Distracted driving could become a problem for anyone on the road. For example, a motorist who fails to pay attention to the road endangers everyone else. Inattentive driving often leads to devastating accidents and injuries. Accidents between two cars can be severe. However, when commercial trucks are involved, these collisions can be fatal.
If a tractor-trailer driver smashed into your car, you are likely facing expensive medical bills and lost income. If an inattentive truck driver caused your injuries, contact a dedicated lawyer familiar with distracted driving truck accidents in Columbia.
Distracted Driving Defined
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, any physical or mental activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road is considered distracted driving. These activities include texting or talking on the phone. In addition, eating, drinking, tinkering with navigation equipment, or changing the radio is also inattentive driving.
What Happens When a Trucker is Distracted While Driving?
When a trucker drives unsafely, it often leads to severe accidents. Inattention causes truckers to:
- Miss road hazards such as debris, road construction, slowing drivers, accidents ahead, and disabled vehicles on the road
- Fail to brake quickly enough after missing a road hazard or braking improperly, which causes jackknife accidents
- Suddenly sweep across several lanes after realizing too late that their interstate exit is upon them
- Delay their reaction time to any driving situation demanding their attention, such as a vehicle slowing in front of them
- Reacting inappropriately to surprise situations, such as slamming on the brakes and locking them
Unfortunately, these situations often lead to disastrous accidents, sometimes affecting hundreds of motorists in pileups. A knowledgeable attorney understands that truckers and their employers should be held responsible for compensating an injured person if a distracted driver causes an accident.
Holding a Trucking Company Liable for a Collision
Commercial truckers that cause distracted driving accidents are employed by companies bound by federal law. Therefore, these companies must complete background checks on drivers for prior driving infractions and ensure drivers hold commercial driver’s licenses.
These companies are also required to provide adequate training and inform operators about the consequences of distracted driving. Additionally, employers must monitor their drivers’ performance, keeping them off the road if a pattern of distracted driving emerges. A hardworking attorney in Columbia could seek compensation from trucking companies that flaunt safety rules in favor of higher profits.
Insurance vs. Lawsuit
According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations § 387.9, interstate commercial trucking companies must maintain at least $750,000 in liability insurance and up to $5 million if they carry hazardous materials. If a settlement is insufficient, a lawyer in Columbia can file a lawsuit asking for damages, including medical bills, lost wages, suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, lost future wages, and property damage related to a crash.
Get Help from a Columbia Attorney After a Distracted Driving Truck Accident
Most commercial truckers are hardworking people who understand the importance of other drivers’ safety. But unfortunately, truckers can become distracted while driving long hours on tedious highways. Inattention can cause horrific accidents. Therefore, survivors should be compensated for the negligence of the inattentive driver responsible for physical, emotional, and financial losses.
Our attorneys have a track record of holding truckers and trucking companies accountable when others are injured by their negligence. We are comfortable negotiating insurance settlements and fighting in court if necessary. Contact us today to get help for distracted driving truck accidents in Columbia.