Truck Accidents

Truck accidents involving an 18-wheeler, semi-truck or big-rig can result in serious injuries or wrongful death to other drivers or passengers involved in the accident, and it’s important for victims and their families to understand their legal rights following a commercial truck accident. If you were involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or another commercial truck, and you have suffered serious injuries as a result, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, emotional trauma, and other damages. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney today to discuss the possibility of filing a truck accident claim against the person or party found at fault in the accident.

Truck Accident Lawsuits & Litigation // Consumer Safety Watch

Causes of Truck Accidents

Similar to motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents can be caused by any number of factors, including reckless driving, tailgating, speeding, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, one of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents is drowsy driving, or driving while fatigued.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as many as 28% of truck drivers could have sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, preventing the person from getting the sleep they need to feel well-rested. Sleep apnea is a chronic disease that often causes excessive daytime drowsiness, a major concern for commercial truck drivers who sometimes spend 11 hours or more behind the wheel without stopping to rest.

Common Truck Accident Injuries

Due to the sheer size and weight of 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial trucks, trucking accidents can cause serious injuries to anyone involved, particularly drivers of smaller passenger cars and their passengers. Common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Severed limbs
  • Head or neck injury

  • Back injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Whiplash
  • Internal bleeding
  • Wrongful death

Upwards of 100,000 accidents every year can be traced to drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel, accounting for as many as 1,500 deaths and 40,000 injuries.

Pursuing Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries

Although trucking accident claims fall under the same area of the law as motor vehicle accidents involving passenger cars or trucks — i.e. personal injury — commercial truck accidents are unique in that there are state and federal regulations in place that semi-truck owners, operators and manufacturers are required to follow. These regulations govern, among other things, how much weight an 18-wheeler is permitted to haul, how many hours a truck driver can work without rest, and how commercial trucks are manufactured and maintained.

In any given truck accident claim where the plaintiff is not at fault, there are a number of factors to consider in building the case and establishing how much in damages the plaintiff is entitled to. If the truck owner, operator or manufacturer violated one or more state or federal trucking regulations, the chances of the plaintiff winning at trial or receiving a favorable settlement increases dramatically.

Truck Accident Causes

The FMCSA noted in their study that of all truck accidents caused by driver error, 44 percent involved truckers taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, and 23 percent involved drivers who were speeding. Other types of driver negligence may include:

  • Distraction: The driver was talking or texting on his cell phone, updating social media sites, browsing the Internet, watching videos, eating, or otherwise distracted at the time of the accident.
  • Drugs and alcohol: The driver may have indulged in illegal drugs or alcohol that affected his or her judgment.
  • Inexperienced: The driver may have been young and/or inexperienced, and lacked the appropriate training for the job/load/route he was engaged in.
  • Aggressive: The driver was driving recklessly or aggressively.
  • Lack of truck driving experience
  • Overloading trucks
  • Operating oversized trucks on narrow roads
  • Failure to see other vehicles due to the truck’s large blind spot
  • Failing to obey traffic laws
  • Not stopping at weigh stations, as required by law
  • Driving for too long without taking a break

A Trucking Accident Lawyer Can Help

Filing a trucking accident claim can be a complicated and confusing process, as there are often multiple defendants involved in the claim, possibly including the owner of the commercial truck, the truck manufacturer, and the truck driver himself. For example, a drowsy truck driver may share liability for an accident that injures another person with the manufacturer of the truck, if the truck malfunctions in some way, or with the manufacturer of the truck tires, if a blowout or faulty tire caused the driver to lose control of the rig.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you should enlist the help of a qualified truck accident lawyer as soon as possible, to discuss your legal rights and the best way you can recover damages for your injuries and medical bills.

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