By: Josh Ferrell
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Common Types of Truck Wrecks
Safely operating a semi-truck requires care, diligence, and training. Similarly, running a business that transports goods demands a commitment to safety and compliance with state laws and federal regulations.Unfortunately, truck drivers, trucking companies, and other parties in the trucking business often cut corners in order to speed up delivery times and make more money. When this happens, innocent people can be seriously injured or killed in truck accidents.
- Rollover Accidents
One of the unique aspects of truck accident litigation is the number of different parties that may be liable. The accident may be a direct result of driver error, but negligence on the part of others can also be a tremendous factor.
Rollover accidents are a good example of how multiple parties may be at fault in a crash involving a big rig. The truck driver may have been traveling too fast or have taken a corner too quickly, but the truck may also have become unstable and rolled due to cargo that shifted because it was not loaded or secured properly.
- Jackknife Accidents
A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer swings out from behind the cab. The momentum of the trailer continues to push the cab, increasing the likelihood of collision with other vehicles or stationary objects.
Factors such as improper braking and failure to adjust to weather conditions are common causes of jackknife accidents. Other issues that may cause jackknifing include inadequate maintenance of the truck or defective component parts.
- Rear-End Accidents
As with any motor vehicle accident, driver inattention and following too closely are two of the biggest causes of rear-end collisions. The key difference in rear-end accidents involving semi-trucks is the extent of injuries the occupants of the other vehicle may suffer.
If your vehicle was hit from behind by a big rig, both the driver and his or her employer may be liable. Distracted, aggressive, or fatigued driving may be the result of the trucking company pressuring its drivers to take unacceptable chances to meet unrealistic deadlines.
- Head-On Collisions
A head-on crash between a tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle is a devastating event. The difference in size between the car and the truck means that a crash carries a high likelihood of serious injury or fatality.
Factors such as distracted driving or driving under the influence play a major role in wrong-way and head-on collisions, but another potential cause that is not frequently explored is unfamiliarity with the area. Truck drivers often travel thousands of miles as part of their routes. New and inexperienced drivers and drivers starting a new route should be more cautious of their new surroundings. When they aren’t, they are at risk of crashing head on with another vehicle.
- T-Bone and Intersection Accidents
Running a red light or stop sign presents a serious danger to vehicles that have the right of way in an intersection. Truck drivers need to allow additional time to brake and additional space to execute turns safely.
Wide turn accidents and other claims that originate from a collision in an intersection frequently involve disputed liability, especially if the car driver hit the truck. Your attorney will investigate the accident to determine if the truck driver allowed sufficient time and distance to execute the turn.
- Sideswipe Accidents
Sideswipe accidents can happen anywhere, from parking lots to highways. They often result in serious or even total damage to your vehicle, as well as injuries from the impact, secondary collisions, and/or crashing into a stationary object.
Failure to check blind spots is a common cause of sideswipe accidents. Big rigs have significantly larger blind spots than other types of vehicles, requiring truck drivers to take extra precautions when changing lanes, merging, and performing other actions. But, if the driver is careless in checking the blind spots, vehicles that are not visible may be in harm’s way.
- Underride Accidents
One of the most frightening types of accidents involving semi-trucks occurs when a smaller vehicle becomes trapped underneath the trailer. These accidents may occur when a vehicle is in the truck’s blindspot when the truck is changing lanes or merging.
Underride accidents are another type of collision where liability may be disputed. Some underride accidents occur when a vehicle crashes into the back or the side of the trailer. In these instances, the claimant’s damages may be reduced in proportion to their share of the fault for the accident.
- Truck Load Accidents
Proper loading and securement of cargo is crucial for the safety of the truck driver and others on the road. In addition to rollover accidents, unsecured cargo can fall out of the trailer and into the roadway, potentially colliding with vehicles and creating accident hazards.
Multiple parties may be liable for accidents caused by truck loading errors. This includes the driver for failing to inspect the cargo during the course of his haul, the company that loaded the truck, and/or the manufacturer of defective equipment such as ropes, straps, and more.
- Tire Blowout Accidents
Although any vehicle can blow out a tire, tire blowouts are especially dangerous when the affected vehicle is a semi-truck. Semi-trucks are at particular risk for blowouts because of factors such as:
- Longer and heavier use
- Failure to replace tires when they become worn or bald
- Negligent maintenance
- Overloading of the tractor trailer
- Damaged and dangerous roads
Many different parties may be liable for tire blowout accidents, from the trucking company to third parties responsible for repairs and maintenance to the manufacturer of the tire.
- Brake Failure Accidents
The failure to brake in time to prevent an accident often rests squarely on the truck driver. The driver’s employer may be liable as well if improper training and hiring practices resulted in the driver being unfit to operate the rig.
However, brakes may also fail due to defects and wear and tear. Liability in these cases is complicated, which is why it is important to contact an experienced truck accident attorney who can take action on your behalf against all of the liable parties.
SERIOUS INJURIES – REQUIRE SERIOUS ATTORNEYS
Our firm understands the repercussions of a serious accident. If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, you should not have to fight the uphill battle for compensation on your own. When you hire Ferrell & Brown, you are hiring a devoted, caring, and aggressive team who will tenaciously fight for you. If you or someone you know was injured in a wreck and wishes to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact Ferrell & Brown.