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What are some common causes of car-truck accident?

There may be a misconception out there that when an 18-wheeler, also known as a big rig, is involved in an accident on the roadways with a car, the car occupants are automatically entitled to compensation. However, the reality is that even though an accident between a car and big rig can be much more serious and deadly because of the size difference, it does not automatically mean that the truck driver was at fault or negligent.

Our Arizona residents may find it informative to learn that vehicular accidents are based on the legal principle of negligence, meaning that the party bringing a personal injury lawsuit against another driver must show that the driver of the other vehicle had a duty to exercise reasonable care, that that duty was breached and because it was breached the party bringing the suit suffered harm. Thus the next question many people may ask themselves is that if everyone has a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving on the roads then what causes car and truck accidents?

The answer is multifactorial. In some cases, car drivers may not understand the challenges 18-wheeler drivers have to face and may erroneously think that big rigs behave the same way a passenger car does. For instance, car drivers may not know that when one is immediately behind a big rig and immediately adjacent to it, the truck driver's visibility is very limited-even nil. If a car driver pulls in front of an 18-wheeler abruptly without signaling it may be difficult for the big rig to stop in time and avoid a collision. In many cases the car driver does not understand the challenges and limitations of the truck driver, and may misjudge speed, merge improperly or pass in front of big rig unsafely, resulting in an accident.

18-wheeler drivers have special licenses which authorize them to operate the big rig. Though they can be skilled drivers, inadequate training, defensive driving, driver fatigue due to long driving hours to meet schedules of delivery and the like can cause accidents as well.

Source: FindLaw, "Common Causes of Truck Accidents," Accessed November 17, 2014

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

Keith A. Hammond, P.C. Attorney at Law
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