full inspection of the vehicle to determine whether mechanical failure was a contributing factor. Commercial vehicles are also equipped with black box devices that monitor speed, acceleration, engine performance, and brake use while the vehicle is in operation. This can also help determine the cause of a truck rollover. Police reports and witness testimony can also help.
With all of this information, a personal injury attorney will be able to pursue a claim aggressively and return as favorable a settlement as possible.