Drivers of large commercial trucks face an entirely different set of hazards than those faced by drivers of passenger vehicles. The sizes of these vehicles make them harder to maneuver, and evasive action may sometimes be impossible when trying to avoid an accident.
For this and many other reasons, truckers have a much higher risk of suffering serious and fatal injuries than individuals working in many other industries. Those who are seeking workers' compensation benefits to which they are entitled after any form of on-the-job accident or injury could find experienced legal counsel to prove invaluable as there are often many challenges in navigating through the process.
Common causes of truck accidents
Truck driver safety starts with proper training. Operating a large commercial truck requires unique skills, a specialized license and a knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern commercial transport. Additional threats you may face that can often result in accidents include the following:
- Unrealistic schedules — If your company prioritizes profits over employee safety, you will likely be up against schedules with unrealistic deadlines. This may lead to loading without proper care along with excessive stress and fatigue brought about by driving for too many hours without adequate rest periods.
- Inadequate training — Far too often, mistakes made by truckers come as a result of either a complete lack of training or a very limited amount of training before being thrown into difficult and dangerous situations.
- Equipment failure — If any of the multiple operating systems of your truck is defective, the fact that you are a skilled and safe driver may make no difference. A defect or failure of any part of the vehicle could have catastrophic consequences.
If you have suffered injuries while operating a commercial truck, you can pursue financial relief for medical expenses and lost wages through the workers' compensation insurance system — regardless of who was at fault. If a defect on the truck led to an accident, or a malfunction caused you injuries, there may be a viable third-party personal injury claim. A successful civil claim can yield additional compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment and more.
A consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney who also handles personal injury lawsuits will allow you to determine which type of claims are applicable to your specific circumstances. In such a case, the parties that may be held liable could include the truck manufacturer, the mechanic responsible for repairs, the company who was responsible for refurbishing the part along with the sellers of the part and the truck.