Accidents involving big trucks can cause greater injury, more damage, and are more likely to result in death than accidents between two cars. The main reason that big truck accidents can be more dangerous is because trucks are so much heavier and more massive than vehicles. This can lead to a passenger car taking the brunt of the damage in a truck-car accident, with the vehicle driver and passengers more likely to suffer an injury in the accident.
Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many possible causes of truck accidents. The accident can be caused by a negligent truck driver, negligence of another driver, or a malfunction or defect that causes the truck to crash. Dangerous road conditions, bad weather, construction zones, and poorly controlled intersections can all contribute to a truck accident.
Truck drivers have more training and stricter licensing than regular drivers. They are also supposed to be aware of driving conditions and operate their vehicles accordingly. This includes understanding the time and distance it takes to stop the truck. A truck that is not able to brake in time is a major contributor to truck accidents. Given the extra weight and mass of a truck loaded with a tractor trailer, it may take a truck much longer to stop than a car, especially when they are traveling downhill or at high speed.
Another common cause of truck accidents has to do with truck driver fatigue. Commercial truck drivers make a living based on the distance they travel, and their time on the road. This can lead many drivers to put in extra hours and extra shifts to make more money.
However, many drivers violate the hours-of-service limits imposed by the federal government and work more hours than permitted. If the drivers do not allow themselves sufficient time to rest, they may be dangerously driving while drowsy. Nodding off for even a second can lead to a serious accident.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), large truck accidents are more likely to involve the death of passenger vehicle occupants than truck occupants. Trucks can weigh 30 times as much as a regular passenger vehicle. They are also taller, longer, and have a much higher center of gravity. When a vehicle and large truck collide, the car is more likely to be crushed or pinned under the truck.
Truck Accident Injuries
An accident between a truck and a passenger car can result in injuries ranging from minor to severe. However, given the size and shape of trucks compared to cars, many truck accidents result in death for passenger vehicle occupants. According to the IIHS, in 2014, 3,660 people died in large truck accidents. Of those, 16% were truck occupants, while 68% were passenger vehicle occupants. The other 15% include pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.
Truck accidents can result in head or neck injury, back injury, broken bones, and internal injuries. Many truck accidents leave passenger vehicle occupants trapped in the vehicle. Rescue crews have to work fast to free the occupants from a crushed vehicle, as every minute they are trapped could make their injuries more life-threatening. In some cases, occupants in a crushed vehicle may suffer burns if the car catches on fire or explodes after an accident.
Serious truck accidents can require emergency medical treatment, extensive surgery, days in the hospital, and include long-term medical treatment. In some cases, the injured driver or passenger may never fully recover from their injuries, requiring medical treatment for the rest of their lives.
Truck Accident Injury Lawsuits
Whatever the cause of the accident, the individuals or businesses responsible for causing the accident should be held accountable for the damage they caused. The first step of recovering damages for your injury usually involves contacting your auto insurance company. However, in many cases, the insurance company is not willing to fight for you to make sure you get the full compensation you deserve.
By contacting a personal injury attorney, you will get an advocate to fight for you. They will be able to file a claim against the negligent driver, the truck company, and if necessary, the truck manufacturer, or other parties responsible for the accident. Your attorney will fight to get you compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, you should talk to an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.