Flatbed Truck Accidents
Flatbed trucks are used to haul specific types of cargo that may not fit inside traditional trailers. The types of cargo these trucks haul encompasses a huge variety of items, but some of the most common objects include construction materials, disabled vehicles or vehicles being transported to sell, recreational vehicles, downed trees and lumber materials, heavy equipment and machinery, and much more.
When it comes to flatbed truck accidents, the type of cargo the truck is hauling matters much less than the injuries that other motorists and their passengers suffer if the truck driver or company failed to follow safety precautions. Whether the truck driver engaged in reckless behavior or the truck company failed to provide adequate training, negligence is a common aspect of flatbed truck accidents.
What Are Common Signs of Negligence in Flatbed Truck Accidents?
As Nashville flatbed truck accident attorneys, Matt Hardin and his legal team know the ins-and-outs of these types of accidents. When we begin investigating a new flatbed truck accident, one of the first things we do is gather evidence that can help prove a party responsible for the truck—whether it was the driver, the truck company, or the truck owner—was negligent in following safety protocols.
Some of the most common signs that negligence led to a flatbed truck accident include:
- The driver operated the truck while intoxicated or impaired.
Flatbed truck drivers aren’t just bound by standard Tennessee laws against driving under the influence—they’re also required to abide by rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA considers driving a truck under in the influence to be a severe violation, and drivers who are found guilty can be banned from commercial driving for life.
- The driver or other associated parties failed to properly secure the cargo.
Many flatbed truck accidents don’t involve a collision between the truck and another vehicle at all. Instead, the accidents are caused when some or all of the cargo being transported by a truck becomes loose and falls onto the roadway or a nearby vehicle. Because flatbed trucks often have no protective barriers separating cargo from other vehicles, any items that come loose can cause serious accidents either from direct collisions with vehicles or due to drivers swerving to avoid them.
- The trucking company or owner failed to complete required and routine maintenance.
A tire blowout or brake failure can have devastating consequences for any driver, but the risks of an accident only increase when those same failures happen to a big commercial vehicle like a flatbed truck. Trucking companies and flatbed truck owners are responsible for making sure their vehicles are road-worthy and safe to drive at all times, and that includes doing things like replacing worn-out tires, replacing aging brakes, repairing transmissions, and other important maintenance tasks.
- The trucking company failed to properly screen or test its drivers.
In order to qualify to drive flatbed trucks, drivers must possess a Commercial Driver’s License. This special license permits them to drive commercial and oversized vehicles like tractor-trailers and flatbed trucks. In addition, drivers also must pass background checks, drug tests, and motor vehicle record checks in order to be cleared to drive. While the majority of companies follow these guidelines, some companies hire unqualified drivers at low wages in order to increase profits and reduce costs.
These are just a few of the common signs that negligence contributed to a flatbed truck accident. Our Nashville flatbed truck accident lawyers know that this list is by no means exhaustive, and that’s why we leave no stone unturned in our investigation to find out the truth and prove that the truck driver, owner, or company is ultimately responsible for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages.
If you were recently injured in a flatbed truck accident, don’t wait another day to get the dedicated and professional help you deserve. Get in touch with Matt Hardin Law today. Dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form, and let us put our experience to work for you.