Large commercial trucks like tractor-trailers are integral components of our country’s economy, and tens of thousands of big trucks traverse our nation’s highways every day. However, due to their size, weight, and design and that they usually carry or pull heavy cargo commercial trucks are more prone to certain accidents than other vehicles. When big trucks cause accidents with smaller passenger cars, they can create utter devastation and severely injure or kill a car’s occupants.
If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in any of the common types of truck accidents, consult an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine your options for pursuing compensation.
Types of Truck Accidents
Some common types of truck accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions. Large commercial trucks need more time to stop than small vehicles, especially when they haul tons of cargo. When a truck fails to stop in time, it can strike the vehicle in front of it and cause a serious rear-end collision. The momentum and size of trucks can make these accidents particularly dangerous, causing significant damage and injuries.
- Jackknife accidents. Jackknifing happens when a truck’s trailer swings out to the side, forming an angle with the cab. This can occur due to sudden braking, poor road conditions, or improper load distribution. In jackknife accidents, the trailer can collide with cars across multiple highway lanes.
- Rollover accidents. Due to their high center of gravity, trucks can tip over when a truck takes a turn too sharply, encounters uneven terrain, or weight suddenly shifts. These accidents can cause extensive damage and serious injuries or fatalities.
- Underride accidents. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle collides with the rear or side of a truck and ends up underneath it. The truck can crush the smaller vehicle or sheer off its roof, resulting in severe injuries or death.
- Wide turns. Trucks require more space to turn due to their size and length. When a truck driver fails to account for this and makes a wide turn, it can collide with vehicles in adjacent lanes or with pedestrians.
- Lost load accidents. Improperly secured cargo or cargo that shifts during transportation can lead to a lost load accident. Objects falling off trucks can cause accidents and injuries.
- Tire blowouts. Truck tire blowouts can occur due to overloading, improper tire maintenance, or road hazards. A blown-out tire can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, leading to accidents and collisions. Some trucking companies use retreaded tires to save money, but retreads have notoriously bad safety records. Along with causing a truck to lose control and crash, a blown tire can spew tire debris all over the road, which can strike other vehicles or cause vehicles to crash as they try to avoid the hazard.
- Blind spot accidents. Trucks have large blind spots, especially on the right side and behind the truck. If a truck driver fails to check their blind spots, the truck can collide with other vehicles when it changes lanes or turns.
- Brake failure accidents. A fully loaded semi can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which puts a lot of wear and tear on its brakes. Brake failures injure or kill many people every year in truck accidents.
- T-bone accidents. T-bone accidents, also known as side-impact or broadside collisions, occur when the front of a truck strikes the side of another vehicle at a perpendicular angle. These accidents often happen at intersections when one party fails to yield the right of way.
Any truck accident can total other vehicles and seriously or fatally injure others.
Some possible parties who may bear responsibility for your truck accident injuries include:
- Truck driver. You may hold the truck driver liable if their negligent or reckless actions contributed to the accident. This can include violations of traffic laws, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fatigue due to exceeding hours-of-service regulations, distracted driving, or any other form of driver negligence.
- Trucking company. The trucking company that employs the driver may bear responsibility for the actions of their employee. The company may bear liability if it failed to properly train or supervise the driver, neglected to conduct necessary background checks, or failed to enforce safety regulations.
- Truck owner. If a separate entity or individual from the trucking company owned the truck in the accident, you may hold that party liable if they failed to maintain the vehicle properly and mechanical failures or defects contributed to the accident.
- Freight or cargo loaders. If improperly loaded or unsecured cargo caused the accident, you may seek compensation from the individuals or company responsible for loading the truck. Improperly balanced or unsecured cargo can lead to loss of control, jackknifing, or cargo spills.
- Maintenance or repair contractors. If the accident resulted from inadequate truck maintenance or faulty repairs, you may hold the maintenance or repair contractors who worked on the truck liable for their negligence or substandard work.
- Vehicle or parts manufacturers. If a defect in the truck or its parts contributed to the accident, you may hold the manufacturer of the vehicle or specific components liable for producing a defective product.
- Government entities. In some cases, you can file a claim against the government entity responsible for road maintenance and safety if their negligence contributed to the accident, such as failing to repair road hazards or properly maintain traffic signs. You may also file a claim if a government-owned truck struck your vehicle. However, filing claims against a government entity involves cutting through red tape and meeting short deadlines. Contact an attorney immediately if you believe a government entity caused the truck accident.
Because of the parties involved and the complexities of the process, you need an attorney to establish liability and file a truck accident injury claim. A lawyer will have the resources to gather evidence that supports your case and improves your odds of a successful outcome.
What Compensation Can I Receive for My Truck Accident Injuries?
You shouldn’t bear the costs of your injuries and losses after a truck accident that you did not cause. You may obtain compensation from those responsible, but the amounts you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries, the degree of the other party’s negligence, and other factors.
Some common forms of compensation you can pursue for your truck accident injuries include:
- Medical expenses. You can obtain compensation for hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, physical therapy, assistive devices, and any other necessary medical treatments related to your injuries. You may also receive compensation for future medical expenses and disability accommodations.
- Lost income. If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you may receive compensation for the income, tips, bonuses, and other financial perks you received from working. This can include both current and future lost earnings if your injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability.
- Pain and suffering. You may obtain compensation for your ongoing pain and suffering. This can include physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages.
- Property damage. If the truck accident damaged or destroyed your vehicle or other property, you could receive compensation to repair or replace the damaged items.
- Rehabilitation and disability. If your injuries result in long-term or permanent disabilities, you may recover compensation for rehabilitation services, home modifications, assistive devices, and other accommodations necessary for your daily living.
If the court finds the at-fault party’s actions that caused your injuries particularly egregious or reckless, the judge may award punitive damages. These damages punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior.
If you lost a close family member in a truck accident, you may pursue a wrongful death settlement. Compensation in such cases can include funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and other damages.
Every truck accident case is unique, and you must have an attorney review your case to determine what compensation you can pursue. You need an assertive lawyer who offers a realistic opinion of how much compensation you will receive, and who will protect your rights and get the maximum amount possible.
Speak With an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Today
You likely have many questions about how you can get the compensation you need after a truck accident. An experienced truck accident attorney can review your case for free and offer advice regarding your options and the best course of action.
Do not delay in contacting an attorney because you only have a limited time to file a claim and pursue compensation. For instance, Florida allows you only two years from the accident, and Washington state only allows three years to file a civil lawsuit.
Your truck accident attorney will need to gather a lot of evidence and documentation. You have no time to waste in contacting a personal injury attorney in Tampa and starting on your claim.
Boohoff Law P.A. – Tampa Office
829 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Tampa, FL 33603