Truck accidents can be some of the most devastating vehicle collisions on U.S. roadways. Because of the significant size and weight of semi-trucks, these accidents often lead to severe injuries and even death.
The limited maneuverability and exceedingly long time and distance it takes for a big rig to stop lead many to believe that the truck driver is at fault for the majority of a truck vs. car accidents. However, that is not the case. In fact, the IIHS estimates that other drivers cause 81% of all trucking accidents. In this article, we take a more in-depth look at why commercial truck accidents often lead to serious injuries, detail the common types of truck accidents, and why drivers are actually to blame for a large percentage of these accidents.
If you are a truck driver who has been involved in a severe accident caused by another motorist, you have the right to seek damages. To learn more about your legal rights following a crash, contact Slater & Zurz. Your initial consultation is free, and if you choose us to handle your case, there will be no fees unless we win. Don’t hesitate. Call (888) 534-4850 today to arrange your complimentary case review with one of our leading truck accident lawyers in Ohio.
Why Do Truck Accidents Lead to Such Serious Injuries?
The consequences of a commercial truck accident are often nothing less than devastating. Those traveling in smaller vehicles, on motorcycles or bicycles, and even pedestrians are exceptionally vulnerable to injury when hit by a large and heavy semi-truck.
But these accidents are not just serious for others involved. They can be equally devastating for the trucker. In fact, highway accidents are the leading cause of truck driver injuries. It is not uncommon for 18-wheelers to jackknife, flip, or drive off the road and down steep embankments in the event of an accident, leading to severe, sometimes fatal, injuries.
Truck Driver Injuries
Truck drivers can sustain serious injuries following a truck accident like other motorists. Common injuries include the following:
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limb
Types of Semi-Truck Accidents
Although you now understand why these accidents lead to devastating injuries, it is also essential to know the types of semi-accidents that occur. Below are some of the most common truck crashes.
In an effort to avoid a collision, drivers can make a sudden swerve or turn too sharply, causing the truck to flip over. These crashes also result from the improper loading of cargo, brake failures, and hazardous road conditions.
When motorists are speeding, under the influence, or driving recklessly, they can end up in the big rig’s path. If the motorist or truck driver is unable to react in time to avoid the head-on crash, the result can be catastrophic.
When motorists are distracted, under the influence, speeding, or tailgating, they can crash into the back of the truck. These accidents can also occur when a motorist pulls in front of a truck and fails to leave enough distance for the truck to stop safely.
When drivers cut off a large commercial truck, the trucker turns to avoid hitting another vehicle, or the big rig loses traction with the road, the truck can jackknife. Jackknifing accidents occur when a semi’s trailer and cab fold in on each other and create a V-shape.
Also known as side-impact crashes, T-bone accidents occur most frequently in intersections. When drivers fail to yield or act recklessly and run red lights, they can crash into the side of the truck’s cab or trailer, creating a T-shape.
How Cars Can Cause Truck Accidents
As a trucker or motorist, it is important to understand how these accidents occur. Although commercial truck accidents can result from an almost endless range of circumstances, some of the more common causes include the following:
Drivers are not immune to distractions while on the road. Cell phones, navigation systems, children, and pets can take a motorist’s attention away from operating their vehicle, ultimately making them unaware of their surroundings.
Driving Under the Influence
Driver impairment is another common cause of driver-related truck accidents. When a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their ability to properly assess their surroundings and react to hazards or others on the road is greatly impaired.
When many think of truck accidents involving driver fatigue, they automatically think of the truck driver. That is often not the case. Like truck drivers, motorists also fall prey to fatigue or drowsiness. Much like driving under the influence, driving while tired inhibits a driver’s ability to be adequately aware of their surroundings and quickly react to other vehicles on the road.
As motorists, we have all witnessed passenger vehicles driving recklessly around commercial trucks. They impatiently ride closely behind trucks, cut them off, speed past them, and fail to yield to them. Because large trucks can’t react to the reckless actions of aggressive drivers, these situations often result in devastating accidents.
Other Liability Parties
If you are a trucker who was injured in a crash, your Ohio truck accident attorney will help you determine what exactly caused the accident and who was at fault. Although other motorists are often to blame, other parties may have played a part in the collision. Other at-fault parties include:
- Truck owners
- Trucking companies
- Truck mechanics
- Cargo loaders
- Shipping companies
- Designers and manufacturers of truck and truck parts
Seeking Compensation After an Ohio Truck Accident
If another driver or party caused your truck accident, you have the right to seek damages for your losses under Ohio law. The compensation you are entitled to will ultimately depend on the nature of the accident and the type and extent of your injuries. However, damages commonly awarded in truck accident cases include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Costs for future medical care
- Rehabilitation, including physical therapy
- Lost wages and/or future earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death damages (if you lost a loved one in a truck crash)
Although you aren’t required to hire an Ohio truck accident attorney to seek compensation from the at-fault party, we strongly encourage doing so. Many times, insurance companies, judges, and juries are inclined to believe truckers are the ones at fault for accidents. That is why it is best to have an attorney who can strongly and effectively prove the facts of your case and show those involved who or what caused the crash and, ultimately, your injuries and associated losses.
Contact a Top Truck Accident Lawyer in Ohio
As a commercial truck driver, you spend your life on the road. With years of training and experience, you go to great lengths to keep yourself and others safe. But what happens when, despite your best efforts, you suffer serious injuries and property damage in a collision caused by another motorist?
Truck drivers do have rights following a big rig accident. To ensure those rights are upheld and you receive the monetary compensation you truly deserve, you need an experienced and diligent truck accident attorney. Although insurance companies and juries often assume the trucker is at fault, our skilled attorneys will fight to make sure the actual cause is shown, and the party responsible for the crash is identified.
When you need an experienced legal team representing your rights and best interests, turn to Slater & Zurz. Our personal injury attorneys in Ohio have over 100 years of collective experience representing our clients in serious injury cases. To get started, contact us online or call (888) 534-4850 to arrange your FREE consultation. We have offices across Ohio, including Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo, to serve you better.