Proving truck driver negligence and ultimately liability for the trucking accident and resulting injuries is an important step when recovering compensation for damages. Negligence is when someone fails to use reasonable care in order to prevent others from being injured. In the case of a trucking accident, a PA truck accident attorney in Bensalem may examine adherence to hours of service rules, and traffic laws.
Examples of Truck Driver Negligence
One example of negligence is when a truck driver isn’t alert because he or she is fatigued. Whether it’s a case of drowsy driving or actually falling asleep behind the wheel, one of the factors that will need to be considered is if the driver violated the hours-of-service rules regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
These rules stipulate how long a driver can operate a large truck and be on-duty. Limitations on the number of hours allowed behind the wheel are designed to reduce instances of driver fatigue. Violated, it could be considered negligence.
Another example of negligence is when the truck driver is under the influence of a controlled substance. This can include alcohol, taken illegal drugs or even taken certain prescription drugs (such as those known to cause drowsiness).
In fact, this may be considered recklessness when a driver knowingly gets behind the wheel of a truck when impaired, and could leave the driver and his or her employer liable for a trucking accident.
Even more traffic violations could be considered types of truck driver negligence:
- rolling through a stop light/sign;
- unsafe lane changes; and
- failing to yield to an oncoming vehicle, all of which a PA truck accident attorney in Bensalem may use as evidence of liability.
Establishing Truck Driver Negligence
Whatever the cause (or contributing factors) to an accident, the injured person will need to prove that the truck driver was negligent. This could be done through the driver’s own records, such as a logbook or an onboard electronic recording device.
The data may show how long the driver had been operating the truck. The onboard recording device may even indicate the speed at which the driver was traveling.
If the police officers that respond to the accident request the driver take a Breathalyzer, the results could be used as evidence. But random test results could also come from the trucking company that employs the driver.
Further, federal regulations stipulate that the employer conduct post-accident testing on its drivers when someone sustains bodily injury that requires medical treatment away from the scene of the crash or when someone is killed. This may include alcohol and controlled substance tests.
Other types of evidence could include:
- the police report; and
- statements from witnesses who saw the trucking accident.
A PA truck accident attorney in Bensalem can help compile this evidence and ensure it is preserved so it can be used in a claim.
Help in PA from a Truck Accident Attorney in Bensalem
Of course, talking to an attorney may also help when dealing with injuries stemming from a trucking accident. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, a PA truck accident attorney may assist Bensalem accident victims who are filing a claim for injuries related to truck driver negligence.