Trucks are the backbone of America. They bring a lot of what you need to survive to stores in your city. They are essential to society’s survival. However, with so many trucks on the roads, there are bound to be accidents. Because of the size and weight of these trucks, accidents are often catastrophic or fatal, especially if the truck driver or the trucking company engages in negligent behavior.
Big Trucks that Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries and Fatalities
You will find many different types of trucks on the road. All of them can cause traumatic accidents because of their size and weight.
Different types of trucks include:
- Dump trucks.
- Garbage trucks.
- Tractor-trailer trucks.
- Tanker trucks that carry fuel, oil, sewage, milk, and other liquids.
- Flatbed trucks for large equipment or loads of lumber.
- Tow trucks.
- Fire trucks and ambulances.
Types of Truck Accidents
Trucks can get into accidents for many reasons, including driver negligence.
Truck accidents include:
- Jackknifes, when the driver loses control and the trailer swings forward to form a 90-degree or less angle with the cab.
- Tire blowouts. This can happen with any vehicle, but more often on trucks with retread tires. A retread is a tire with the old tread removed and new treads “glued” onto the base.
- The taller the vehicle, the easier it is to roll it over. High winds, taking curves too fast, unbalanced loads, and other factors can cause a truck to roll over. In some cases, a truck rolls over because of a combination of factors.
- Blind spots. Trucks, especially tractor-trailer trucks, have large blind spots. If you are in a truck’s blind spot, the driver cannot see you.
- Wide turns. Trucks with trailers—and even some large trucks without trailers—make wide turns. When turning right, the trailer will hit whatever is on the side of the road unless the driver swings wide. If you pull into a right lane when a truck is in the left lane with its right turn signal on, you are in the blind spot—the truck driver will not see you and could run your vehicle over.
- Under-ride crashes. If you rear-end a truck, you could get stuck under the trailer because of the height of the trailer. If the driver does not realize you hit their truck, they could take off and drag you some distance.
- Rear-end wrecks. Hitting the back of a semi-truck is like hitting a 10-foot thick brick wall. In addition to most likely totaling your car, you could suffer from severe or catastrophic injuries.
- Lost load. If a load is improperly secured, it could cause a truck to tip, or the load could fall off.
- Head-on crashes. If a truck loses control because of driver negligence or because another driver caused the driver to lose control, a truck could hit you head-on and cause traumatic injuries.
- T-Bone wrecks. Someone that runs a red light and hits the side of a vehicle causes a T-bone accident.
- Sideswipe wrecks. When a truck passes you, whether on a highway or a two-lane road, it could merge into you, causing a sideswipe wreck.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truckers get into accidents for many reasons, including:
- Driver negligence, including driving under the influence, distracted driving, and excessive speeding.
- Fatigued drivers.
- A defective truck and/or trailer.
- Worn tires.
- Defective parts, such as brakes and air lines.
- A trucking company’s negligence, such as telling a driver to “Do what you have to do to get this load delivered on time,” even if the company knows the driver has to break road rules or hours-of-service regulations to do it.
- Inclement weather.
- Poor road maintenance.
- Inspector negligence.
- Auto technician negligence.
- Poor training.
- Driver inexperience, whether with roads in a place the driver has never been before or a new driver.
- Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo.
- Truck and/or trailer malfunction.
- Road rage.
- Aggressive driving, including speeding and aggressive lane changes.
- Ignoring road rules.
- Other drivers who take careless actions, such as merging too closely in front of a truck or passing in an unsafe manner.
- Taking a turn too fast for conditions. The driver does not have to speed for a truck to tip over on a curve—the wind could cause the truck to blow over. Wind could also cause a truck to blow over on a straightaway if it is strong enough.
Truck Accident Injuries and Recoverable Damages
While some truck accidents cause minor injuries, most cause severe or catastrophic injuries or are fatal.
Some of the injuries you could sustain in a truck accident include:
- Cuts, scratches, bumps, and bruises.
- Strains, sprains, pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries.
- Simple and compound fractures.
- Crushed bones.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Road rash.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Amputation of a digit or limb.
- Chemical and thermal burns.
You could also suffer from secondary injuries, such as infections. Your injuries could also exacerbate an old injury or a condition that you have.
After an accident, you can recover damages. Regardless of how minor you think your injuries are, you should seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries do not manifest for hours or even a day or two after an accident.
Damages you might recover include:
- Past and future medical expenses.
- Past and future lost wages.
- Replacement or repair of destroyed or damaged personal property.
- Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses.
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Loss of companionship and/or consortium.
- Loss of use of a body part or a bodily function.
- Amputation of a limb or digit, whether in the accident, because of secondary injuries, or because a doctor could not save a limb.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do your chores.