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Driving a large truck, say an 18-wheeler, is not simply like driving an extra-large car. Drivers of large trucks need special training, for example, in how to maneuver their vehicles, how much room to allow to stop, and how to be an especially observant driver.

If you or someone you love is injured in a trucking accident, it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer who has experience in these types of claims. Trucking accident cases are not the same as other motor vehicle accidents. They are often much more complex and take the skill of an experienced truck crash lawyer. To speak with an experienced attorney in the Reno area, contact The Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp today.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Causes of truck accidents are often similar to causes of car accidents. Other accidents, however, are because of the special features of a truck. Truck accident causes include the following committed by drivers:

  • Speeding
  • Fatigue or falling asleep
  • Use of drugs (illegal, prescription, and over the counter) or alcohol
  • Poor defensive driving
  • Poor truck maintenance by the trucking company or driver
  • Unsafe weather or road conditions
  • Unfamiliarity with the roadway
  • Poor attention to the actions of other drivers
  • Aggressive driving
  • Inadequate evasive action
  • Poor driver training
  • Poor driver selection
  • Packing an uneven or poorly distributed load
  • Negligence of the trucker, such as eating or drinking, fiddling with radio buttons, being distracted by something on the truck or something in the road
  • Negligence by other drivers, including those mentioned above plus cutting a truck driver off because of ignorance of the extra time a truck needs to stop, aggressive driving, distracted driving, inexperienced drivers, failure of traffic signals.

Truck Accidents and Liability

Both the federal government and individual states have laws that determine who is responsible in a truck driving accident. Two U.S. government agencies monitor the driving industry in this country: the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

A number of different individuals or companies have been held liable for injuring someone in a truck accident. These include:

  • Truck driver
  • Truck owner
  • Whoever leased the truck or trailer from the owner
  • Manufacturer whose faulty truck parts may have contributed to or been responsible for the accident
  • The person or company that loaded the contents of the truck
  • Those responsible for truck maintenance

Federal law has determined that when a truck has an accident, the responsibility belongs to the company that owns the trucking permit when the truck has its placard or name displayed on the vehicle. The company may be held responsible for hiring an unreliable driver; allowing or urging fatigued persons to drive, or failing to properly train a driver.

Many high-tech devices provide information about the situation a truck was in during an accident. Data recorders today are similar to the black boxes that provide information on plane crashes. The truck recorders can supply information at the time of the accident on how far the truck had driven, how long it had been driving, speed patterns of the driver and when the driver used the brakes. In case you are involved in a truck crash, you need to be certain that these data are kept as records to help establish liability.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important to collect as much information as possible at the accident scene. This would include taking pictures of the incident with a cell phone, if that is possible. This is done by both federal and state officials whose job it is to check the circumstances of the accident before the truck is moved.

The next step is to speak with an experienced lawyer who can investigate the crash to determine exactly what happened and who is at fault. Mr. Sharp is an experienced personal injury lawyer who represents individuals and families throughout Reno, Nevada in cases where negligence occurred. To find out how he can help you, call his office today at (775) 324-1500.