In the United States, thousands of people are killed or badly injured every year in collisions involving large trucks. Truck accidents often result in fatalities or serious injuries due to the size, weight, and speed of the vehicles involved. The average car stands little chance against the typical big truck. A fully loaded semi can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The typical car, meanwhile, weighs in at about 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. And because trucks cannot slow down or stop as quickly as cars, trucks tend to hit cars at higher speeds and with greater impact, leaving the car occupants with devastating and often fatal injuries.
Also, because cars sit so much lower to the ground than trucks, cars can easily slide under a semi in a crash. These underride accidents are often catastrophic even at slower speeds. Car occupants end up crushed, trapped or decapitated. Those who survive sometimes have severe head or neck injuries.
Driver error is a contributing factor in most fatal crashes involving large trucks. The common reasons for truck accident occurrences due to driver error are:
- distraction or inattention
- failure to yield right of way
- impairment (fatigue, alcohol, illness, etc.)
- careless driving
- improper training
Truck Driver Fatigue
Fatigue is a serious problem in the trucking industry. Truckers work long hours and often do not get the sleep they need. Many only take short naps when they actually need extended sleep for optimum functioning levels. Drowsy driving can have deadly consequences.
Poor Training and Maintenance
There are regulations and requirements for how many hours of training a driver must take in order to drive a commercial vehicle. Yet some drivers manage to get on the road without meeting those requirements, such as following protocols for driving in inclement weather. It takes ample experience and training to learn how to drive in bad weather safely, especially when maneuvering a large commercial truck. The trucking company is also required to inspect each truck before it gets on the road, but this often does not happen; sometimes the routine maintenance falls short, and a truck is on the road without being safe for the trip.
If a truck is poorly maintained, there are several parties that could be liable such as the trucking company that operates the truck or the mechanic responsible for repairs or maintenance.
What To Do After a Truck Accident
Truck and car accidents are traumatic events, especially if you are involved in a crash that occurred through no fault of your own. You might feel frightened, in shock or in pain after a high-impact collision, and not sure how to proceed next.
– If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately for assistance. Tend to those who need first aid but do not move anyone who is injured unless the person is in imminent danger.
– If you are able, get the names and insurance information of other parties involved in the accident. Also make note of the location of the accident and conditions at the time of the accident, including weather conditions and time of day. Photos/videos of the accident scene can also be helpful. Important information to obtain is the following:
- The license plate of the truck and any other identifying information (make/model)
- The truck driver’s license number and employer
- Names and addresses of drivers/passengers
- Insurance company information and policy number
- Names, phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses
- Accident report
– Seek medical attention immediately. Do not refuse medical treatment if emergency services are dispatched to the scene. Even if you are not transported to the hospital by ambulance for treatment, visit a physician as soon as possible after the accident to get a thorough evaluation of your injuries. Some symptoms of injuries like mild traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, whiplash, and others may appear in the following hours or days, so do not assume you are not hurt just because you feel fine right after the truck accident occurred.
– Not seeking medical treatment could severely harm your injury claim if you need to file one later. If your doctor refers you for imaging tests, surgical procedures, physical therapy, or other treatment, you should follow their orders. A gap in treatment is significant evidence insurance companies can use to deny claims. They might argue that the accident didn’t cause an injury or your injury isn’t severe enough to require medical intervention.
– Speak with a knowledgeable car and truck accident attorney. After the truck accident, If the other party’s insurance company tries to contact you and ask for information, you should not speak to them until you have discussed your case with an experienced truck accident attorney. Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster will look for any information they can use to shift all or some of the blame onto you. To protect yourself and ensure that you get the fair compensation you deserve after an accident, hire a qualified and experienced truck accident lawyer to represent you.
Truck accidents can be more complex than car accidents. If you were injured in truck crash, Karasik Law Group will fight for your family’s right to compensation for every dollar you are entitled to under the law. Call us to today at (718) 502-9112 to schedule a free consultation. And be sure to visit our website at www.karasiklawyers.com. At Karasik Law Group, winning matters. Win with us! We speak for the injured; our results speak for themselves.
Types of Injuries That Occur from Truck Accidents
Truck accidents with passenger cars tend to result in more serious injuries than collisions between two or more passenger cars. Sometimes the aftermath of a truck accident can stick with a person for life, which is why it is crucial that you receive the money you need to handle your ongoing and future medical and life care expenses. Some common injuries from truck accidents are:
– Soft tissue injuries
– Neck and back injuries
– Traumatic brain injuries
– Lacerations and broken bones
– Chest injuries
– Arm and leg injuries
– Internal bleeding and internal injuries
– Herniated discs
– Spinal chord injuries
– Amputation and disfigurement
– Post-traumatic stress disorder
Unfortunately, thousands of deaths occur each year from truck accidents. If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you might want to consider a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death claim is intended to compensate survivors of someone who died prematurely because of another person’s negligence.