Before we get into how to know when the truck driver is liable it’s important that you understand what liability means and why it’s so important. Liability refers to the legal responsibility of an individual or company for damages caused by their negligent behavior, such as in a car accident. When someone else causes us harm because they broke the law or violated our personal rights, we can begin a personal injury case to seek compensation from the liable party. In order for you, as the victim in an accident, to recover any money damages from another party, that party must be legally proved liable for your injuries.
1. Distracted Driving
The first way to know when the truck driver is liable is to look for signs of distracted driving, which means that he or she wasn’t paying attention to the road when they should have been.
This inattention often leads to serious accidents in which someone is injured or killed. In places like Las Vegas driver and company liability for commercial truck accidents isn’t always clear as sometimes it’s a shared liability, other times it’s just the companies’ fault, and it’s not always possible to know which one it is.
However, if you can prove that the driver was engaging in distracted driving, you can be almost positive that he’s the one that’s liable. Smaller vehicles are especially vulnerable in collisions with trucks because trucks tend to be heavier, they take up more road space, and they are wider than cars.
2. Driving Under The Influence
Driving under the influence is always a really bad idea, but even more so if you’re behind a big rig.
When you’re driving under the influence, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re not going to be paying attention to things like turns or traffic signs, making an accident more likely. You can learn how to tell if someone is driving under the influence by checking for swaying motions, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and other common signs of alcohol impairment. If there are any signs that the truck driver was drinking or on drugs before he drove his vehicle into your car, then you should definitely try to get compensation from him because it’s clear that he’s liable for what happened.
Of course, if an accident does happen, you won’t need to check his eyes, since a breathalyzer test is almost guaranteed to be administered, which will prove what’s already clear.
3. Aggressive Driving
Driving fast and making aggressive lane changes is a pretty common cause of accidents, and it’s something that truck drivers frequently do too.
Truck drivers who speed and cut people off are just as liable for the accident as any other driver, so if you can get evidence about whether or not they were driving aggressively, this will be one of the biggest signs of their liability. Keep in mind that aggressive driving isn’t just going over the speed limit. Going five miles over a speed limit is a lot different from cutting someone off to switch lanes and doing 60 miles per hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone.
This is one reason why getting the police at the scene is so important because they can tell you if any of these things happened. If there are any signs that the truck driver was speeding or driving too aggressively for conditions, this will be a clear sign to go after him in court.
4. Accident Caused By Fatigue
It’s not always easy to tell whether or not a truck driver is tired, so it can be hard to prove that they were too fatigued to drive safely.
However, most modern truck driving companies have a strict policy that requires their drivers to rest. If the driver decides to push his abilities to the point of exhaustion, he’s liable for whatever happens when he gets behind the wheel. Driving while tired is very similar to drunk driving. The reaction time and the judgment needed to drive safely are altered, and this significantly increases the likelihood of an accident.
If you can prove that the truck driver was too tired to drive safely, then it’s pretty clear who’s at fault here.
5. Driving Errors
Everyone makes a driving mistake from time to time – it’s normal. However, if that mistake is big enough to endanger someone then the driver is at fault.
If a truck driver fails to yield the right of way or turns into your lane without checking to make sure it’s safe, he will be liable for whatever happens next. It doesn’t matter if it’s a car accident caused by a truck driver because they didn’t look both ways before turning, or if they backed into you because they forgot to put the truck in the park – either way, the mistake is clear and the driver is liable.
6. Careless Driving
Careless driving is a traffic offense characterized by an inattentive or distracted driver. If you can prove that the truck driver was careless and caused your accident, then it’s clear they’re liable for whatever happens next. The best way to do this is usually through eyewitness testimony or phone records that prove that the driver was distracted.
It’s important to know these signs that the truck driver is liable for an accident in order to decide whether or not you should file a claim against them. If you’re unsure, you should always feel free to get in touch with a personal injury attorney because they’ll know the right next steps to take. Knowing someone is liable and proving it isn’t always the same thing, unfortunately, so it’s important to contact the proper authorities if you find yourself in this kind of situation.