Seriously Injured by a Commercial Truck?
When Corporate Greed and Negligence Cause Tragic Accidents
Accidents caused by trucking company negligence represent a systemic failure. These types of crashes – and the serious injuries they cause – should never happen. When corporate negligence results in serious harm it creates profound legal liabilities – and it is just wrong. Reckless acts on the part of commercial trucking companies, in particular, can cause significant and catastrophic damage to life and property when they prioritize profit over safety. These careless companies endanger their drivers and everyone else on the roadways of West Virginia.
Dangerous Trucking Practices
Due to the potential of large commercial trucks to cause severe injuries and death, the trucking industry is strictly regulated. Trucking companies have an important duty to ensure their drivers operate these massive, heavy vehicles operate responsibly. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most common dangerous trucking industry practices that can cause harm to others on the highways of West Virginia.
Speeding & Reckless Driving
Failure to Pay Fair Wages or Offering Unethical Bonuses
In some cases, commercial trucking companies may fail to pay their drivers fair wages as a standard business practice. Instead, commercial truck drivers are awarded financial bonuses for making deliveries in the shortest possible time, by any means necessary. This may include encouraging drivers to exceed speed limits and commit reckless driving practices involving violations of the laws and regulations of the roadways. Speeding is a risky practice for all drivers; It is even more dangerous when operating a vehicle that may weigh up to 40 tons. Traveling at a high rate of speed limits reaction time. It dramatically increases the amount of damage caused in collisions, as well.
Overloading, Insecure Cargo, HAZMAT & Equipment Noncompliance
Failure to Abide by DOT, NHTSA, FMCSA and Other Regulations
Weight limits and regulations related to how commercial trucks can be loaded exist for good reason. Despite this and in an effort to save time and money, some trucking companies may encourage drivers to exceed the weight limit of the vehicle in order to transport more material per trip – or look the other way when they are aware this is happening. They also may disregard radiological and HAZMAT regulations, crash indicator, logging, recording, and equipment mandates, and other important regulations.
Unfit, Impaired & Dangerous Drivers
Failure to Properly Train, Supervise and Hire Qualified Drivers
Negligent trucking companies may fail to properly train and supervise their drivers. They may hire drivers that are not qualified to operate the equipment. These dangerous drivers can pose a significant risk to other motorists. Failure to load a truck evenly, properly secure cargo, or otherwise compromise safety standards can lead to horrific accidents and devastating injuries. Drivers may fail to negotiate a turn and topple the truck, discharge materials onto the highway, or handle the truck in such a way that their actions cause an accident to occur.
- Unfit Drivers
- Unverified Medical Cards and Exams
- Invalid CDLs and Credentials
- Untested for Controlled Substances & Alcohol
- ELD Sheet Noncompliance
- Records of Duty Status Noncompliance
- Inspection Report Noncompliance
Failure to Properly Inspect, Maintain, and Repair Equipment
Commercial trucking companies are required to regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles in proper working condition. When the focus is on delivering loads as fast as possible to maximize profit, critical inspections, routine maintenance, and repairs may be rushed – or ignored altogether. This bad practice can create a dangerous operating situation that directly causes an accident.
- Safety Inspection Noncompliance
- Negligent Maintenance
- Repair Negligence
- Mechanical Failure
- Worn / Defective / Malfunctioning Tires, Brakes, Pads, Discs, or Brake Lines
- Blown Out, Overinflated and Underinflated Tires
- Inadequate Oil, Windshield, Brake, and Transmission Fluid
- Worn / Defective / Malfunctioning Lights, Wipers, Horns, Reflectors, Mirrors, and Safety Accessories
- Failing Engine and Transmission System
- Failing Steering and Suspension System
- Improperly Installed or Broken Guards, Hitches, and Coupling Devices
Failure to Properly Schedule & Allow Break, Rest, and Sleep Periods
Fatigued driving is a major cause of crashes. Trucking company incentives can be massive to encourage drivers to continue operating vehicles when they should not be anywhere near a steering wheel. A trucking company might send drivers on the road even while experiencing significant fatigue, illness, emotional distress, and other problematic conditions. Commercial trucking companies who choose to ignore required rest periods and place drivers behind the wheel while extremely tired, ill, or under the influence of drugs and medications risk having the operator fall asleep while driving. This practice can potentially allow a vehicle weighing in at 35-80,000 pounds to travel out-of-control at high speed on a highway filled with smaller passenger vehicles averaging only 3,500 pounds. It is a recipe for disaster.
Contact Our Morgantown Personal Injury Lawyers
No Fee Unless We Win Your Case
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a commercial truck accident caused by an unsafe trucking company practice, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your losses. Cranston & Edwards PLLC is a law firm focusing solely on recovering fair financial compensation for our clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our AV® Rated law firm works on a contingency basis for those who have been seriously injured or lost a family member from the negligence or fault of another. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers for effective legal representation, more than 55 years of collective litigation experience, proven skills, and a track record of success. There are absolutely no legal fees until we win your claim. For a free evaluation of your case, call us at 304-296-3500.
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