Commercial trucks require a significant amount of time and distance to slow down and completely stop. For example, an 18-wheeler traveling 65 mph will need about 525 feet to stop. The stopping distance increases in inclement weather or if the vehicle is carrying a heavy load. Worn tires and brakes can also increase the stopping distance.
Unfortunately, due to demanding delivery schedules or extensive time on the road, truck drivers might drive aggressively or carelessly and follow other vehicles too closely. When this happens, the likelihood of a rear-end collision increases significantly.
If you were injured by a truck accident caused by tailgating in Huntsville, AL, turn to Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., for help. Since 1966, our attorneys have fought for the interests of injured victims in Huntsville, and we’ll be ready to stand up for you. Call us or reach out to us online for a free consultation.
Dangers of a Truck Following Too Closely
Tailgating is aggressive driving. Tailgating puts the driver of the vehicle and others on the road at risk. Because commercial trucks cannot slow down and stop as quickly as passenger vehicles, truck drivers must leave an adequate distance between their vehicles and those in front of them. If they fail to do so, they could cause a severe injury or potentially fatal accident.
Why Injuries Can Be Much More Severe in Truck Tailgating Crashes
Due to their sheer size and weight, a commercial truck collision can have devastating consequences for those involved. The occupants of smaller vehicles are usually the ones who suffer the worst injuries in the event of a collision.
Commonly reported injuries from tailgating accidents include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Ligament, tendon, and muscle injuries
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal injuries and paralysis
- Facial injuries
- Burn injuries
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
Proving Liability for a Crash Caused by a Tailgating Truck in Huntsville
A thorough investigation is often needed to determine who is at fault in a tailgating accident. With several types of companies involved in the transportation of goods by truck, a tailgating truck accident may have one or more liable parties, including:
- The truck driver, who can be held liable for tailgating
- The trucking company, which could be vicariously responsible for the driver’s actions or could be directly negligent for failing to train or supervise the driver properly
- The truck’s owner, if not the driver or trucking company, which may be held liable for negligently entrusting the truck to the driver
- The truck’s mechanic, if improper maintenance of tires and brakes may have contributed to the accident
- The truck’s manufacturer or manufacturers of parts on the truck, if design or manufacturing defects could have contributed to the rear-end collision
Proving responsibility for a tailgating accident in Huntsville will take a skilled analysis of various types of evidence, including:
- Police accident reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photos and video of the accident scene, including vehicle damage and skid marks on the road
- Surveillance, traffic camera, and dashcam videos
- Logs from the truck’s electronic data record or “black box” that can show information such as speed, GPS position, or acceleration and braking inputs
- Trucking company dispatch logs
- Truck inspection and maintenance records
- The truck driver’s employment record and driving history
- The truck driver’s toxicology test results if a drug and alcohol test is performed after the accident
A successful truck accident case will usually depend on the testimony of experts in various disciplines, including accident reconstruction, automotive engineering, and the trucking industry. Medical, vocational, and financial experts can also assist in establishing the extent of your injuries, disabilities, and economic and personal losses.
Potential Compensation for Victims of Crashes Due to Trucks Following Too Closely
When you have been the victim of a rear-end crash caused by a tailgating truck, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for expenses and losses you incur because of the accident. Let a truck wreck lawyer from Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., demand full financial recovery that can provide you with money for:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation, including hospital bills, surgeries and other medical procedures, physical or occupational therapy, and prescriptions
- Lost income during your recovery from your injuries
- Loss of future earning capacity if you’ve suffered a permanent disability that will prevent you from returning to gainful employment
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment or quality of life due to disabilities or other medical challenges interfering with your daily life
- Reimbursement for vehicle repairs or the value of your vehicle if it is totaled by the crash
Truck Drivers Owe a Duty of Care to Leave a Safe Following Distance
Truck drivers must carry a commercial driver’s license, which holds them to a higher standard of care and responsibility than other motorists. They have a legal duty to operate their vehicles safely, which includes always leaving a safe following distance between their truck and traffic in front of them.
Truck drivers should always be aware of how long and how far their rig will need to stop, given the truck’s speed and weight and other factors such as road conditions and the incline or decline of the road. As a result, drivers should always adjust their distance from the vehicle in front of them to be confident that they can bring their truck to a safe stop should the vehicle in front of them suddenly brake.
Contact Our Huntsville Truck Wreck Lawyers to Discuss Your Case
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by a tailgating truck, contact our dedicated Huntsville truck accident lawyers today. It’s crucial to act quickly to preserve evidence and meet deadlines.
When you’re hurting, you need an experienced legal team who can provide you with the personalized and diligent attention you deserve. Contact the Huntsville tailgating truck accident lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.