Whether you call them semi-trucks, tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, or big rigs, truck accidents are the leading cause of severe traffic injuries and fatalities across the country. Most individuals seriously injured or killed in truck accidents are the occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, our Oglethorpe truck accident lawyers have the resources and knowledge of federal trucking regulations to skillfully pursue your claim against large corporations and insurance companies.
What Are Different Types of Truck Accidents?
While commercial trucks are an essential part of our country’s economy, they also have the potential to be very dangerous for others sharing the road. Trucks are larger and heavier, take longer to come to a stop, have bigger blind spots, and require a higher level of concentration to operate.
There are many different types of truck accidents, including:
- Jackknife accidents: Jackknifing occurs when the trailer swings out and forms an acute angle with the cab of the truck. Large commercial trucks are especially prone to jackknife accidents, which are often the result of drivers braking suddenly or turning too quickly.
- T-bone accidents: T-bones accidents happen when two vehicles collide perpendicularly. When a truck driver runs a red light or fails to obey other traffic laws, the driver of a smaller vehicle involved in the crash takes the brunt of impact. Severe injuries, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord damage, can all result from these accidents.
- Head-on collisions: When a large truck collides head on with another vehicle, the outcome is usually catastrophic for the smaller vehicle. Head-on collisions are often due to speeding, driver impairment, poor visibility, or a truck driver’s medical issues.
- Rear-end accidents: Rear-end accidents are common, and typically cause injuries such as whiplash. However, when a large truck rear-ends a car, it can lead to more serious injuries to the car’s occupants due to the truck’s height and weight.
- Rollover accidents: Truck drivers can lose control of their heavy vehicles when they speed and take turns too sharply. This causes large trucks to roll over and slide down the road, sometimes dragging other vehicles down with them. This often leads to severe or fatal injuries to innocent drivers.
- Tire blowouts: Tire blowouts can cause rollovers, flying road debris, loosened, or shifting cargo loads, and other hazards for those sharing the road.
- Underride accidents: Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle travels underneath the body of a large truck. While commercial trucking companies are required to follow safety regulations, many large trucks are still not equipped with bumpers and reflective tape that could help prevent an accident and severe injuries.
- Blind spots: Drivers of tractor-trailers and big rigs have much larger blind spots than those of smaller vehicles. This can put occupants of smaller vehicles at risk for getting hit, crushed, forced off the road by truck drivers who are unable to see them.
What Are Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents can happen for reasons out of a driver’s control, such as bad weather and poor road conditions. However, many truck accidents are avoidable and the result of negligent of truck drivers and other entities. The following are some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
- Speeding: Speeding is a leading cause of fatal traffic accidents, and often involve a truck driver with at least one prior speeding conviction. When truck drivers speed, they are more likely to lose control of their vehicles and ability to brake in time to prevent a serious accident.
- Crossing lanes or drifting: This commonly occurs when truck drivers are fatigued, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Loading errors: When improperly loaded freight falls off a commercial truck or shifts inside, it puts nearby motorists at risk for serious accidents and injuries.
- Poor truck maintenance: Parties responsible for maintaining large trucks are required to do so on a regular basis. Problems with tires, brakes, engines, transmissions, and steering wheels are all common contributors to serious truck accidents.
- Driver performance: Despite the FMCSA’s limits on the number of hours commercial truckers are permitted to drive, violations of these regulations continue to be an issue. In these types of cases, it is not unusual for more than one party to be held responsible.
What Are Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries?
Anyone involved in a truck accident is vulnerable to a variety of injuries, ranging from minor to permanent and debilitating. The most common types of injuries motorists experience as the result of a truck accident include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts, burns, and lacerations
- Head trauma
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
In cases where a truck accident causes a death, a dedicated truck accident lawyer can provide the victim’s family members with help recovering compensation for their emotional suffering and financial losses.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Truck Accident?
If you are involved in a truck accident, the first thing you should do is seek immediate medical attention. Make sure to get documentation of the medical treatment you received, as well as copies of any police reports and eyewitness statements, and contact information of all parties involved in the accident.
The next thing you should do is consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer. The claims process and legal procedure after a truck accident is complicated, requiring the specific knowledge of a truck accident lawyer. Trucking industry laws and regulations, together with many other factors that can contributed to truck accidents, make the cases more legally complex than ordinary car accident cases.
Oglethorpe Truck Accident Lawyers Advocate for Injured Individuals and Their Families
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you need a dedicated team of attorneys on your side to ensure your rights and best interests are protected. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Oglethorpe truck accident attorneys at Childers & McCain, LLC, call us at 478-209-2626 or fill out our online form. Conveniently located in Macon, Georgia, we also serve clients in Savannah, Albany, Atlanta, and throughout the state.