The increasing number of serious accidents involving large commercial trucks concerns everyone. Fatigued driving is usually identified as the leading cause of truck accidents. Other causes include substance abuse, mechanical problems, and unrealistic schedules that place profits above safety. It’s seldom mentioned in the media, but a severe shortage of truck drivers in the United States is actually a “root” cause of many truck accidents.
There simply are not enough qualified truck drivers, and it’s a problem that has potentially catastrophic consequences. With a shortage of long-haul drivers, those who drive now drive longer hours – leading to fatigued driving – and some trucking companies are under pressure to hire drivers who may not be fully qualified to drive the big 18-wheelers.
How Serious is the Truck Driver Shortage?
The consequences of a truck driver shortage – more truck accidents and more serious injuries – are predictable. If you are injured in an accident with a commercial truck, as soon as you’ve received medical treatment, you should discuss your right to compensation with a San Antonio truck accident lawyer.
In 2020, U.S. trucking companies needed to hire about 60,000 drivers, and it’s projected that figure could increase to 160,000 by 2028. The truck driver shortage is already leading to a few empty supermarket shelves, but that’s not its most serious consequence. It’s a skilled labor shortage that poses a genuine risk to motorists, their passengers, and pedestrians in every state.
How Are Trucking Companies Responding to the Driver Shortage?
Those currently working as truck drivers have to “take up the slack” to deliver goods to every town and city. Many of those drivers are approaching retirement, however, and to stay competitive, some trucking companies are filling open positions with less-than-qualified drivers.
Another solution that trucking companies have employed is the use of longer trailers and longer combination vehicles (or LCVs), trucks that pull more than one trailer. Even skilled and experienced truck drivers find that longer trailers and LCVs are difficult to brake and difficult to control, so if a driver isn’t fully qualified, allowing that driver to operate an LCV is clearly not a good idea.
If you are injured in an accident with a truck driver who is not fully and legally qualified to drive a commercial truck, you can probably bring a personal injury claim against the driver’s employer for negligent hiring, and you may receive compensation for your lost wages and the medical expenses arising from your injury.
Every truck accident case is different, so you’ll need the personalized advice and the aggressive, effective representation that San Antonio truck accident lawyer Matthew S. Norris will provide.
What Will Attorney Matthew S. Norris Do on Your Behalf?
To build the strongest possible injury claim, your truck accident attorney will carefully review the evidence, which will include a trucking company’s employment records, maintenance records, and safety records – along with evidence from the scene, photos, witness statements, your own medical records, and the police accident report.
If you’ve been catastrophically injured or permanently disabled, which is not unusual in truck accidents, you will need the maximum amount of compensation that’s available, and you’ll need a Texas personal injury attorney who knows what it takes to recover that compensation on your behalf.
It costs nothing to learn more. Call the Law Office of Matthew S. Norris at 210-549-7633 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation review of your case, and we can help you obtain the compensation – and the justice – you need and deserve.