The increased size and weight of semi-trucks require operators to have training and experience to drive safely.
Even basic driving skills, such as braking and turning, are much more complicated for truckers to execute than people driving passenger vehicles.
Unfortunately, this puts motorists in more danger when sharing our Kansas City roads with trucks, and you could suffer catastrophic injuries in a wide-turn truck accident.
Why Do Wide Turn Truck Accidents Happen?
Truck drivers often cause wide-turn wrecks when making a right turn, which can be challenging to navigate on city streets with a lot of traffic. However, this is a basic driving skill that truckers are expected to be able to do. For example, they must know when it's necessary to veer left first before making a right turn.
Common reasons wide-turn accidents occur include:
- Lack of experience and training. Unfortunately, many wide-turn wrecks are caused by inexperienced and untrained truck drivers who don't know how to properly navigate turns and what to do in a tight situation—a common scenario on congested Kansas City roads.
- Fatigue. Driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as driving when drunk. Truckers travel long hours without a break—often in violation of federal hours of service regulations. When they're too tired to drive, they can fail to gauge distances and be alert enough to safely navigate a turn.
- Intoxication. If a truck driver is intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use, his ability to judge distances, reaction time, and other operating abilities are reduced. These are precisely the skills he may have lacked if he caused your wide-turn crash.
- Blind spots. Trucks have multiple blind spots, including on both sides, front of the cab, and back of the trailer. Operators are required to know where motorists are in relation to their blind spots. When they fail to so, they might cause a deadly head-on collision, or a side-swipe wreck, where the truck crushes a much smaller passenger vehicle while making a turn.
- Distracted driving. If the truck driver is engaged in distracted driving, such as talking to a passenger, looking at a GPS, or texting, he's not concentrating on his driving enough to make a safe turn.
- Cargo. When cargo isn't loaded or secured properly, it can shift in transport—including while the trucker is making a wide turn. This can cause the operator to lose control and cause a crash.
Can the Trucking Company Be Liable for Compensation?
In the event of an accident, a negligent truck driver might be responsible for compensating you for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, you may also be able to hold the trucking company liable.
You may have these claims against a company that would allow you to do so:
- Vicarious liability. If the trucking company was the driver’s employer, it could be vicariously liable for his or her negligent actions in causing your wreck. This is a common way that accident victims hold a trucking company responsible.
- Negligent hiring. Your claim for compensation may be stronger if you have a separate claim of negligence against the trucking company. A possible claim in a wide-turn crash is the company was negligent in hiring the truck driver or failed to properly train him or her.
- Improper loading. You may have a separate claim against the trucking company and the company responsible for loading the shipment if it was improperly loaded or secured.
Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney for Your Case
If you or a family member was injured in a wide-turn accident caused by a negligent trucker, you'll need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney to help determine accountability. These cases require a thorough investigation and an understanding of complex federal regulations that may have been violated. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation and learn about legal options, and how we could help you obtain the compensation you deserve.