Trucking accidents are some of the most severe types of crashes that can occur. Statistically speaking, for every 10 auto accidents that involve trucks, 1 will result in a death. In fact, truck accidents hold a 70% higher chance to end with a fatality than passenger vehicle accidents. This percentage gap is due to the sheer size of trucks and the force they have when hitting a car. Commercial trucks can be up to 80,000 pounds, while passenger cars are typically 4,000 pounds. This means a commercial truck can be 20 times the weight of an average size car. When adding the fact that trucks are usually traveling at 60 MPH, cars have little resistance against these fast-moving giants.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
There are many different types of truck accidents that can occur. Some of the causation factors involved in these accidents are the driver, type of truck, speed of the truck, and geographic features.
Below are some of the most common types of truck accidents.
- Rollover Accidents – Rollover accidents are the highest occurring truck mishaps. Rollovers usually take place when a truck driver tries to take a turn or round a curve at an improper speed. Rollovers also ensue when a truck’s trailer begins to drift to one side, and the driver overcorrects the drift and causes the truck to pitch. In a rollover, the trailer of the truck swings off-balance, so much so that it tips over and ends belly-up.
- Jackknife Accidents – A truck is considered “jackknifed” when the cab of the truck ends up facing the opposite direction of the trailer after an accident, causing the truck to look like a jackknife from a bird’s eye view. This accident occurs because of a failure to slow down correctly while attempting to stop, typically stemming from broken brakes or weather conditions. If the jackknife is caused internally by the truck, it usually a result of the axle brakes locking up, meaning the cab itself was trying to stop while the trailer is still moving at top speed. This causes the trailer to run into the cab, pushing it to either side while the trailer continues to travel straight until the truck slows to a stop. The other main cause of jackknifes are weather conditions like snow and ice. While trying to break, the ice or snow makes the truck’s brakes unable to catch the road, thus making the truck skid into a jackknife.
- Tire Blowouts – There are numerous reasons why a tire may blowout while on the road. Some of these include faulty tires, road conditions, pierced tires, and over-inflated tires. When a truck suffers a flat tire, it is almost near-impossible to bring it under control. This is because most trucks obtain the blowout while driving on a freeway. The high speed of commercial trucks on a freeway added to the heavy loads that trucks carry mixed with a flat tire will usually end in disaster.
- Rear-End Collisions – Rear-end collisions are just like any other rear-end accident, with the truck cab crashing into the back of another vehicle. However, the weight of a commercial truck significantly increases the damage done to the receiving vehicle. This accident can be caused by malfunctioning or poorly maintained brakes, an overloaded trailer, or simple driver negligence like being distracted by a cell phone, speeding, or tired driving.
- Underride Collisions – Underride collisions are when a car ends up tucked underneath a truck. There are two main ways that an underride collision can occur. If a car is driving behind a truck, and the truck abruptly slams on his brakes, the following car may go underneath the truck causing an underride collision. An underride collision will also occur when a driver inattentively changes lanes into a space inhabited by a truck, causing the car to get tangled up underneath the truck. These collisions are the most fatal of all commercial truck accidents.
- T-Bone Collisions – T-bone collisions are when a truck crashes into the side panel of a vehicle. These accidents usually take place at intersections with lights or stop signs. The truck or car driver might have run a red light and entered the intersection at an inappropriate time. As a result, the truck hits the side panel of a vehicle that is perpendicular to the truck cab, causing the initial impact of the two vehicles to appear as a T from a bird’s eye view.
- Lost Load Accidents – Lost load accidents are the result of improperly loaded trailers. When a trailer is loaded incorrectly, the items in the trailer may end up falling out of the truck. If a car is following a truck closely when this happens, the lost load may strike the car before it even hits the road. If the lost load does fall onto the freeway, other cars are in immediate danger of hitting the load since it is sitting in the street. Therefore, a lost load can cause damage minutes after the initial loss of cargo.
Severity of Truck Accident Injuries
Most truck accidents result in injuries, though depending on the circumstances and type of accident, the injuries will range in severity.
Below are some common injuries suffered from involvement in a truck accident:
- Broken Bones – Bone fractures or breaks are frequently sustained injuries for victims of commercial truck accidents due to a truck’s ability to crush smaller vehicles. The recovery time for a bone fracture or break depends on the severity of the injury and the age of the victim.
- Head & Neck Injuries – Truck accidents often cause victims to experience head and neck injuries such as whiplash, concussion, contusion, hematoma, and brain hemorrhaging. While some of these injuries will be immediately apparent after the accident, it is not uncommon for symptoms of these kinds of injuries to show up weeks or months after the initial incident. This is why a hospital visit is crucial after an accident, so that those involved may be cleared of internal injury.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries rank among the most severe wounds truck accident survivors obtain. Depending on the severity of the impact and the location of the spinal cord damage, the injury can result in partial or complete paralysis for the rest of the patient’s life.
- Lacerations – Cuts and other lacerations are common injuries after a truck accident. While some lacerations are minor wounds that do not require medical attention, others gashes require hospitalization for stitching and repairing damage sustained to tissue or organs.
- Amputations – In some cases, the accident can result in an arm or leg being pinned under or against a vehicle. In this circumstances, the injured may have to undergo an amputation. Amputations have life-altering consequences that force the victim to relearn how to perform even the most basic daily activities.
Getting Compensated for Your Injuries
If you were injured in a commercial truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. That means you may be able to secure financial recovery for medical bills, lost wages, and for your pain and suffering. Because commercial truck accidents are more complex than a typical passenger vehicle accident, you will likely want to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer to determine the full value of your case. At Arnold & Itkin, we have won more billions in verdicts and settlements for our clients and know how to take on major trucking companies. We can perform the work necessary to find out who is liable in an accident case.
Contact one of our truck accident lawyers today at (888) 490-0442 to learn how we can help you. We offer free consultations for anybody seeking legal help.