The massive size of trucks means they can cause huge, catastrophic accidents that can leave you and other road users with severe injuries or fatalities.
Delivery trucks are the most popular on US roads. But trucks come in various shapes and sizes. The common ones that you may encounter on the roads are:
- Tractor trailers
- Tanker trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Car carriers
- Heavy hauler
- Cement mixers
- Refrigerator trucks
- Tow trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Mobile crane trucks
According to the National Safety Council, a safety advocate, large trucks caused over 4,800 fatal accidents in 2020. That’s about 10% of national fatal vehicle accidents. It is a high figure meaning anyone, including you, can be a victim.
Your priority as a truck accident victim is to seek quality medical attention. But, the medical bills can pile up fast alongside other pending payments. Using truck accident lawyers can help you get immediate quality medical care and rightful compensation.
Truck accident lawyers are personal injury attorneys specializing in establishing the future costs of truck accidents to victims. Also, they know how to hold the negligent parties accountable and are experienced with the court process, so they can fast-track your settlement.
But first, your case must demonstrate that the truck driver is the negligent party. That’s why we’ve made this list of common causes of truck accidents to act as the first reference before filing your suit.
Most truck drivers, like delivery guys, are under immense pressure to meet delivery deadlines. It could quickly end in overspeeding to reach the delivery destination on time. Overspeeding trucks cause crashes by impacting the vehicle, driver, and road.
Overspeeding won’t leave the driver with enough time to react to a dangerous scenario to avoid a crash. It will also increase the truck’s stopping distance. So, it will be impossible for road safety structures like impact attenuators or guardrails to safeguard vehicle occupants.
In 2020, speeding contributed to about 30% of fatal traffic accidents claiming over 11,000 lives. That’s about 30 people dying per day because of speeding. If you have enough evidence to show that the truck that hit you or your loved one, was speeding past the recommended limit, seek the advice of your truck accident lawyer.
2. Aggressive Driving
Overspeeding is just one of the symptoms of aggressive driving. Other signs of aggressive driving you can get from truck drivers include tailgates or refusing to offer the right of way. They can also cut other drivers off and may risk their lives and other road users.
Truck drivers’ road rage comes from the pressure of meeting delivery deadlines and staying on the road for long hours as they travel long distances. So, if you see a truck driver driving aggressively towards you, you will sway onto the other lane for safety. Unfortunately, swaying to the next lane may cause more accidents.
3. Driver Fatigue
As stated earlier, truck driving can involve long distances and strict delivery deadlines, making it a high-stress job. Most trucking companies may force drivers to meet deadlines by covering long distances with little or no breaks.
As such, the driver may have less sleep, reducing their concentration and overall cognitive capacity. The result is a lack of prompt reaction to avoid an accident situation. Worse still, they may fall asleep at the wheel and hit you unknowingly.
Although there are regulations to ensure that truck drivers have quality sleep and take rests with a single shift per day, they are still disregarded. So, driver fatigue is an absolute road safety problem that can endanger your life.
4. Severe Weather and Road Conditions
Poor weather and road conditions can also lead to truck accidents. For example, an extensive fog can reduce truck drivers’ visibility, resulting in loss of control. It can lead to multiple vehicle accidents and injuries.
Although some bad weather conditions can be termed an ‘act of God,” others can be the government’s negligence. For example, a failure to salt the road during icy conditions or the inability to spread granite dust as the tarmac melts during a heat wave to help trucks stop smoothly.
Also, poor road signage can cause accidents. You will need a truck accident attorney to help you know who to sue for your damages and injuries.
5. Alcohol and Drug Influence
There are strict standards to ensure drivers remain sober while on the road. The rules are even more stringent for commercial driver’s license holders than truck drivers have. In some states like Indiana, having a 0.04% or higher Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is an infraction. Other states flag it at 0.08%.
So drivers are not allowed to drink before driving a commercial vehicle. They are also prohibited from drinking while on duty. In short, driving while intoxicated is a crime with dire consequences for drivers and other road users.
So, you can sue the driver or trucking company for damages and compensation. However, the details of the case can facilitate faster wins and settlements. Truck accident lawyers are best suited to handle them. Contact one for proper legal guidance for your rightful compensation.
6. Inappropriate Cargo Loading
If a truck’s cargo is loaded poorly, it falls or tips the truck over, affecting the driver and other road users. Poor cargo loading can be the truck’s driver’s responsibility. A third party or the trucking company can also bear the blame.
If your loved ones or yourself feel like you’re sustaining an injury from improper cargo loading, you must identify the responsible party for the negligence. A personal injury lawyer can do that quickly and evaluate the future costs of the damages for your compensation.
Common Truck Accidents’ Injuries
1. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can leave your lower body and torso paralyzed temporarily, partially, or entirely. Spine injury is complex and dangerous because it is the backbone of the nerve connections between the brain and the rest of your body.
Plus, it is not always easy to fix it. It may take months or years of surgeries and physical therapy. In the worst-case scenario, you may sustain permanent disability. Some of the common conditions associated with spinal cord injuries include:
- Thoracic injuries
- Cervical injuries
- Lumbar injuries
As a victim, getting back on your feet or accessing quality and reliable medical attention paid by the negligent party should be fast and without delay.
2. Back and Neck Injuries
Back and neck injuries are associated with small fractured bones and ligaments around the back and neck region. You may not feel them instantly after an accident, but they may come up afterward.
It could be hours or days after the crash. So, the injuries need a comprehensive check-up and immediate medical attention.
3. Brain and Head Fractures
A violent bodily or head blow can cause mild or severe brain injuries. As a result, you may sustain a bruise or mild concussions that may go away with time. However, severe injuries could have prolonged effects. There are four major brain injuries that you can sustain from truck accidents:
- Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that occur when the brain is shaken against the skull. Even an impact in another part of the body can bounce the brain against the skull.
- Contusion. It is an actual bruise or damage to the brain itself. It can cause bleeding or swelling of the brain.
- Skull fracture. Broken skull fragments can cut into the brain and cause bleeding and other serious injuries.
- Intracranial hematoma. It is a blood clot under the skull due to bleeding.
Most trucks still run on fuels that can easily burst into a fire during crashes. As such, the fire can spread to stuck passengers leading to severe or mild burns. Even nearby cars and their passengers can be affected either temporarily or permanently.
Truck collisions and associated fires may leave your body disfigured or amputated. It will require quality and urgent medical care to help you perform normally. The treatment may also involve prosthetics to help you adapt to daily life operations. Plus, you’ll need caretakers on standby to help you recover.
You can not afford to sell yourself short in such a scenario. The bills will quickly add up and cause more problems than the physical harm you’ve endured in the crash. Ensure you have a quality legal team to fight for your money as you fight for your health.
While some truck accidents are strictly acts of nature, the majority are negligence of the driver, trucking company, the government, or another third party. You need to be compensated if you’ve sustained severe injuries like fractures, brain damage, or total loss.
However, insurance companies can be arrogant, and some trucking companies can be ruthless. That can delay your medical attention, and piling bills can choke you off before the injuries do.
Truck accident lawyers can help you get back on your feet for faster and fair compensation. They will fight for you and ensure you concentrate on your full recovery and get your rightful compensation.