A recent video on YouTube posted by Chris S. of Jefferson City, Missouri has locals talking. The dash-cam footage shows the dump truck generating so much smoke, that other drivers on Highway 54 can barely see.
Fortunately, no one was harmed in this situation, but we wanted to look at from a legal perspective if the worst had happened.
What If You Rear-End A Vehicle You Couldn’t See?
If an accident occurred, it would happen behind the dump truck. The truck driver would not likely see the accident occur, so he wouldn’t stop; making it nearly impossible to track him down. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a chance that any damages would be covered by the truck company’s insurance.
If the truck was involved in the crash (actually hit, rather than just causing it), you’ll definitely have more of a case. The next thing a car accident attorney would look into is whether or not the accident could have been prevented. i.e. Would the driver have known about the smoke?
A lot of proving negligence includes proving that the driver took the proper safety precautions. If he did take the proper precautions, and this just happened randomly, the fault may be lessened. This comes up often in slip and fall cases. You may slip in a puddle in a grocery store aisle, but if an employee hadn’t seen the spill yet, the store really couldn’t have done much to prevent your fall. The situation is similar in this case.
Determining liability can involve a lot of investigation. Let’s look at another example of a low-visibility accident waiting to happen; a night trucker driving with no lights.
When Truckers Drive With Lights Off
This has to be one of the most frustrating situations you come across when driving after dark; you think you’re on a relatively open road, but as you drive, you notice a tractor-trailer’s back lights aren’t working.
Beyond frustrating, this is actually dangerous. A crash involving a small car and the back of a semi-truck is not pretty. Fortunately, safety features like the Mansfield Bar will reduce your chances of dying in the truck accident, but an under-ride crash can cause serious damage to the smaller vehicle and its occupants.
The myth is that, if you rear-end someone else, it’s automatically your fault. However, if you slammed into the back of the truck because of poor visibility, you may have more options that you realize. If the driver neglected to do a full truck inspection before leaving for the trip, and didn’t notice the malfunctioning lights, a judge may consider the trucker to be the at-fault driver.
But how do you prove that the driver didn’t do a proper truck inspection?
Proving Negligence In Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, you as an individual will have a tough time proving the fault of a truck driver to the trucker’s own boss. The fact is, trucking companies and their insurers are armed with lawyers ready to argue that you were the one that hit their driver.
Even Tracy Morgan had a hard time proving that he and his friends were not to blame for their own injuries. Remember when Walmart tried to argue that they should have been wearing seat belts?
The point is, you’ll need an experienced lawyer to go to bat for you when insurance companies start trying to play the blame game; especially if you were the one who rear-ended the truck.
If poor visibility was a factor in your truck accident, don’t let the insurance company play the blame-game. Contact an experienced personal injury trial lawyer at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers to get the compensation you deserve. Our consultations are always free at 314-444-4444.