Due to their massive size and heavy weight, commercial truck accidents generally cause more severe injuries than other auto accidents. When truck drivers are inexperienced, they are more likely to cause preventable truck accidents. The full force of a collision between a large commercial vehicle and a smaller vehicle can cause catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injuries and brain injuries.
When trucking companies fail to ensure that their drivers have received extensive training before operating a commercial vehicle, victims of their negligence can seek compensation from them. If you or your loved one have been injured in a trucking accident caused by an inexperienced or untrained driver, it’s important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. You may have a right to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain, suffering, and more. Contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Hunt Law to learn more about how we can advocate for you.
The Dangers of Inexperienced or Improperly Trained Truck Drivers
Operating a large commercial vehicle is different from operating a passenger vehicle, requiring specialized training. Unfortunately, some trucking companies cut corners and fail to take time to train inexperienced drivers so they can save money or because they are understaffed.
Without adequate experience and training, truck drivers can drive commercial vehicles without knowing how to operate them safely. Improperly trained drivers don’t have the experience to maneuver 50-foot trucks through heavy traffic, around sharp turns, and in emergencies. A small mistake caused by an experience can result in catastrophic accidents, causing injuries to the occupants of smaller vehicles.
Common Causes of Inexperienced Truck Drivers
Driving a large commercial vehicle is much more challenging than driving a smaller passenger vehicle. For example, it takes much longer for commercial trucks to come to a complete stop than small vehicles. Truck drivers need to start breaking well ahead of red lights or traffic. Without adequate training, drivers may not know when to start breaking. A driver should also receive training on what to do when there is an emergency.
Passing the test for a commercial driver’s license doesn’t guarantee that a truck driver has enough experience to drive safely. As a result, truck drivers with minimal training may make one or more of the following types of errors that can result in devastating accidents:
- Failure to check blind spots
- Overloading cargo on the trailer
- Distracted driving
- Taking turns too fast
- Failure to take the required breaks during a shift
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fatigued driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Unsafe lane changes
- Inadequate vehicle repairs and maintenance
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
To recover compensation through an insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that the negligent party is liable for your injuries. It’s a common assumption that truck drivers are always at fault for truck accidents because they were behind the vehicle’s wheel. If the truck driver’s inexperience led him or her to act negligently and cause an accident, the victim would have a right to pursue compensation against the truck driver.
Additionally, the victim may have a right to pursue a claim against the trucking company that employed the truck driver. When an employer hires a truck driver with little experience or training and fails to provide experience in training, the employer may be liable for the resulting accident through the vicarious liability legal doctrine. Holding the driver’s employer accountable can be beneficial because employers generally have more assets than truck drivers.
Proving Liability After an Inexperienced Trucking Accident
At Hunt Law, we have the resources and skills necessary to thoroughly investigate your case and gather evidence that can help you prove liability. We will work quickly and effectively to identify and gather relevant evidence that proves who was at fault, the types of injuries you suffered, and the damages you’ve incurred because of your injuries. Some of the most important evidence that can help us prove liability may include the following:
- The trucking company’s hiring practices
- Police reports
- The truck driver’s licensing, training, and employment history
- Accident scene photos and evidence
- Video surveillance of the crash
- Eyewitness statements
- Repair estimates for vehicle damage
After completing our investigation, we can file a claim with a trucking company’s insurance provider or pursue a personal injury claim. Trucking companies must purchase liability insurance at the minimum limits for their drivers. It’s important that you do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or the defendant without discussing it with an attorney. Many first-time settlement offers are too low and will not fully compensate you for your current and future damages. The attorneys at Hunt Law have extensive experience negotiating for the best outcome possible for clients.
Damages Available in a Truck Accident Case
Victims of truck accidents are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries. The force of impact between a large commercial truck and a smaller vehicle can cause spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), internal organ damage, and more. When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, plaintiffs are entitled to two different types of compensation or damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are easily quantifiable losses you’ve suffered from the truck accident, such as your past and future medical expenses, loss of income, loss of future earnings, and property damage. Victims of catastrophic injuries can also suffer significant non-economic damages that are more difficult to quantify, such as:
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
Contact a Skilled New Mexico Truck Accident Attorney
When trucking companies fail to train their employees, they jeopardize other people’s safety. At Hunt Law, we have extensive experience handling complex truck accident claims. We understand what it takes to obtain the most compensation for clients injured in inexperienced driver truck accidents. We will advocate for your rights and aggressively represent your interests throughout the process. Contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Hunt Law to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation.