Blind Spots Cause Truck Accidents
Although many truck drivers who cause an accident will argue that they did not see our client due to an alleged “blind spot,” this argument rarely carries much, if any, weight in court. Many new trucks have advanced technology that alerts drivers when they start to enter a lane of travel where another vehicle is traveling. Because of the sophistication of this technology, some truck accident experts now take the view that these newer trucks do not have blind spots and any failure of a truck driver to know that another driver is alongside his vehicle is due to either a failure of the technology or inattentiveness (or both). Even older trucks that are not equipped with modern safety features have well-designed mirrors that enable truckers to see every area of the truck except rear. Newer trucks, as well some older models are equipped with rearview cameras to assist them when backing up and alert the driver to people/obstacles that may be behind the truck. So, although a truck driver that caused an accident may claim that the motorist he hit was in a blind spot, close examination of the truck, its safety equipment, and other evidence surrounding the accident almost always undermines that claim. Simply put, a truck driver who is paying proper attention to his/her mirrors and other safety equipment should know when there is another motor vehicle along the side of the truck or obstacles/people behind the truck when backing up.
We recently handled a case where our client was injured when a bus driver took a right turn in front of her bicycle. The driver claimed that our client was in a blind spot and could not be seen, and that it was her fault that she was hit. Fortunately our client’s mother contacted us from the hospital and authorized us to begin an investigation on her daughter’s behalf. We immediately faxed the bus company an evidence preservation letter that put them on notice that they were not to alter the bus in any way, including the side view mirrors. That same day we received a call from the bus company’s attorney inviting us to inspect and photograph the bus. Our private investigator took multiple photographs of the right mirror and site lines from the driver’s position at different heights in the seat (because we did not yet know the height of the driver). We then provided that evidence to an expert in accident reconstruction who determined that any difficulty the driver had seeing along the right side of the bus before she took her right turn was due to failing to properly adjust the mirrors. The expert’s report convinced the bus company’s insurer to reverse its position that our client was at fault for the accident.
In another case we handled a couple of years ago, our client was crushed behind a truck when it was backing up to unload materials. The driver and his insurer claimed that our client was primarily at fault for his injuries. Although the principal witness in the case was not particularly helpful, we were able to get the truck driver to admit at deposition that, from his training to be a commercial motor vehicle operator, he knew what most people view as common sense: when you can’t see where you are backing up and there is a possibility that someone or something behind you could be hit, you need to have someone stand off to the side of the vehicle and give you instructions about how close you are to the person/object, how slowly you need to proceed, etc. The driver further admitted that he did not roll his window down (“because it was cold”) and, had he done so, he could easily received instructions from another person standing off to the side of the vehicle (who, unfortunately, only shouted “stop” before it was too late). Based on these admissions, we were able to successfully resolve the case by way of settlement and avoid the need of taking the case to trial. Our client was very happy with the result, rating our services as 5 out of 5 stars for “overall satisfaction” in a survey he completed at the conclusion of his case.Peter Thompson & Associates Gets Results in Truck Accident Cases
If you or a loved one has been in a serious accident involving a large truck, contact Peter Thompson & Associates today. Our attorneys will be able to work with you and your family to help you through the difficult recovery process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve in this difficult time. Call 800.804.2004 to schedule a free initial consultation.