Log trucks are notoriously difficult to handle, and log truck accidents are on the rise. Recent studies show that there has been a significant increase in log truck accidents between 2011 and 2015. When it comes to fatal crashes, incident rates have increased by 41%, and regular crashes increased by more than 33%. Log truck accidents are likely much more prevalent than you may think.
Common accidents include jackknifing and subsequent multi-vehicle pile-ups, rollovers caused by improperly loaded cargo or excessive speed, tire blowouts that result in a loss of control over the truck, equipment failure from poor or negligent maintenance, and collisions caused by failure to use proper warning signs and reflective tape.
If you peruse a general overview of the statistics, you’ll find that tractor-trailer crashes happen every 15 minutes in the United States. Those numbers are quite frightening, and those who are involved in a log truck accident are usually left with serious, if not fatal, injuries. If you are involved in a log truck accident, the best way to protect yourself is to find good representation. Here at Benton and Benton, we have the experience and expertise that you need!
Factors that Contribute to an Increase in Log Truck Accidents
Log trucks are involved in more accidents than typical trucks, as the types of loads that they haul are unique. Unlike with large trucks, the only thing holding the logs, that are resting on the bed of the truck in place, are chains. It’s fairly easy for the balance of the truck to shift and cause an accident.
There are many other factors that contribute to the increases in log truck accidents, and Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) records all accidents. Some common factors include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Negligence involving maintenance
- Improperly loaded cargo and/or shifting of logs
- Poor or unsafe driving conditions
- Failure to properly train drivers
- Failure to properly use warning signs and reflective tape
- Over-length trucks
- Impaired driving from substance use
Where Liability Falls
When you’re involved in a log truck accident, the first thing that you need to sort out is which party to hold liable for the accident. Since most log truck accidents result in severe physical and equipment related consequences, you may end up with costly medical bills, loss of employment or income, a wrecked vehicle and more. Some drivers are left with debilitating PTSD. The liable parties need to compensate you for your losses.
When it comes to liability, there are several parties that can be involved, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. They include:
- The lumber company, if they have hired a driver who is not properly trained to handle large loads or log trucks. Due to the difficult nature of these vehicles, drivers must go through extensive and additional training before they can hit the road.
- The trucking company, if they hired an unqualified driver or encouraged drivers to violate a trucking regulation. The trucking company is responsible for overseeing all the logistics involved with the delivery, so logging companies can focus on the forestry.
- The mechanic, if the accident was caused by maintenance issues. If the mechanic ignored or overlooked a serious issue that contributed to the accident, they could also be responsible. For example, they could be held liable if the accident was caused by a defective truck brake.
- The driver can be held liable if the accident was caused by their negligence or oversight. For example, a driver would be responsible if the accident was a result of excessive speeding.
Regardless of whether you’re the truck driver or another party on the road, holding any of these parties responsible can be difficult. Lumber and trucking companies are represented by large insurance companies that are notorious for being aggressive. Not only may they fight you every step of the way, but they might refuse to give up compensation easily.
If you are handling and processing the accident yourself, you could end up running into a lot of red tape, roadblocks and resistance. Settling a claim may feel impossible, if not extremely overwhelming.
You Need Help!
If you’re involved in a log truck accident, you need experienced professionals on your side. Here, at Benton and Benton, our attorneys have the resources, knowledge and experience needed to help those who are injured from log truck accidents all across Georgia. We can represent both the log truck drivers and any other people that were harmed by the accident, so you are more likely to get the compensation that you deserve without any of the headaches and stress.
We are ready to fight for you every step of the way and will represent your best interest throughout the process. Most importantly, you don’t need to pay a retainer to secure our services, reputation, and hard work. There’s no attorney fee unless we win, so you have one less thing to worry about while navigating the aftereffects of a log truck accident.
We offer small town service with big time results. For a free consultation, give us at Benton & Benton a call at 866-974-0330.