Truck AccidentsWhose Fault Are Truck Accidents? Part 1: The Truck Driver

February 27, 2017by Aaron Allison

Fault Are Truck AccidentsOver the course of this coming month, we will be exploring the potential causes of truck accidents, as well as the different parties that can be held liable. The majority of truck accidents are due, in some part, to driver error, often that of the truck driver. As a matter of fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that drivers of large trucks are ten times more likely to be the cause of truck accidents than other factors, including weather, road conditions and vehicle performance.

The same study broke down driver error into a few categories:

  1. Truck drivers under the influence of prescription or over the counter drugs (44 percent of truck accidents caused by driver error)
  2. Truck drivers traveling too fast for road conditions (23 percent of driver error truck accidents
  3. Driver fatigue (18 percent of driver error truck accidents

The Theory of Negligence

The legal theory governing much of personal injury law is that of negligence. For a truck driver to be proven negligent, four points must be proven:

  1. The driver has a duty of care to operate the truck in a safe manner (all truck drivers have this responsibility)
  2. The driver violates that duty of care in some way
  3. The breach of duty leads to injury
  4. The injury caused damages to the victim (pain and suffering, medical bills, etc.)

There are many avenues for truck accident attorneys to prove negligence based on driver error. For cases of drug use, attorneys can investigate the driver’s medical history as well as employment records. In instances of truck drivers traveling too fast, investigation of the scene of the accident as well as data recorders on semi-trucks can provide valuable evidence of a driver’s negligence. To prove driver fatigue, we can look into driver logs to determine whether the driver was in compliance with federal hours of service regulations.

These are not the only reasons a truck driver may be liable for accidents, but they are the most common. On Wednesday, we will examine trucking company liability, so stay tuned.

Aaron Allison

Aaron Allison portrait

Aaron Allison

Aaron Allison, a second-generation personal injury lawyer from Austin, follows in the footsteps of his father, who founded their firm in 1978. Admitted to practice by the Texas Supreme Court, the Federal Court for the Western District of Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, Aaron brings extensive legal expertise to his clients.

Specializing in personal injury cases, Aaron offers a distinct advantage for Texas workers injured on the job. With Texas workers' compensation laws leading many attorneys to avoid these cases, Aaron is one of only 40 lawyers among 95,000 in Texas who represent injured workers in straight workers' compensation cases. His firm continues to provide dedicated support for those suffering catastrophic work injuries, maintaining a proud tradition of advocacy spanning decades.