Due to size disparities and the basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and a passenger car is likely to result in serious injuries and significant property damage.
When a trucking accident occurs, 18 wheeler leave seriously injured people in their wake. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, you know the tragic consequences. If you believe your injuries and loss were caused by the negligent or reckless actions of a truck driver or truck owner, you owe it to yourself to find out.
Truck Accidents – An Overview
A traffic accident involving a commercial truck, such as an eighteen-wheeler or other large freight carrier, can be much more catastrophic than an ordinary car accident. A typical fully-loaded large commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3000 pounds. Because of this size disparity, and due to the basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries. While statistics show that truck drivers are generally much more careful on the road than automobile drivers, and thankfully the incidence of fatal crashes involving trucks and other large vehicles has declined in recent years, large truck crashes still accounted for 5,350 fatalities and 133,000 injuries in 2001.
What to Do if You Are Injured in an Accident
A motor vehicle accident is a serious matter, particularly when it involves a commercial truck. You or someone else may have been seriously injured, and even if you have not been injured, you may be wondering what you should do next.
What follows is a general guide to what you should do immediately after a commercial truck accident. If you drive for an employer, your employer may have procedures that you should follow. If you are self-employed, your insurance policy may set out instructions. You need to follow those instructions, or your claim for coverage may be denied. It is a good idea to review your policy before getting in an accident, so you know what the process will be. In addition, an attorney experienced in handling trucking related claims will be able to advise you on what to do.
Commercial trucking presents dangers that the drivers of passenger cars may never face. Although truckers make every effort to be safe in their operations, there are a number of things that make commercial trucking hazardous. Some of the more common causes of trucking accidents are set out below. If you are injured in a commercial trucking accident, you need to consult an attorney with experience in handling truck accident cases.
A truck is a complex machine; or, more accurately, a complex group of machines. There are many different systems operating at the same time. It doesn’t matter how safe the truck driver is if the equipment doesn’t work properly. If one of the parts of a truck breaks down, or doesn’t function properly, the result can be catastrophic.
If you are injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you may be unsure of what to expect when your lawsuit is filed. An experienced lawyer will be able to answer any specific questions you might have about your case, but the following chronology will provide an overview as to how a civil suit normally proceeds.
Commercial vehicles such as eighteen-wheeler and other large freight carriers are a unique presence on roads that are occupied mostly by small passenger vehicles, and commercial vehicles present dangers that are also unique. Not only do commercial truck drivers need to be aware of the special circumstances presented by the large vehicles they are driving, but other drivers on the road also need to use caution in their presence. Especially on major highways and at higher speeds, seemingly insignificant driving errors that may occur without consequence where small vehicles are concerned can result in catastrophe when an eighteen-wheeler is involved.
Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accidents
Q: I’ve read that commercial truck accidents can result in serious injuries. What is a “commercial truck”?
A: A commercial truck is a vehicle used in the course of business and/or for the transport of commercial goods. Examples are eighteen-wheeler tractor trailers, tanker trucks, delivery vehicles, and other large freight trucks.
Q: Why is a traffic accident involving a commercial truck more likely to cause injury than one involving passenger cars?
A: A typical fully-loaded large commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Due to this size disparity, and the basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries.