Commercial Driver Negligence
Seek Justice with a San Bernardino Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than regular drivers, and for good reason. They are responsible for operating the largest, heaviest and most dangerous vehicles on our roadways. If they make mistakes, are careless or intentionally break the law, they place everyone in the area at risk of being involved in potentially catastrophic traffic accidents. Commercial truck accidents can cause debilitating
injuries, permanent disabilities and even
death. Those most likely to be injured are occupants of other vehicles, not occupants of large trucks.
At Pacific Attorney Group, we believe in holding negligent truck drivers accountable when they cause accidents. If you were injured, call a San Bernardino truck accident lawyer at our offices to see what rights and options you have. A legal professional can offer insight that applies to your unique needs and concerns. You can also learn about negligence and its impact on truck accidents by reviewing this page.
In looking at the subject of commercial driver negligence, it is important to define negligence and see exactly how it can lead to a truck accident. It is also important to see what party or parties can be held liable for the negligence of a truck driver.
What is negligence? How does it cause truck accidents?
First of all, negligence is described as behavior that results in a failure to act with reasonable or proper care. An act, such as texting while driving, or inaction, such as failing to stop at a traffic light, may be considered negligent if it deviates from what a reasonable person would have done in the same or similar circumstances. A reasonable truck driver, for example, would check his or her mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes. A negligent truck driver may fail to do so and may cause an accident by veering directly into the other vehicle or into its path. Some examples of commercial driver negligence may include:
- Driving while distracted (texting while driving, cell phone use, etc.)
- Driving after drinking any amount of alcohol
- Driving while tired
- Following too closely
- Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for current conditions
- Failing to inspect cargo before driving
- Failing to inspect vehicle systems before driving
- Improperly loading or securing cargo
- Failing to check blind spots
- Unsafe or aggressive lane changes
- Traffic violations, even when accidental
Any of this negligent behavior may cause a truck accident. It may directly cause a collision, such as running a red light in an attempt to meet a delivery deadline, or it may be a contributing factor in an accident. An example of a contributing factor may be a driver who is texting while driving and therefore fails to notice that a pedestrian is legally crossing the street. If the driver strikes the pedestrian, his negligence would have caused the accident. In some cases, a single accident may have multiple causes.
Commercial truck drivers may also be held accountable for accidents caused by intentional wrongdoing, such as drinking and driving, speeding, reckless driving or altering work logs in violation of federal hours-of-service regulations.
Depending on the specific case and whether the driver in question is an employee or independent contractor, the driver or the trucking company may be held responsible for commercial driver negligence. Negligence may trace back to the trucking company, as an example, for failing to conduct routine drug and alcohol testing or failing to perform background checks on employees. To discuss your case and how negligence may have been involved, call a San Bernardino truck accident attorney today. You need to act quickly to preserve your right to compensation.