Interviewer: When do car accidents occur? Are there times of day, or weather conditions that make them common?
Daniel Hoarfrost: Car accidents occur at all times of day and under all conditions. Obviously weather and traffic can bring about more frequent collisions. For example, we have one intersection where the freeway always gets backed up during rush hour, and probably had three or four different cases coming from that same intersection, same time of day. So clearly, heavy traffic and traffic patterns during the rush hours and traffic during difficult weather conditions are going to lead to collisions.
Weather Conditions and Traffic Patterns Contribute to Auto Collisions
I think I’ve read that some agency tracks these accidents, and that every person is going to be in a car accident at least once during their lifetime. It’s really a question of how serious the collision is that you’re involved in, rather than whether or not it’s going to occur.
Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles
Interviewer: When you refer to truck accidents, do you mean commercial vehicles?
Daniel Hoarfrost: Typically when you’re talking about a truck accident, you’re not usually referring to a pick-up truck, which is kind of treated more like a passenger car. It really has to do with more commercial vehicles.
Interviewer: How do you work with these vehicles, and in what manner?
There Are More Avenues to Find Liability in Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles
Daniel Hoarfrost: The difference in a truck accident with a commercial vehicle is there are regulations that apply to the truckers, to the drivers, and the way the trucks are being driven. So there are essentially more avenues to find liability when there’s a collision.
And then, more often than not, because the trucks tend to be a lot bigger than the cars they’re running into, frequently, the damage that occurs is more serious. And that, of course, leads into larger claims.
And finally, since it is commercial enterprise, you typically have either a corporation or a business at least that is responsible for the truck, and so you have what are known as deep pockets.
Damage Sustained in a Collision Involving a Commercial Vehicle Has to Justify Bring a Claim against the Driver or the Business Owner
Which make the claim easier to collect, essentially, if the damage justifies bringing a claim.
In Order to Bring a Claim, It Must Be Proven That Negligence Contributed to the Accident
In order to have a claim, you have to show that the driver was acting negligently in some fashion. One issue that does tend to come up and that came about because the trucks are so large they restrict the driver’s vision in a way. They have to rely on their mirrors. If they’re not paying good attention, they can stray across the traffic lanes, and force a car off the road.
For example, I had a claim where the truck squeezed the passenger car off the road and into the cement barriers that were on the side of the road. This resulted in some fairly serious injuries for the driver and the passenger. So, obviously, an impaired line of vision comes in to play frequently with the large truck.
But it’s not always just that. Frequently, weather conditions are a factor. If trucks are going faster than they should be under the slippery conditions, then they’re going to have a harder time coming to a stop, and that can result in an accident.
There’s really any number of scenarios that are going to come in to play that result in a collision, and it’s always a question of whether the offending driver, which is what we call the “at-fault driver”, was failing to use reasonable care, and that brought about injury to another party.