There are many different types of trucking accidents, and there are many causes as well – some are more mundane, while others fall into the “odd” category. But regardless of the cause, truck accidents are incredibly dangerous. In many instances, an accident involving a truck has far worse consequences as a collision between two cars.
Below you’ll find some of the strange reasons truck accidents occur. If you’ve suffered an injury due to a negligent truck driver or trucking company, get in touch with a Sand Law truck accident attorney as soon as you can. Our firm has a long track record of success in these kinds of cases. We’ll do everything we can to give you the best possible chance of obtaining maximum compensation.
1. Sleep Apnea
Due to a nationwide shortage of truckers, companies will often demand more of the drivers they have on staff. In many instances, drivers will operate their rigs while fatigued, greatly increasing the risk of an accident in the process.
A lot of truck drivers, like a lot of people in general, suffer from sleep apnea. According to one study, one in three truckers have the condition. Sleep apnea is a condition that leads to difficulty breathing while asleep, keeping a sufferer from being able to get a good night’s sleep as a result. One of the symptoms is excessive daytime sleepiness. This is obviously a problem when you’re operating a machine that can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.
Truckers aren’t immediately disqualified from driving a truck if they’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea. However, they can be fired if they refuse to comply with treatment. But even if that happens, they can simply find work with another company because they’re not required to disclose their medical history per federal law.
If a driver with sleep apnea who refused treatment causes an accident related to fatigue, that driver may face liability for any injuries or damage that result.
2. Cross Winds
Minnesota has its share of powerful storms, of course, and they’re often accompanied by fierce winds. This is especially the case during winter, when blizzards fueled by strong winds are commonplace.
Oftentimes, winds will swirl, or actually come from different directions. When strong cross winds occur, trucks and other types of higher-profile vehicles are prone to being knocked over on their side. High-speed winds can also force a truck into the path of a car. This may cause the truck driver to lose control or even push the truck off of the road entirely.
If the truck has an imbalanced load due to the negligence of a cargo company or some other party, that could make the risk of a jackknife or rollover accident even higher. When this is the case and an accident occurs, the party responsible for loading the truck could be held liable.
3. Employer-Required Technology
Truckers will often have to use a radio to communicate with dispatchers, to either find out where they need to go next, or to report that they’ve just made a drop-off and they’re heading to their next destination. Many drivers also have apps on their phones that will provide navigation help, to find out if they have to stop at an upcoming weigh station, or even where they can find the cheapest fuel.
All of this technology, of course, can take a trucker’s eyes off of the road. When this happens – even for an instant – that can greatly increase the chances of an accident occurring, one that can result in catastrophic injuries.
What Happens if I’m Involved in a Truck Accident with a Weird Cause?
It really doesn’t matter why a truck accident occurs. If you’re ever in one, there are several things you should do. First, check to see if you need medical attention, and call 911 to summon emergency help. Check your passengers, and, if possible, check to see if others involved in the accident are okay. Notify authorities, and then get the contact and insurance information of the truck driver.
If you can, take pictures of the accident scene with your phone. This includes photos of the damage that occurred, the logo of the truck, and any skid marks that might be on the road. If there are any witnesses, try to get their contact information as well.
Your next step is to get in touch with a truck accident attorney as soon as you can. Your attorney will immediately get to work building the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Who is Liable for These Types of Accidents?
There are a lot of parties that could face liability when a trucking accident occurs. Here are just a few.
- The truck driver. Even though federal regulations are clear regarding how long a truck driver can be behind the wheel before getting rest, truckers will often ignore these rules. They will often drive while extremely fatigued as a result, putting others in danger.
- The trucking company. The driver may be pressured by the company that owns the truck into driving even when they’re tired. Or, the company may have failed to properly check the truck before it went on the road. And the brakes failed or a tire blew out. If any of these failures to ensure safety result in an accident, the trucking company could be held liable as well.
- The company that loaded the truck. As noted earlier, an imbalanced load can result in a truck tipping over very easily. Oftentimes, trucking companies will hire third-party companies to load a truck’s cargo. If cargo is negligently loaded and an accident occurs, the third-party company could also face liability.
Contact a Truck Accident to Discuss Your Truck Accident Case
No matter what the cause of your truck accident, you’re going to need a skilled attorney in order to have the best chance of getting the money you deserve. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the truck accident attorneys with Sand Law to find out more about how we may be able to help. Call 651-291-7263 or use our online form for a free case review.