If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident in Nebraska, it is important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible. Knowledgeable truck accident attorneys can advise you of your right to seek compensation.
The first party whose negligence needs to be taken into account is the driver of the truck. Prompt, thorough investigation is required to determine what caused the accident and who is at fault.
Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop understands the complexities of truck accidents in Nebraska, and we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Call (402) 241-5020 today for a FREE case review.
Truck Drivers Can Be Sued for Negligence
In Nebraska, truck drivers are subject to the same rules of the road as other motorists. As such, any negligence on the part of truck drivers can expose them to liability should an accident occur. Negligence is an avoidable error that puts someone else at risk.
Truck drivers are required to carry liability insurance. (NOTE: The insurance may be paid for by the driver himself if he is an independent owner-operator or the trucking company that employs him.) Although you might sue a negligent truck driver directly after a truck accident in Nebraska, the damages are paid by the driver’s insurance.
Read More: Are Truck Drivers Responsible for Damages?
Common Examples of Truck Driver Negligence
As with any motor vehicle accident claim, you need to prove that the truck driver was at fault in order to recover damages. Examples of negligence for which the driver can be held liable include:
Driving While Distracted
Commercial drivers are prohibited from texting and driving, and use of a mobile phone is restricted while operating a big rig. Unfortunately, truck drivers still engage in a number of distractions. This can range from texting and scrolling through social media to eating and drinking and more. All of these distractions can make it difficult for a truck driver to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Driving While Fatigued
Due to the number of hours truck drivers spend behind the wheel, fatigue is a significant concern as well. Even though truck drivers often have strict deadlines, this is not an excuse for driving when it is unsafe to do so.
Fatigue can significantly impair truck drivers’ cognitive, visual, and manual capabilities. These impairments can all significantly increase their risk of causing a serious collision.
Driving While Impaired
Along with distractions and fatigue, alcohol and drug impairment are also significant concerns. When truck drivers are drunk, high, or experiencing side effects from medications, they can be completely incapable of maintaining control of their vehicles.
Failure to Adequately Inspect Trucks
Under the federal trucking regulations, truck drivers must perform a pre-trip inspection before setting off on the road. They are also required to inspect the truck at the end of each day of driving.
Whether due to time pressures or carelessness, truck drivers may fail to complete one or both of these inspections. Failure to ensure the truck is in safe working order can result in serious accidents stemming from negligent maintenance, defective components, and more.
Failure to Obey Traffic Signs and Signals
Truck drivers need to obey all traffic signs and signals, just like everyone else. Also just like everyone else, truck drivers can be held liable when they break the law.
Some of the most common grounds for suing truck drivers after serious and fatal accidents in Nebraska include:
- Unsafe passing
- Running red lights
- Running stop signs
- Turning without the right of way
- Waiting too long to merge when a lane ends or construction zones begin
Applying the brakes too harshly is a common factor in truck accidents. Due to their immense weight (up to 80,000 pounds), tractor-trailers and other large trucks take much longer than cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks to stop on the road. Truck drivers also need to apply the brakes gradually, as harsh braking can quickly lead to loss of control. Jackknifing is a concern with tractor-trailers as well.
Harsh braking may be unavoidable in some emergency situations. In the majority of cases, however, errors in braking and stopping will constitute negligence.
Following another vehicle too closely is always dangerous, but it is especially dangerous when large trucks are involved. Truck drivers who tailgate are at serious risk of causing a crash.
Rear-end collisions involving trucks frequently result in catastrophic injuries. Victims and their families can—and should—hold tailgating truck drivers accountable.
Get Help If You Were Injured in a Truck Accident in Nebraska
As you can see, there are a number of issues that can give rise to a lawsuit against a truck driver. However, it is a mistake to assume that compensation will be easy to obtain.
Truck accident claims are complicated, and it is crucial to have knowledgeable legal guidance and representation. The attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop have more than 200 years of experience combined, as well as the knowledge, skills, and resources to advocate for you effectively after a truck accident in Nebraska.
Contact Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop today for a FREE case review. Our truck accident lawyers serve clients in Omaha, Sarpy County, and all of Nebraska and Iowa.