Trucks are a common sight on our roads. They are a vital cog in the US economy, responsible for moving more than 70% of all goods, employing more than 6% of the entire national workforce. Life as we know it would come to a standstill without the big rigs, tankers, and reefers plying across state lines.
It is quite ironic that the same trucks are often even more dangerous when they are not moving. It doesn’t matter if it is a disabled truck on the middle of the highway, or a parked truck on the roadside – they can all cause collisions with a high risk of mortality.
If you or anyone close to you has recently been involved in a parked truck collision, you may have a legal compensation claim. Make sure you have a seasoned truck accident lawyer on your side who will collect evidence and pursue a strong case for damages to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
A wrongly parked truck can be lethal to the occupants of a car
Dangerously parked trucks pose a threat to the drivers and passengers in cars that crash into them due to a phenomenon called underride. Since trucks have very high ground clearance, most cars run under upon collision. Sometimes, the roof of the car gets sheared off, dealing horrific damage to the driver and passengers. Such collisions involving parked trucks kill at least 300 people each year in the United States.
The truck driver is to blame in at least some instances
Long-haul trucking is a demanding job. Even exceptional drivers make mistakes due to fatigue. In other situations, they may break safety guidelines trying to cut corners and speeding up delivery times. Some of these mistakes/negligent acts can pose a threat to the lives of others on the road.
The following are some common parking mistakes from truck drivers that can be considered as a vital contributing factor to a collision:
- Parking in prohibited areas like residential neighborhoods
- Parking without adequate warning lights on the roadside
- Parking too close to intersection exits
- Parking on the shoulder with parts dangerously sticking out onto the road
In many such circumstances, the liability for the collision may lie on the driver and his/her trucking company. A lot will depend on the scale of the negligence and whether it violates federal, state, or municipal laws.
Both Federal and local laws can apply to illegally parked trucks
The US trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It has extensive regulations that specify what truckers must do to reduce the risk of collisions:
- Park as far off the road as possible
- Immediately activate emergency flashers
- Install adequate warning lights, reflective signs within 10 minutes
- Notify company dispatch about the parking decision
You may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries
Under ordinary circumstances, a driver who crashes their car into a parked vehicle is held liable for the collision. In many instances insurance firms also reject damage claims involving a collision with a parked truck, citing rash or careless driving on the part of the driver.
However, if the truck driver had violated any of the regulations mentioned previously, he would be liable for endangering the safety of other drivers. Such blatantly hazardous actions can be held accountable in a court of law.
Negligent parking of big rigs and other trucks can cause severe injuries or even death. If you are the survivor of any such accident involving a parked truck, you may have a valid case for compensation and even prosecution of the errant truck driver.
Hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to pursue maximum damages
Cases involving collisions with parked trucks require a thorough investigation to succeed. The accident report may not reveal the true story. You will need to find out the minutiae:
- Why did the truck driver stop?
- Were all the safety guidelines followed?
- Will federal/local laws apply?
In most instances, the services of a competent accident reconstruction expert will be helpful to build your case. At Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C., we have decades of experience successfully representing clients who have been injured in truck accidents, and we are committed to delivering justice for injury victims and their families.
If you believe you have a compensation claim against a truck driver/company for a collision caused by improper and unsafe parking, contact Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 or message us online.