Accidents involving trucks on the country’s highways are far too commonplace. When they happen the outcome can be devastating to all involved. There are a number of likely offenders, including 18 wheelers, semis, flatbeds, gas tankers, small trucks, delivery trucks and trucks carrying hazardous materials.
What happens when a truck accident takes place?
The impact of a truck accident depends on a number of factors, such as the speed the truck was traveling, its size and the cargo that was being carried. If a large fully laden 18 wheeler fails to stop when a vehicle in front has braked, the consequences could be devastating. The vehicle taking the impact may be completely destroyed, leaving all the occupants dead. If a truck driver runs a red light and collides with any other vehicles at the intersection, there will certainly be some casualties. Trucks are so big compared to other vehicles that anything such as a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motorcyclist or a car that comes into contact with it are likely to come off very much the worst.
Types of injuries
Truck accidents result in some of the most serious injuries, including a crushed torso, multiple fractures, facial damage, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and disfigurement. Many injuries are so serious that lives are lost. Long recovery periods are a feature of truck accidents too.
Types of truck accidents
rear-ender – when a truck hits another vehicle from the back;
side swipe – when the truck makes contact with the side of another vehicle, mainly when overtaking;
rollover –when the truck misjudges speed and a curve, ending up by rolling right over on the highway;
T-bone – when the truck hits the side of another vehicle perpendicularly, usually at an intersection.
Causes of truck accidents
driver distraction while eating or drinking or on a mobile device;
driver fatigue due to working too many hours;
defective parts such as tires, brakes, transmission and steering;
poor loading causing load to move or fall.
The causes of truck accidents could be due to the company not maintaining the truck adequately so poor quality parts and incorrectly fitted parts could cause an accident. Driver error is the most common cause of accidents. When the driver is to blame it may be due to tampering with the truck’s logbook so that he or she can drive longer than the maximum period allowed. This is a dangerous activity and could cause an accident through driver fatigue or driver distraction while the individual has to take his or her mind off the road to talk to relatives on the cell phone or eat a fast food meal to save time.
Whenever an accident does take place, the first at the scene is often a truck company representative who is reluctant to allow the company or the driver to be blamed for the accident. They may already have their defense compiled before anyone can respond. If they decide they can’t evade responsibility for the accident they more often than not offer only a token amount in compensation to the victim in the hope that a court appearance can be avoided. This is rarely enough to cover medical costs and loss of earnings while the victim recovers.
What can you do if you are injured in a truck accident?
If you or a member of your family is injured in a tractor trailer accident or someone has been killed you should contact an experienced truck accident personal injury attorney and find out if you qualify to file a wrongful death or personal injury claim. Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis meaning no upfront fees are payable and the legal fees are paid on settlement. In most states a statute of limitation applies which is normally 2 years from the date of the injury or death.