When you set out on the major highways or local roadways in Rogers, Arkansas and beyond, you expect a safe journey where you will not be unnecessarily exposed to danger due to negligence or recklessness. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you have ever been involved in a serious car or truck accident, you know that the moments prior to impact can be particularly nerve wracking. You may wonder if you will be able to do the things that you enjoy or how serious your injuries may be. Some people may even wonder if they will see their children, husband, or wife again.
If you have been in a serious car accident in Rogers, Arkansas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, can handle the other party’s insurance company and negotiations. We always prepare thoroughly and are willing to bring matters to trial should a settlement not be in your best interests.
What Should I do After a Trucking Accident in Rogers, Arkansas?
Before we go any further, following an accident, your first concern should be your health and safety. If the vehicle is not damaged to the extent where it cannot be moved, you should move it out of the flow of traffic to prevent additional collisions and injuries. However, if the vehicle is disabled or otherwise unable to be moved you should exit when it is safe and move to a safe location while you wait for emergency services to respond.
Once your safety concerns have been fully addressed, you may wish to use your cell phone to take photos or videos of the accident scene. However, once again, your health and safety is your first concern. Do not take any additional risks when attempting to capture the accident scene.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Rogers, Arkansas
Truck accidents are different from accidents involving other, smaller vehicles. Large commercial trucks are subject to different circumstances and factors. While many of the same negligent behaviors exhibited by other drivers also impact truck drivers, operators of large rigs face other potential risks.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Drinking and driving is never a good combination. While a truck driver is unlikely to be driving after a night of drinking in a club, many rely on artificial stimulants to fight off sleep. When a truck driver is operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs, their mental and physical capacities are limited, despite the belief that the stimulant is keeping them awake and focused.
Fatigued or Tired Drivers
Truck drivers are often on the road for long periods. Delivery schedules or unforeseen delays could require a trucker to operate their vehicle for longer hours than are safe. Despite federal and state regulations, many truck drivers will drive until they are dangerously fatigued.
Trucks are not easy to maneuver and take time to turn, slow down, or stop. They also have significant blind spots along the sides, back, and in front of the cab. Some common truck driver mistakes include making wide turns without verifying they are clear of smaller vehicles and rear-ending other vehicles because they were unable to stop in time. Inexperienced drivers also make mistakes. If a trucking company does not train its drivers or allows an inexperienced driver to operate part of its fleet, it could also be held liable for any injuries that occur. Drivers who speed, fail to check their mirrors, or otherwise ignore traffic rules, could be held responsible if they cause an accident through their carelessness or recklessness.
Another common cause for automotive vehicle accidents is distracted driving. Driving while distracted is especially dangerous for truck drivers because of the size and lack of maneuverability of the vehicles. Truck drivers are often isolated and will rely on their cellphones to talk or text with others. They also turn to their GPS if they are traveling an unfamiliar route. Whenever a truck driver shifts their focus from operating their vehicle, they endanger other motorists around them.
In some cases, a truck driver loses control of their truck because the cargo they are hauling was not properly secured. When a truck’s load shifts, or is unbalanced, it can become difficult or impossible to operate safely. While the company that loaded a truck could be held accountable, truck drivers are also obligated to ensure that their cargo is secured and the weight distribution is proper.
Some large commercial trucks are specially designed to carry large amounts of liquid. When a truck has too little liquid, then the liquid that is inside the container is likely to splash around. This motion could throw the entire truck off-balance, especially when a truck is turning.
Trucks are complicated pieces of machinery that require regular maintenance and repairs. Sometimes, a truck will have an inherent design flaw or manufacturing defect that could cause an accident. For example, a defect in the braking system could result in a driver being unable to stop in time to avoid an accident. Our Rogers truck accident attorney will thoroughly investigate the maintenance records of a vehicle to determine if the manufacturer, owner, or mechanic was responsible for putting a dangerous vehicle on the road.
What Types of Trucking Injuries are Common in Rogers, AR?
Trucking accidents can involve 18-wheelers, Mack trucks, moving vans, dump trucks, cement trucks, tractor trailers, and other commercial vehicles. Despite the variety of types of trucks that can be involved in a trucking accident, there are certain types of injuries that are more prevalent than others. Some common injuries sustained due to trucking accidents can include:
Seat belts and airbags have been credited with saving many lives. However, in certain circumstances, the restraint can actually cause broken ribs.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The brain is the control center of the human body. When there is an injury or damage to the brain or its structures, serious consequences can result. Those who have suffered a TBI have reported increased aggression, difficulty understanding abstract concepts, communication problems, and trouble with attention and focus.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the spinal column or its vertebrae can result in extremely serious injuries. Some who suffer injuries of this type can even be fully or partially paralyzed. Others may report neck and back pain, a tingling sensation, or the loss of the ability to sense touch.
Fuel or other hazardous chemicals may leak from a ruptured fuel tank or line. If the leaking fuel or chemicals comes in contact with a flame or spark, an explosion or fire can result. Burn injuries can be due to fire or chemicals.
Whiplash injuries are perhaps the most common injury for those in a car, truck or SUV accident. Whiplash can cause confusion, nausea, and many other problems.
Proving Driver Negligence in a Rogers, AR Truck Accident
Truck drivers are required to follow all traffic rules. Additionally, they must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s regulations. If a truck driver fails to comply with either set of rules, they have breached the legal duty of care they owe to other motorists on the road. Breaching a duty of care could constitute legal negligence.
If you want to be awarded any compensation for the injuries you suffered in a truck accident, you need to prove that another party was negligent. Our experienced Rogers truck accident lawyers and staff will look to gather evidence to support that the truck driver or another party was liable for your injuries.
The FMCSA requires commercial truck drivers to keep records of the hours they are on the road. This is to ensure they are not driving for too many consecutive hours. Unfortunately, a driver will sometimes falsify their records to make it look like they complied with federal regulations. By combining the records in a driver’s logbook with delivery receipts and other documentation, our office could try to show that a truck driver violated the hours restriction and was likely fatigued at the time of an accident.
Some trucks are equipped with onboard video cameras. Additionally, data recorders and other systems can be used to show if a truck was operating their vehicle recklessly, including speeding or other aggressive maneuvers. In some accident cases, surveillance video could be available from neighboring businesses or dashcams. Photos of the accident site could also be used to help establish liability.
Truck drivers are required to have appropriate licenses, qualifications, and training. A driver’s record could indicate if there were any gaps in these requirements or if the driver had a history of careless driving or accidents. If a truck driver lacked the proper license or a history of negligent conduct was ignored, a trucking company could also be held accountable.
As stated above, trucks often experienced mechanical failures that result in catastrophic accidents. Commercial vehicles are required to undergo regular inspections and maintenance. If a trucking company or driver failed to conduct the required inspections, they could be held responsible for any equipment failure.
Eyewitnesses are helpful in determining what occurred. Often, those involved in an accident are unaware of precisely what happened. The testimony of a witness could be critical in determining liability. Additionally, our office could turn to expert witnesses, including machinal engineers and medical professionals. An engineer could reconstruct an accident based on the position of the vehicles and the damage they sustained. A medical expert is invaluable in understanding the severity of your injuries, the treatment required, and the expenses involved.
If our Rogers truck accident attorney can prove negligence and provide evidence to support your damages, you could hold another party liable for your injuries.
Put a Rogers, Arkansas Truck Accident Lawyer to Work for You
The injuries caused by trucking accidents are often extremely serious and require medical attention. If you have suffered a serious injury, contact Ken Kieklak by calling (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today.