Category Archives: Semi-Truck Accidents
More than 330,000 commercial trucking accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), occur every year in the U.S. and these crashes result in thousands of death and injuries on a yearly basis.
Crashes involving commercial trucks like tractor trailers, semi trucks, box trucks, delivery vans or 18-wheelers, and small passenger vehicles usually see occupants of the latter vehicles sustain the worst kind of injuries in the accidents.
This is where a Denver truck accident attorney comes in to help victims navigate the legalities of filing a claim for the injuries or damages incurred.
Top 4 Causes of Commercial Accidents in Denver, Colorado
There are several causes of commercial trucking accidents, just like in the case of car crashes. Although truck drivers are usually at fault and the major cause of trucking fatalities, there are other factors that can lead to serious road crashes.
- DUI – is a major cause of road accidents. Drivers use stimulants to keep awake for prolonged periods on the road. Any mishap or error on the part of a truck driver under influence can easily cause a crash due to the heavy nature of commercial vehicles.
- Distraction – emailing, texting, chatting on social networks, surfing the internet, using the GPS device, drinking, eating, reading books, using a road map, changing music or even watching a DVD while driving can cause distraction. The moment of distraction is enough to cause an accident.
- Drowsiness – it is common for truck drivers to overstretch their load delivery goals or mileage to improve their pay scales. As a result, many truck drivers skip critical breaks to rest, forge log books and fail to get enough sleep for prolonged periods.
Fatigue is as good as drunk driving and can cause serious fatalities.
- Poor Maintenance of Vehicles – trucks, just like cars, require regular maintenance for optimal performance. Oil changes and maintenance services done on brakes and transmission systems are meant to keep vehicles in good working condition.
Failure to carry out such routine maintenance means vehicles can fail on the road. This can lead to serious fatal crashes.
Other Causes – defective engine components, poor road designs, faulty tires, poor weather conditions and other motorists failing to follow driving best practices can also cause fatalities.
Denver Truck Accident Attorney
All victims of car or commercial trucking accidents have legal rights and insurance companies do not always act in your best interest. A Denver truck accident attorney can help protect the rights of accidents victims, helping file claim for injuries and damages caused. Contact the Bendinelli Law Firm for a complimentary consultation to discuss your case.
Accidents or collisions involving semi-trucks carrying hazardous materials increase the possibility of other drivers being injured. Flammable materials can explode, launching projectiles into the air and into other lanes of traffic. Toxic chemicals are released, polluting the air, affecting nearby drivers and first responders. Depending on the damage, drivers can wait for hours for these scenes to clear. In worst case scenarios, drivers can face serious injury or even death.
How Are Hazmat Drivers Trained?
Driving semi-trucks containing hazardous materials is a dangerous job. This is why drivers are required to carry a specific license to prove that they know the rules and risks of what they’re carrying. If a driver misses crucial safety steps, he can endanger not only his own life, but also the lives of everyone around him.
Anyone transporting hazardous materials must adhere to Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) set forth by the federal government. Drivers are usually trained in 3 areas:
- Recognizing and identifying hazardous materials
- Safety training and emergency procedures
- Function specific training that is directly applicable to the employee’s current job
Hazmat employers are responsible for training their hazmat employees. Their training covers subjects like proper labeling, protective packaging, and hazard communication. These may seem trivial, but correctly identifying hazardous materials and packaging them securely is the first step to making sure that they are handled properly.
There are also additional trainings drivers must complete if the hazmat in transit surpasses the Materials of Trade regulations, namely: function-specific, general awareness, security awareness and safety as well as passing a written test.
Another important aspect of safety is incident reporting. Hazmat employees are required to document any incident with hazardous materials to the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), a faction of the US Department of Transportation. They keep record of any instance where proper safety procedures were not followed. This can include inadequate or improper packaging, problems occurring during loading and unloading, inadequate blocking, or securing of packages within transport vehicles. All of these issues can create safety concerns down the road.
I Was Hurt by a Hazmat Truck! Who Is Responsible?
Even if the driver is present when the vehicle crashes, he may not be fully responsible for the damage involving the hazardous material. Breakdowns earlier in the process can play a crucial role in the overall result. An item may have been damaged during loading, or a hazmat facility may have mislabeled inventory, causing it to be transported in dangerous conditions. If an innocent driver is injured in the accident, he or she may have trouble determining who is really at fault.
Trucking companies work with their insurance providers to minimize culpability for their drivers, their trucks, and their clients. If you were injured in an accident that involved hazardous materials, you need to speak with an attorney who knows the law, and can hold big trucking companies responsible.
Trucking Accident Attorney Denver
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Bendinelli Law firm for a free consultation. We can provide you with legal options and crucial resources to help you build your case. Our truck accident attorneys know how to battle the big guys, so let us work for you.