Truck accidents happen every day. Whether it’s due to a too-wide turn or a sudden stop, the bottom line is that these crashes can result in devastating consequences, catastrophic injuries, and in many instances, death. However, while accidents with these large vehicles can pose a serious danger to other motorists and passengers, you need a truck accident lawyer who knows how to investigate your crash and explain your legal options.
A truck rollover accident often develops when the vehicle’s weight shifts to one side, causing the truck to roll over before it can regain its balance. This usually happens because trucks, especially large commercial trucks, have a higher center of gravity than standard passenger cars. When truckers turn too sharply or drive too fast for the conditions, it can cause the truck to flip and roll over, leading to deadly consequences.
Although a truck can rollover for many reasons, some of the most common causes of these devastating accidents include:
- Improper maintenance of the truck or faulty tires
- Manufacturing defects
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Sudden lane changes or swerving
- Driver error due to fatigue or distracted driving
Truck drivers must remain at a safe distance from motor vehicles in front of them. If trucks rear-end another driver, the significant difference in size and weight between the truck and the standard car can crush the smaller motor vehicle.
Some of the more common reasons why these accidents occur include:
- Faulty breaks
- Distracted driving
- Impaired and fatigued driving
- Inexperienced truck drivers
A head-on crash is also known as a full frontal collision and can occur when a truck hits another vehicle directly from the front while going in opposite directions.
While these trucks can collide head-first with other drivers for several reasons, these accidents often happen because of:
- Truck driver fatigue from driving long hours
- Operating a truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Truckers who do not observe the proper right-of-way
- Distracted driving, which causes the driver to drift into oncoming traffic
- Tire blowouts, which can cause vehicles to lose control and swerve into other lanes
A jackknife accident refers to a situation where a truck with two separate parts (the trailer and cab) fold in on itself at the spot where they are separated, forming a 90-degree angle “V” shape. These types of accidents are known to produce dangerous results based simply on the unpredictability of a skidding trailer which can strike vehicles and carry them along through traffic.
While these accidents usually result from a combination of steep turns and vehicles traveling at high speeds, which can cause cargo to shift and lead to an imbalance of weight in the truck, some of the other scenarios that can result in jackknife accidents include:
- Equipment issues, such as brake failure
- Locked wheels
- Loose cargo
- The truck driver incorrectly maneuvering the vehicle or braking improperly
A T-bone accident, also referred to as a side-impact crash, tends to happen when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. These accidents often occur at intersections, when a truck runs a red light, violates the right-of-way laws, or ignores stop signs and collides with the side of another vehicle, creating a T.
These accidents also occur when a truck driver is operating their vehicle under the influence, is distracted or fatigued, is speeding, or when they make an improper turn across one or more lanes, causing other motor vehicles to slam into the side of their trailer or cab.
A sideswipe accident is similar to a T-bone accident, except the motor vehicle that crashes into the truck is usually traveling side-by-side with the massive vehicle and heading in the same direction when they collide.
These crashes usually happen because a trucker fails to adequately check their blind spots before merging into traffic or changing lanes. However, they can also result from fatigued, distracted, drugged, or drunk driving, as these actions often cause the driver to lose focus of the road and drift into nearby lanes. However, when these accidents occur, they can lead to multi-vehicle pileups, extensive damage, and numerous fatalities.
A wide-turn trucking accident occurs when a commercial vehicle must occupy another traffic lane to turn safely. When these trucks fail to adequately take these turns, they can create a dangerous situation for motor vehicles in neighboring lanes, often resulting in them colliding with the truck or getting caught underneath the swing as it turns.
Although these accidents often develop when truckers fail to safely judge the clearance and the amount of time they have to make a turn, they can also arise when drivers fail to follow safety advice regarding these turns or otherwise do not properly operate their vehicle because they are driving while intoxicated, tired, or distracted.
Underride crashes occur when a motor vehicle collides with a truck from the side or the rear and slides underneath it. This often happens because the truck is much higher than the car, which causes the motor vehicle to get stuck under the truck, leading to the top and front of the car being crushed. Due to the nature of these accidents, when they occur, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic, ending with numerous fatalities.
Some of the more common causes of an underride accident tend to include:
- Trucks making a fast stop, which can cause rear-end collisions and underride accidents
- Improper lane changes or maneuvered turns
- Inconsistent speeds that fall outside the flow of traffic
- A trucker failing to signal when making a turn
- Motor vehicles in the truck’s blind spots when the truck changes a lane
Unsecured Load Accidents
While there are federal regulations that dictate how much cargo can be loaded in trucks and how to secure this cargo, not every trucking company will ensure that they meet these federal regulations.
However, improperly secured can result in:
- Jackknife accidents
- Cargo spills
- Rollover accidents
Blown Tire Accidents
Another common accident when it comes to trucks is a defective or blown-out tire accident. When large trucks, especially commercial ones, must transport heavy loads, they need tires that can sustain this weight. If a tire fails and cannot hold the weight and blows out, it can cause the truck to lose control and veer off the road. In addition, these types of accidents can also result in debris falling on the road, which can create hazards on the street and lead to further devastating accidents.
A tire blowout accident frequently occurs because of:
- Underinflated tires
- Poorly maintained tires
- An overloaded trailer
- Improperly loaded trailer
- Poor road conditions, including large portholes
These blown tire accidents can also lead to other types of crashes, including jackknife accidents or rollover collisions.
Pursuing Legal Action Following a Trucking Accident
After a trucking accident, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation, including both economic and non-economic damages.
These damages include payment for both easily verifiable losses as well as hard-to-quantify losses that include payment for things such as:
- Medical bills resulting from hospitalization, emergency services, ambulance rides, surgery, medications, and other types of medical services
- Ongoing medical treatments
- Lost income
- Lost business opportunities
- Personal property losses
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Humiliation and inconvenience due to the injuries following the accident
However, to know which of these damages may apply to your situation after a trucking accident, consider discussing the matter with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can review your case, figure out the total extent of your losses, and determine which financial damages you can pursue following the incident.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Trucking Collision?
With most of the crashes mentioned above, your truck accident lawyer can hold numerous parties responsible for a trucking collision, including:
- The liable truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck’s owner
- The cargo loaders and the cargo owners
- The manufacturer of the truck or the parts of the truck
- The mechanics who did work on the truck before an accident
- Governmental entities responsible for maintaining roadways
- Other third parties, such as motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists
Moreover, proving liability after these accidents poses many challenges. For these reasons, following a truck collision, discuss the incident with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can determine who caused your accident, hold these parties accountable for what happened, and recover the money you need.
How Can an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Fight for Your Rights After a Trucking Collision?
Securing the compensation you are entitled to following a trucking accident can be challenging. Not only do you have to prepare detailed arguments and present relevant evidence to show what happened and who was at fault to be successful in these claims, but you will also be going up against experienced defense attorneys and large insurance companies ready to defend the trucking company at all costs.
Following an accident, discuss your case with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
Once you hire these legal professionals, they can figure out what legal options you may have and the financial remedies you can pursue.
From there, they can:
- Investigate the incident and secure the evidence necessary to establish liability and damages.
- Locate and interview witnesses who saw the accident.
- Send a preservation of evidence letter and obtain a temporary restraining order so critical evidence does not disappear.
- Hire certain types of experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists, doctors, and financial specialists, to help validate your claim.
- Make sure that legal filings are prepared and submitted before time runs out.
- Take on the insurance companies and fight for a just settlement offer.
- Head to trial and go after maximum compensation if the other side is unwilling to settle for the amount you deserve.
Do not wait any longer to get the legal help you need if you or a loved one suffered injuries in a trucking accident. Instead, contact an experienced truck accident attorney today for a free case evaluation and find out how an attorney can fight for the justice and money you need.