Were you seriously injured in a crash with a commercial truck? Semi-truck accidents can cause devastating damage and injuries, and victims can find the legal process complicated. It is important to seek help from an experienced legal professional with experience going up against trucking companies and their insurers. Dolman Law Group is here to assist you so please do not wait to call for help today.
Large commercial vehicles were involved in 480,000 accidents in 2015 in the United States, as reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)—97,000 of which resulted in serious injuries and 3,838 of which caused fatalities. If you or a family member is a truck accident victim struggling with injuries, medical bills, and other losses, talk to an attorney about your legal rights and options.
Types of Truck Accidents
Trucks can crash into other vehicles in many different ways, and the severity of the damage and injuries often depends on the type of crash that occurred. Types of common truck accidents include:
- Jackknife – A tractor and trailer of an 18-wheeler are attached by a device called a coupling. When the coupling fails or when the trailer gets thrown off balance, the trailer can swing out perpendicular to the tractor, much like a folding jackknife. A jackknifing trailer can collide with any cars in the adjacent lane, causing widespread damage and injuries.
- Runaway truck – When a driver loses their ability to slow down or stop a truck, the weight of the truck can cause it to barrel down the highway—especially if the truck was already moving fast—and hit anything in its path. This commonly happens when a truck is driving downhill, but can also happen on even ground.
- Rollover – Semi-trailers have high centers of gravity, so it is all too easy for them to tip over when drivers go too fast around turns or curves. Trucks can also roll over due to driving too fast in high winds, over-correcting errors, and other sudden driving maneuvers. Trucks that roll over may not only crash onto other vehicles, but also cause blockades in the road that lead to chain-reaction crashes.
- Override – Under regular circumstances, a rear-end crash is considered a minor fender-bender. This is not the case with large commercial trucks, however. When a truck rear-ends a smaller vehicle, the truck may actually drive onto the back of the car. Sometimes, the truck can even drive over the back seat, which is usually deadly for any backseat passenger.
- Underride – An underride can occur when a small car crashes into the back of a truck because the truck suddenly stopped or improperly changed lanes. In such cases, the fronts of smaller vehicles can become wedged underneath trucks, often killing motorists in the front seats. Though trucks can have guards to prevent under ride collisions, they still occur.
- Cargo spills – Some truck accidents do not involve direct collisions with other vehicles. Instead, cargo falls out of trailers or off of flatbed trucks, either onto other cars or into the road where cars can crash into them.
The potential for severe, life-changing, and expensive injuries can result no matter the type of truck accident. In many situations, however, truck accident victims have the right to hold drivers and trucking companies liable for their losses. To determine your rights, our attorneys will examine the cause of your accident and the surrounding circumstances.
Common Causes of Truck Crashes
Just as there are many types of truck collisions, many factors can cause collisions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that driver error causes the majority of truck accidents in which the truck was assigned as the reason for the crash, and drivers can make many different errors. Some examples of negligence commonly involved in truck accident cases include:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Other aggressive driving behaviors
- Other violations of traffic laws
- Violations of FMCSA regulations
- Improper securing or loading cargo
- Driving with serious health problems
- Inadequate inspection or maintenance of trucks
- Hiring unqualified or dangerous drivers
- Inadequate management and supervision of truck drivers
Determining what caused your crash and proving who was negligent generally requires investigating the crash and gathering evidence and documentation. Some crashes take place because parties other than the driver acted in careless ways. You can hold those parties liable for your injuries and losses if you can prove that their negligence led to the truck accident. Our law firm has the resources to help you identify liable parties and build a case against them.
Losses Caused by Semi-truck Collisions
Truck accident victims often incur overwhelming losses due to the severity of their injuries. Once a negligent party or parties are identified, we then assist clients in assessing the full value of their losses to ensure they seek the maximum amount of compensation possible. We regularly recover compensation for the following and more:
- Medical expenses
- Estimated future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings ability
These losses can be extensive, so there is usually a lot at stake in truck accident claims—and you want experienced, responsive representation throughout the legal process.
If you are still wondering whether or not your situation justifies hiring a personal injury attorney, read our article in which we get the advice of over 20 different attorney about when a victim needs to hire an injury attorney.
Discuss Your Situation With an Experienced Florida Truck Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
The legal team at Dolman Law Group regularly represents clients during insurance claims and personal injury claims in court following serious accidents and injuries. If you or a family member was injured, please call a Florida personal injury attorney at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.