Common Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
Delivery truck accidents can happen anywhere and for any reason. However, these crashes do have several common causes. They include:
- Driver error. Delivery truck drivers must undergo special training to get their commercial driver licenses. However, they can and still do make mistakes. Drivers sometimes cause accidents when they get distracted, brake abruptly, park on busy roads, or reverse into oncoming traffic.
- Driver fatigue. Some delivery van drivers work incredibly long hours. If they are too exhausted to be on the road, they put everyone around them at risk.
- Poor maintenance. All commercial vehicles over a certain weight must undergo regular maintenance check-ups and inspections. If an individual driver or delivery company does not ensure that its fleet is safe, other motorists could get hurt if a part breaks or malfunctions.
- Improperly secured cargo. If the driver or product shipper does not securely fasten the load, they increase the chance of a rollover accident or cargo spill.
What to Do After a Delivery Truck Crash
Staying calm after an accident can be difficult, especially if you or a loved one were injured in the crash. However, if you do not require immediate, on-the-spot medical attention, there are certain steps you could take to bolster your chance of making a successful legal recovery:
- Call 9-1-1. Missouri law requires that motorists report any motor vehicle accident within 30 days. If the crash resulted in property damage over $500, injury, or death, then it must be reported immediately. While you may be obliged to report most accidents, calling 9-1-1 also ensures that the police will investigate the accident. Even if they are not sure who is at fault, you can use the responding officers’ report as evidence in insurance negotiations or at trial.
- Identify the driver. Interstate carriers are required to have their company information printed on their vehicle. This could include a company name, Department of Transportation identifier, and Motor Carrier number. Smaller businesses and independent contractors might not always make this information visible. If you are not sure who has employed the driver, ask them. If they are unwilling to cooperate, inform the police when they arrive.
- Collect evidence. Take photographs of your injuries, the accident site, and any nearby features, including highway mileage markers, traffic control signals, and road signs.
- Speak to eyewitnesses. If anyone saw the accident, ask them for their full name and contact information—their testimony could prove critical in court.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not believe you were hurt in the accident, you should always seek immediate medical attention. A doctor can help you identify and treat injuries that were masked by the post-crash adrenaline rush.
- Contact a Missouri delivery truck accident attorney. You stand your best chance of securing a fair settlement when you have a Missouri delivery truck accident attorney on your side. If you do not retain experienced legal assistance, the truck company’s insurance carrier could take you for a ride, refusing to offer a fair settlement until you are too desperate to say “no.”