There are many kinds of workplace accidents that can occur at any given time. Some transpire in a corporate environment, while others take place at a construction site. Then there are those that happen on the road. For truck drivers in Salt Lake City, Utah, this is a common way to suffer injuries.
Utah truck accident lawyers, like the experienced attorneys at the law firm of Siegfried and Jensen, know that collisions involving large commercial trucks are quite common in Salt Lake City. Due to the sheer size of commercial vehicles, like semi-trucks and 18-wheelers, the aftermath of an impact will be much greater than an accident involving a passenger vehicle.
But while some may blame the driver for the accident – which, the driver is often at fault – there are many times in which a truck accident is the result of the truck company’s failure to abide by both federal and state employment and safety laws.
Truck drivers have very demanding schedules, which often requires them to work long hours with little time for breaks. As a result, drivers often embark on long journeys and experience fatigue (the leading cause of major road accidents in northern Utah), which can cause them to lose control of their vehicles and collide with others on the road or inanimate objects, including trees, posts, and railings.
Truck companies may also allow greater-than-acceptable loads on their vehicles, which can also contribute to a major roadway accident. If the weight of a truck’s cargo exceeds its capacity, the cargo may be unleashed from the truck when the driver makes a turn or can cause the truck itself to flip over. In both of these instances, the truck driver and others on the road can suffer serious or even life-threatening injuries.
The type of cargo a truck is hauling can also contribute to a traffic disaster, which is exactly what happened last week when a trucker was involved in a highway accident.
As per local news reports, Utah Highway Patrol responded to a truck crash that occurred just before 3 AM on Friday, Sept. 4, on northbound Interstate 15 at milepost 355.
The driver, who was operating a USF Reddaway semi that had been pulling triple trailers, explained that he swerved to the right side of the road to avoid hitting something on the highway. Unfortunately – and likely due to the extensive amount of trailers the semi was pulling – the truck ended up going through the median, into the roadway’s southbound lanes, and jackknifing.
Then, a FedEx semi that was heading southbound, also pulling multiple trailers, tried to stop when noticing the accident, but ended up hitting one of the other semi’s trailers. The USF truck was hauling sheetrock and oil, and due to the accident, the materials spilled over the road.
The USF truck driver suffered injuries and was taken to a local hospital. The other trucker did not sustain injuries.
So far, police have not issued any citations in relation to the crash. Investigators are looking into the accident, including the truck driver’s claim that there was something on the road, as well as the possibility that the driver was fatigued.
If the driver was overworked by his employer, he may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to help cover the costs of medical expenses and any lost wages following the accident.
Workers’ comp is available in Utah to victims who sustain injuries while on the job, especially injuries related to an employer’s negligence in maintaining workplace safety. The driver may want to look into hiring a Utah workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance in filing a claim, as several employers (and their insurers) often attempt to deny benefits to injured employees.
Overworking an employee, who later suffers an accident, can be considered an act of employer negligence. A workers’ comp attorney can help ensure the victim’s right to benefits are protected.