Why Semi-Trucks Are So Dangerous

July 25, 2018
Why Semi-Trucks Are So Dangerous

Semi-Trucks Can Cause Exceptionally Catastrophic Accidents

Tractor-trailers and semi-trucks weigh many tons and travel at very high rates of speed. When a semi-truck collides with a smaller vehiclethe result can be catastrophic and deadly, due to the sheer force of the impact. Tractor-trailers also routinely carry cargo, such as logs, which can dislodge from the trailer and into the road. When that happens, serious motor vehicle accidents can occur. For example, the cargo could dislodge from the trailer onto the roadway and into the windshield of a smaller vehicle, causing serious injuries or deaths.

If a tractor-trailer or semi impacts your vehicle at a high rate of speed, you can sustain serious damages, some of which may end up being permanent. Those injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, fractures, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, muscle contusions, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and lifelong disability. Moreover, the accident victim may be able to recover monetary compensation for all of the injuries and damages suffered, including compensation for medical and physical therapy bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, related mental health issues, loss of earning capacity, permanent impairment, and loss of enjoyment of life, among other damages.

Sometimes, semi-truck accidents can result in death. If that occurs, the decedent's surviving family members may be able to open an estate on behalf of the decedent. Once the survivors select a personal representative, they may be able to file a claim for damages against the trucking company.

If you have sustained injuries in an accident that was caused by a semi-truck, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Clearwater truck accident personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can discuss how your accident happened and may be able to pursue damages against the negligent truck driver or trucking company.

Cargo and Weight Limits

Tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and other large roadway vehicles have limitations on the type, size, and weight of the cargo they carry. In an effort to prevent semi-truck crashes, the federal government has put certain regulations in place. These regulations apply to many issues, including the following:

  • Cargo weight limits
  • Load types
  • Methods of securing cargo to the trailer
  • Safety features (e.g., warning lights and signage for oversize loads)

Failing to abide by these regulations can lead to insecure cargo or unsafe semi-truck operation. Moreover, trucks and trailers are sometimes topheavy, and when they are overloaded, they can cause a truck rollover accident on the highway. When truck drivers fail to abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, they can be fined and suffer other serious penalties.

Negligent Semi-Truck Drivers

Another reason why semi-trucks are so dangerous is that drivers can make errors. Vehicles as large as semi-trucks require safe operators. Putting a negligent driver behind the wheel of an already-dangerous vehicle creates a recipe for disaster.

Truck driver negligence can take many forms. Whatever the form, however, negligent actions or inactions on the part of a semi-truck driver can result in a serious collision with another motor vehicle.

Truck driver negligence can lead to jackknifing, coupler device failures, and rollovers. Examples of truck driver negligence include:

  • Exceeding the posted truck speed limit
  • Distracted driving (e.g., cell phone use, texting while driving, etc.)
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Disobeying traffic control devices (including red lights, stop signs, or yield signs)
  • Cutting curves too sharply
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Poor maintenance on the tractor or on the trailer
  • Abrupt lane changes
  • Driving too fast for the road conditions then-and-there existing
  • Violating the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations

In some cases, truck drivers intentionally operate their vehicles in an unsafe manner in order to try and arrive at their destinations ahead-of-schedule. When drivers are able to do this, they and their employer trucking companies often reap hefty financial benefits. Some drivers even resort to drugs and other illegal substances to help them stay awake and drive for longer periods.

Suing a Negligent Trucker or Trucking Company

If you have sustained injuries and losses as a result of a truck driver or trucking company's negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages. When truck drivers speed, text while driving, or operate their trucks while under the influence of alcohol, they are per se negligent. In those cases, the trucking company may simply admit fault, and the accident victim's lawyer will file a damages-only lawsuit.

When truck drivers act as employees for a trucking company, the injured accident victim may also have a legal cause of action against the employer trucking company, pursuant to an agency theory of recovery. For example, if the truck driver operates his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and the driver was on the job at the time the accident occurred, the parent trucking company could also be sued for any personal injuries and damages that result.

A trucking company could also be liable for negligently hiring, supervising, or retaining a problem truck driver. This is particularly true in situations in which the truck driver previously caused an accident about which the parent trucking company knew. A Clearwater personal injury truck accident lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit against all of the potentially responsible parties in your accident case.

Contact a Clearwater Truck Accident Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case and Potential Legal Options

In a Clearwater truck accident case, you always have legal options open and available to you. Semi-truck accidents can often cause catastrophic injuries and overwhelming damages, and the trucking company's insurer is never on your side. In fact, the insurance company's adjusters will manipulate the facts of your case to their advantage. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our attorneys know the tricks and tactics that insurance adjusters use to avoid paying out full and fair monetary compensation in truck accident personal injury cases. We will explore all possible options to obtain the compensation you need and deserve.

To schedule a free consultation with a Clearwater truck accident personal injury lawyer, please call us at 727-451-6900 or contact us online.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/truck-accident-attorneys/

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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