Cargo trucks deliver food, clothing and countless other goods to cities throughout South Dakota. Multiple important highways pass through South Dakota, so truckers also cross the state as they travel to faraway destinations. Unfortunately, tractor-trailers occasionally cause serious crashes. Government statistics reveal that almost 11 percent of South Dakota’s fatal auto accidents involve large trucks. The vehicles’ tremendous weight increases the risk of death or severe injury.
Negligent behavior frequently triggers truck collisions. Truckers often suffer from fatigue due to strict schedules and long working hours. Drivers sometimes fall asleep after many hours behind the wheel. They don’t always obey laws that limit driving time. Distractions represent another major cause of crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Truckers may become inattentive while eating, using cellphones or communicating with two-way radios.
Some employers pressure drivers to travel at dangerous speeds in an effort to deliver cargo on time. This practice endangers pedestrians and fellow motorists, especially when roads become icy, snowy or wet. Truckers may not have enough time to stop their vehicles when they notice unexpected obstacles. Curves also increase the likelihood of an accident if drivers ignore the speed limit. A few speeding trucks have even crashed into buildings in South Dakota.
Defective or poorly maintained equipment brings about numerous collisions. Something as simple as a broken headlight may contribute to an accident. If a truck’s cargo isn’t adequately secured or the restraints break, the load might shift. This can cause the vehicle to roll over and hit adjacent cars. On the other hand, items could fall from a trailer. This poses a serious hazard for nearby pedestrians and drivers.
Truck accident victims may benefit from compensation if negligent driving, poor maintenance or defective equipment contributes to a crash. Depending on the circumstances, this money might come from one of several entities. A driver, trailer owner, trucking firm or equipment manufacturer may need to compensate victims. Negligent parties often have insurers that will provide the necessary funds. Settlements can help people pay hospital and auto repair bills.
Has a truck accident harmed you or your family? If so, turn to Wilka & Welter in Sioux Falls. Our well-established law firm has prior experience with cases involving auto and motorcycle crashes. A knowledgeable attorney can review your claim and let you know if legal action is feasible. Wilka & Welter, LLP always strives to ensure that each client receives fair, timely compensation. Please contact us by phone or email to get started.