Fred and Carol Ney are suing trucking company Averitt Express, Inc., Southern Fidelity Insurance Company, an unknown driver and their insurer for a September 2011 accident. The Neys allege that an Averitt Express truck crashed into power poles near their Kenner, Louisiana home, leaving them powerless for two days. They claim their house heated up so much without power their floors buckled. The Neys are seeking compensation for property damage, living expenses and inconvenience.
While the result of the accident near the Neys’ home is certainly unfortunate and inconvenient, the result is extremely tame compared to the typical trucking accident. With as many as 80 tons of metal flying down the highway at 65 miles per hour, trucking accidents can be horrific for everyone involved. This is especially true because the vast majority of trucking accidents involve much smaller passenger vehicles.
Trucking accidents usually involve a significant amount of property damage, serious bodily injury and death. The cases are complex because there are myriad factors that could contribute to an accident, including the drivers, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer and others.
Passenger vehicle drivers trigger some accidents because they do not understand the limitations of large trucks. For example, commercial trucks have large areas of limited to zero visibility and many cars drive inside those areas. Also, commercial truck braking systems require a significant distance to fully stop. By quickly changing lanes or improperly merging in front of a large truck, car drivers do not leave truck drivers with enough time to react and sufficiently brake without causing an accident.
Passenger vehicle drivers are certainly not the only cause of trucking accidents. Two major issues in the commercial trucking industry are inadequate training and driver fatigue. Drivers are pushed to deliver large loads over long distances in short time periods, encouraging dangerous behavior. Truck drivers have caused accidents by speeding, tailgating, changing lanes without looking, texting while driving and driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Sometimes, the truck driver is not at fault but the truck itself has a manufacturing defect or has not been properly maintained by the trucking company. The company that loaded cargo onto/into the truck may have overloaded or loaded improperly, causing a deadly shift in weight or an inability for the truck to properly brake.
Commercial trucking accident cases require significant investigation and expert assistance. They also require negotiations with corporations and insurance companies. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a commercial trucking accident, contact an experienced trucking accident attorney to discuss your situation and your options.