Commercial tractor-trailers take up a great deal of space on our local roads, creating a heightened risk of serious injury. There are several areas around these trucks where operators simply cannot see other vehicles from their position in the cab despite multiple side mirrors.
Blind spot truck accidents in Austin commonly result in serious injuries and can often be attributed to a truck driver’s failure to account for areas of limited visibility. If you were hurt because a negligent truck operator did not check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes, a local truck crash attorney can help you obtain compensation for your damages. En Español
What Makes Trucks Susceptible to Blind Spot Accidents?
Every motor vehicle has blind spots directly in front of and behind both bumpers, and in the areas adjacent to the driver and passenger-side doors. However, because of the length and size of semi-trucks, the blind spots on these vehicles are significantly larger than those on passenger cars. In fact, a commercial truck’s blind spots are often big enough to hide an entire car from view, or even multiple cars traveling next to the trailer.
Despite larger side mirrors than virtually any commuter car, tractor-trailers do not have rearview mirrors, and only some have updated technology like rear-facing cameras, collision warning systems, and lane assist devices. All these factors put truck drivers at a higher risk of causing accidents by swerving or turning into a vehicle in their blind spot.
How Comparative Negligence Could Inhibit Recovery
An injured party who can prove that a truck driver was directly responsible for causing a blind spot wreck would have grounds to hold the defendant in their claim financially liable for their losses. However, a defendant truck driver and/or their employer may allege that the injured party is partially liable for their own damages based on comparative negligence.
A driver’s duty to be aware of a truck’s blind spots goes both ways. While the driver of the truck is primarily responsible for checking their blind spots and avoiding collisions, other motorists are also expected to know that tractor-trailers have limited visibility in certain areas and avoid staying in those spots for any length of time. Accordingly, if someone drives inside a truck’s blind spot for longer than a “reasonable” driver would have, they could be found partially responsible for a subsequent accident.
Depending on whether a plaintiff’s degree of fault exceeds the defendant’s, a court may reduce the amount of compensation available to them in proportion to their share of blame or bar them from recovering any damages whatsoever. Working with a knowledgeable lawyer is often essential to mitigating allegations of comparative fault and maximizing a compensatory award.
Ask an Austin Attorney about Your Options after a Blind Spot Truck Accident
If a truck driver’s negligence causes you to get hurt in a crash, you may be able to hold them and/or their employer liable for your medical bills, lost work wages, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and even certain forms of subjective pain and suffering. However, large trucking companies never agree to pay out civil settlements without a fight, and many do so by arguing that injured individuals were mostly to blame for their own losses.
If you want to increase your odds of a positive case outcome after a blind spot truck accident in Austin, retaining experienced legal counsel should be your top priority. Call our team today to speak with a qualified attorney about your legal options.