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Truck Accidents

Accidents involving trucks can be more serious compared to car accidents, due to the sheer size of these vehicles. A loaded commercial truck can weigh than 25 times that of a regular car or SUV. This significant weight disparity, along with the principles of physics, means that accidents with trucks like semi-trailers are more likely to lead to severe and possibly deadly injuries.


Reasons Behind Truck Accidents


Every traffic accident has its circumstances, but certain types of truck accidents occur more frequently. Common causes include driver inexperience, fatigue, distraction, drunk driving, speeding, overloading, and adverse weather conditions. If you sustain injuries such as a brain injury from such an accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation. 

What to Do Right After a Truck Accident

To safeguard your rights following a truck accident, there are actions you should take similar to those recommended for any car accident;

  • Contact law enforcement; Having a police report is crucial for supporting your case. Officers will investigate the scene and gather statements and evidence.

  • Avoid discussing the accident. Refrain from talking about the accident on social media, as these statements could be used against you.

  •  Seek advice from a professional; Dealing with a trucking company team alone isn't advisable. Hiring an attorney is vital, especially if litigation becomes necessary.

Common Injuries in Truck Accidents

In crashes involving trucks, occupants of vehicles usually suffer most of the injuries due to the impact with large commercial trucks.


Injuries commonly seen in accidents include injuries to the back and neck, head injuries, spinal cord damage, internal bleeding, fractures, facial scarring, and burns. These injuries can lead to time off work, during which your lawyer will aim to secure compensation for lost income and reduced earning potential.


Specific Considerations for Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks

Despite truck drivers being more careful than car drivers, accidents involving trucks remain frequent and perilous. This is evident from statistics provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which reports fatalities and injuries each year. The surge in online shopping has led to an increase in truck traffic on the roads, raising the risk of accidents.


Regulatory Responsibilities of Truckers


Truck drivers must adhere to FMCSA regulations, such as rules governing driving hours and mandatory stops at weigh stations. Violating these regulations can significantly strengthen a driver's liability case.

Commercial trucks, including rigs and delivery trucks, pose risks to smaller vehicles and their occupants. Truck drivers must be mindful of the hazards associated with operating these cumbersome vehicles. Other drivers should exercise caution when sharing the road with them. Mistakes while driving can lead to accidents, especially when a tractor-trailer is involved.

Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles Caused by Drivers of Passenger Vehicles

Accidents between passenger cars and large commercial trucks like rigs often occur due to miscalculations made by car drivers. Common errors often arise from a lack of awareness or regard for aspects of a truck, such as its speed, size, and braking capabilities.


Some common unsafe behaviors exhibited by drivers around trucks that frequently lead to accidents include;


  • Driving in spots known as "no zones," where the truck driver's visibility is limited or nonexistent.

  • Abruptly changing lanes directly in front of a truck.

  • Positioning to the right of a truck that is making a turn.

  • Underestimating the speed of a truck at an intersection and turning left in front of it.

  • Merging into traffic causing a truck to make sudden maneuvers or brake abruptly.

  • Failing to adjust speed when a truck signals lane changes or merges.

  • Dangerous passing maneuvers, especially passing with distance between vehicles.

  • Passing a truck without considering the impact of air turbulence or crosswinds on positioning.

  • Entering traffic from the side of the road in front of a truck without accelerating 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established safety regulations for truck drivers and other road users under its Safety section.


Truck Collisions Caused by Commercial Truck Drivers


Most big rig and other commercial truck drivers are known to be skilled and patient behind the wheel. Despite their expertise, the dangers associated with the size and weight of trucks used in transportation and shipping are further complicated by certain industry factors, including;


Insufficient training for truckers on driving techniques, safety protocols, and defensive driving

 Compensation systems within the trucking industry that promote faster speeds and longer hours of consecutive driving than what is typically considered safe

 Unrealistic schedules and expectations set by trucking companies that push drivers to rush, disregarding safety concerns


If you or someone you know has been hurt in an accident involving a semi-truck, you may be eligible for compensation. For a free consultation, call us at (310) 444-0055.


What impact does distracted driving have on commercial truck accidents?

Distracted driving poses an issue in vehicle accidents, but its impact is even more pronounced in commercial truck accidents due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles. Different forms of driving include;


 Using a cellphone

 Adjusting radio or GPS settings

 Eating while driving



When a commercial truck driver gets distracted, they may struggle to respond to changes in road conditions. Given their size and weight, trucks require more time and distance to come to a stop or change course than smaller vehicles. Distractions, even if brief, can lead to deadly accidents.

What role does driver fatigue play in truck accidents?


Driver fatigue is an issue in the trucking sector. Truck drivers often have demanding schedules that require them to drive for stretches of time. Fatigue can notably impair a driver's reaction time, decision-making skills, and overall alertness, increasing the risk of accidents.


Are fatalities in truck collisions?


Unfortunately, fatalities are not uncommon in truck accidents. Due to their size and weight, commercial trucks can cause damage in crashes. Occupants of vehicles often sustain injuries. The likelihood of fatalities is much higher compared to accidents involving passenger cars. It's typical for such incidents to lead to chain reaction collisions involving cars further elevating the risk of consequences.


How do Hours of Service regulations influence truck accidents?


Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are guidelines established by the FMCSA that govern drivers' work hours. These rules aim to combat driver fatigue by limiting how long a driver can remain on duty consecutively and stipulating rest periods. However, enforcing these regulations can pose challenges. Violations are pretty common. When drivers go beyond these limits, they might lose focus, which raises the chances of accidents.


What steps should I take if I am facing expenses due to a commercial truck collision?


If you're dealing with bills following a commercial truck accident, it's crucial to consult with a legal expert promptly. A personal injury attorney knowledgeable in truck accidents can assist you in understanding your rights and navigating the claims process. You could be eligible for compensation to cover your costs as well as potential damages like lost income, emotional distress, and more. Each case is unique. For a free consultation, call us at (310) 444-0055.


How do road conditions play a role in causing truck accidents?


The condition of roads can significantly impact the occurrence of truck accidents. Factors such as potholes, loose gravel, inadequate signage and sharp turns can all pose dangers for truck operators.


Moreover unfavorable weather conditions such, as rain, snow or fog can escalate the risk of accidents. These conditions impair visibility. Create roads that are particularly challenging for controlling large trucks. This heightened difficulty can result in accidents.

Rollover accidents, in the context of trucks, refer to when a truck flips onto its side or roof, resulting in damage and injuries. These incidents are highly dangerous for trucks due to their high center of gravity and heavy loads. Factors such as maneuvers, excessive speed on curves, road conditions, and weather can contribute to the likelihood of rollover accidents. They are considered among the types of commercial truck accidents due to the potential for serious damage and fatalities.


Blind spots, also known as "no zones," are areas around a truck where the driver visibility is limited or nonexistent, even with the use of mirrors. These blind spots are more extensive for trucks compared to passenger vehicles. Common blind spots include areas behind the trailer in front of the cab and along the sides, near the driver and passenger doors.

Commercial truck drivers may fail to spot vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians in blind spots raising the chances of accidents occurring. It's advisable for drivers to steer clear of these spots whenever they can.


Could the truck driver's employer bear responsibility for the collision?


Certainly a trucking company is frequently accountable for accidents that involve their vehicles or drivers who're at fault. This falls under the concept of " liability," where an employer can be held liable for their employee's actions carried out during their employment.


Factors that could result in company liability include;


  • Training of drivers

  • Pressuring drivers to ignore Hours of Service regulations to meet tight delivery deadlines

  • Failure to follow required maintenance schedules for their trucks

  • If it can be demonstrated that the company was negligent in its responsibilities, it may be held liable for injuries and damages stemming from an accident.


What are the consequences if a truck accident is caused by driving while intoxicated?


Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is an offense. It poses a risk when commercial truck drivers are involved. If a truck is involved in a DUI related accident the truck driver may face consequences and could lose their commercial driver's license. In terms of matters, victims or their families have the option to pursue action against the truck driver and possibly the driver's employer for compensation. This compensation may cover bills, property damage, lost income, emotional distress and in cases of accidents, wrongful death claims.


What is meant by a jackknife accident?


A jackknife accident occurs when a truck skids with its trailer attached causing the trailer to swing out to one side at a 90 degree angle or "V" shape with the tractor. The term "jackknifing" comes from the resemblance of this angle to a folding pocketknife.


Such accidents pose risks as they can lead to traffic blockages involving lanes and potentially result in severe multi vehicle collisions. Factors such as speeding, improper braking techniques and adverse road conditions can contribute to jackknife accidents.


How does inadequate truck maintenance play a role in accidents?


Similar to any equipment trucks require maintenance, for safe operation. Failure to maintain them properly can lead to issues that increase the likelihood of accidents occurring. In cases, like these issues such as brake failure that causes delays in stopping, tire blowouts leading to loss of control steering problems affecting maneuvering or malfunctions with lights, reflectors or safety gear might occur. If a trucking company or driver neglects maintenance and this negligence results in an accident they can be held responsible for the damages caused.


How do weather conditions affect truck safety?


Adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, fog, ice or strong winds can have an impact on the safety of commercial trucks. These conditions can reduce visibility. Make road surfaces slippery and unstable for trucks. This makes it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles as they need distance to stop. Slippery roads can greatly increase stopping distances while high winds pose a risk of tipping over trucks.


What is meant by a death claim in relation, to a truck accident?


If a person tragically loses their life due, to the negligence of a truck driver or their company the family or estate of the deceased may be entitled to pursue a death lawsuit. This legal recourse aims to recover lost earnings, loss of companionship, emotional distress and funeral expenses. Wrongful death damages are typically categorized as economic, non economic and punitive. Each state has its laws governing who can file claims and what types of damages can be sought. It is advisable to seek guidance from an attorney to ensure you receive compensation.


How do traumatic brain injuries happen in accidents involving trucks?


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are injuries that result from sudden head trauma. In truck accidents TBIs can occur when the force of impact causes individuals in vehicles to violently strike their heads against surfaces like windows, dashboards or steering wheels. Additionally objects may penetrate the skull due to the accident's intensity.


TBIs can have lasting consequences, on motor functions, cognitive abilities, emotional health and more. They often lead to bills, rehabilitation expenses and potential lifelong care needs.

If you have been harmed in an incident involving a truck or large vehicle you may be eligible, for compensation. A good initial step in understanding your entitlements following a truck collision is to converse with a professional specializing in car accidents. Engaging in discussions with an injury lawyer provides insight into the strength of your case involving a truck accident. It also equips you to make informed decisions moving forward.


In the event that you or someone close to you has been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, call us at (310) 444-0055 for a free consultation. 

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