Being involved in a semi truck accident is one of the most terrifying experiences a person can go through. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, it’s normal to have a lot of questions about your legal rights and what to do next. There are a lot of things to know about truck accidents, and familiarizing yourself with these types of cases can help you feel more confident as you pursue a claim.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
Truck accidents aren’t like normal car accidents. Any kind of car accident can result in serious injuries, but truck accidents are usually catastrophic. The reason is that these trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than a car. When a semi’s trailer is fully loaded, the truck becomes a potential weapon that can demolish a passenger vehicle. There are also several other reasons why trucks are more dangerous than cars.
- Blind spots – Most vehicles have blind spots that make it very difficult for a motorist to see around his entire vehicle. In trucks, however, these blind spots are much larger. A truck’s blind spots are sometimes referred to as “no zones” because no one should ever drive in them if they can help it. If you get in a truck’s no zone, the truck driver can’t see you at all.
- Trucks take longer to stop – Stopping distances vary by truck, but a fully loaded truck traveling 65 miles per hour can take up to 525 feet to come to a complete stop. This is nearly the length of two football fields. By contrast, a 4,000-pound passenger vehicle going the same speed takes just 316 feet to stop.
- Hazardous loads – Semi trucks transport 70 percent of the freight in the United States. In many cases, they carry hazardous materials. When they crash, these dangerous materials can spill onto the road and enter the environment.
- Truck drivers work long hours – Driving a truck is a hard job. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes strict time limits on how long a truck driver can stay behind the wheel, the reality is that many truck companies push their drivers to bend or break the rules. If you have ever taken a long road trip, you know how difficult it can be to stay alert and awake behind the wheel when you’re sleep-deprived. Overworked truck drivers can fall asleep on the road and cause catastrophic accidents.
When you consider these factors, it’s easy to see how truck accidents are different from the typical car accident. Any time an individual is involved in a collision with a large truck, there is a chance of suffering devastating injuries.
How Many Truck Accidents Happen Each Year?
According to the FMCSA, there were more than 400,000 truck accidents in the United States in 2015. These truck accidents caused 83,000 injuries and 3,600 fatalities. In many cases, the injuries caused by truck accidents are serious. Many of the individuals hurt in these accidents will experience symptoms for the rest of their lives. This is why it’s so important for truck accident victims to obtain the compensation they deserve.
Common Reasons for Truck Accidents
Truck accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons. Each truck accident case is different, so it’s important for injury victims to work with an experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyer to ensure they protect their legal rights.
Some of the common reasons for truck accidents include:
- Truck driver exceeding the speed limit.
- The truck driver failing to maintain a safe distance between the truck and other vehicles.
- Poor truck maintenance, such as worn tires or failing brakes.
- Truck driver fatigue due to hours-of-service violations.
- Distracted truck driver.
- Truck driver not yielding the right of way to a passenger vehicle.
- Intoxication or drug use on the part of the truck driver.
- Bad weather, including rain, ice, and snow.
- Truck driver driving unsafe or taking an unreasonable maneuver.
No matter how a truck accident occurs, these accidents are typically more complicated than standard car accidents. This is because the FMCSA may investigate the truck accident. When federal and state authorities get involved, a case can quickly become complicated.
Who Can I Sue After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents can involve several different defendants. In addition to the truck driver, the trucking company may be responsible for an accident. Also, it may be possible for the injury victim to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the truck if an investigation reveals that some defect in the truck caused the accident.
Because truck accidents often involve multiple parties that may be spread out over several jurisdictions, they are generally quite complicated cases. This is why it’s important for injury victims to work with an experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyer.
Philadelphia Accident Attorney Rand Spear
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved. This article is not to be considered advise, only the execution of the contingency agreement with this law firm will constitute an attorney-client relationship. The contents of this article are for general information only. If you would like to pursue a claim please contact an attorney immediately to discuss your specific facts and circumstances regarding your claim. Some cases accepted by this law firm may be referred to or worked on by other lawyers, depending on the area of practice and specifics of a particular case.