Commercial truck accidents are not quite as common as accidents among automobiles, but when these monstrous vehicles are responsible for accidents, the results can be severe and include a range of injuries and disabilities, the loss of life and thousands of dollars in property damage. When you are involved in an accident of this magnitude, the trauma can stay with you long after the incident, causing a range of other frustrating problems. At times like these, it can be both helpful and comforting to have an experienced truck accident attorney at your side.
Truck Accidents Defined
Truck accidents are similar to car accidents in many ways, but for most purposes, they are differentiated by the size of the vehicles and how they are used. Truck accidents normally involve commercial vehicles. Light commercial trucks from 10,001 to 14,000 pounds are Class 3 while the largest trucks, weighing more than 33,000 pounds, are Class 8.
Considering that the average passenger car weighs only 3,000 pounds, when collisions between cars and trucks occur, the damage inflicted can be tremendous. In addition, trucks operate differently than cars do, and this creates a number of dangerous situations that do not occur in crashes involving only automobiles.
Truck Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), is charged with collecting and analyzing data involving truck accidents in all 50 states. According to a recent report, 3,978 trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds were involved in fatal crashes in 2014, which is a decrease of 5 percent over the previous year. However, this is the first decrease since 2009, when fatal truck accidents rose each year through 2013.
The number of truck accidents resulting in injuries was 88,000 in 2014, which was an increase of 55 percent since 2009. In addition, injury crashes involving large trucks rose by 21 percent, and truck accidents resulting only in property damage rose by 31 percent from 2013 to 2014.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 98 percent of all semi-truck accidents result in one or more fatalities, and tractor-trailer accidents are responsible for more than $20 billion in damages each year.
When it comes to commercial trucks as a larger classification, the average truck accident results in about $59,200 in damage, and 90 percent of these accidents are caused or made worse by human error.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
The types of accidents that can occur with trucks are quite varied and differ from the accidents that automobiles can cause. Following are some of the common types of truck accidents:
- Jackknife – When a tractor-trailer stops suddenly, the trailer can swings out to the side, impacting with other vehicles.
- Load drop – Cargo on trucks that is inadequately secured may come loose and spill onto the roadway or other vehicles.
- Rollover – Truck drivers sometimes lose control of their vehicles, and they tip onto one side or roll from one side to another.
- Blind spots – Trucks have large blind spots that block a driver’s view of the road and other vehicles.
Getting Help From a Truck Accident Attorney
When a truck accident occurs, there may be some confusion over who is at fault and who is liable for the damage that resulted. In some cases, the driver is at fault, but in other situations, the owner of the truck or the trucking company that leased the truck may be held liable. In yet other cases, liability may go to the manufacturer of the truck or the person loading it.
A knowledgeable and reliable truck accident attorney, such as those at Rizio Law Firm, can help the victims of truck crashes in several ways. These attorneys are experienced in truck accident law and can get to the bottom of who is at fault and why, which helps victims obtain just compensation for their losses. For further information on truck accidents, contact Rizio Law Firm today.
Call 888-292-8888 today to schedule a free consultation.