A large truck can outweigh a passenger automobile by several tons. That means when a large truck or semi tractor-trailer is involved in an accident there is a significantly higher probability of serious injury and death.
Fatigue, reckless driving and shifting loads are among the common causes of truck accidents. In addition, truck drivers may be dealing with unreasonable deadlines and other dangerous factors that can result in catastrophic accidents. Trucks are much larger and heavier than cars and motorcycles, and they often are carrying dangerous cargoes, such as flammable liquids and toxic substances, at high speeds and in poor weather conditions. Everyone who shares the road with semi trucks is at risk. Semi trucks also have large blind spots and are prone to tipping. When semi drivers must brake quickly, the trailers can swing or jackknife in the road. This may cause an accident involving multiple vehicles.
We Will Get You The Compensation You Deserve
If you are the victim of a semi truck driver’s negligence, you need a Gerling Law attorney who is ready to pursue the full compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
It is important to begin investigating all possible contributing causes of the accident right away in order to establish who is at fault for your injuries. Gerling Law’s truck accident attorneys have the experience and resources to handle the details of your case while you devote your time and energy to healing from your injuries.
Most Semi-Truck Crashes Are Caused By Truck Drivers
Truck drivers themselves cause about 87 percent of semi-truck crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Of those accidents, most are the result of poor decisions behind the wheel. Those poor decisions can include driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, making unsafe lane changes and misjudging the speed of other vehicles on the road.
In about 28 percent of accidents, the driver is not paying attention; in some cases, he or she is distracted by things inside or outside of the vehicle or somehow fails to observe the situation properly. Roughly 12 percent of these crashes are due to the driver falling asleep at the wheel or becoming physically impaired by a physical problem (such as a heart attack or seizure). Around 9 percent of big-rig crashes are the result of the driver panicking, overcompensating or exercising poor directional control, according to the FMCSA.
Other common truck accidents causes include:
- Inadequate training
- Rushed schedules and employer demands
- Methods of payment that encourage truck drivers to drive too fast or while fatigued
- Driver error
- Equipment failure
- Poor weather conditions
- Improper loading
- Distracted driving
- Drug or alcohol use
- Unfamiliarity with roadways
The Trucking Industry’s Rules
There are regulations defined by state and local governments that dictate the conditions in which commercial carriers are required to maintain their equipment and records, as well as the number of hours their drivers are allowed to operate. Trucks are also subject to height and weight limits, and in many cases, truck drivers must stick to certain routes to mitigate the risks associated with the loads they carry. For example, trucks carrying hazardous materials must take different routes from those that are carrying other materials. Truck drivers must also have a special license to carry hazardous cargo, and they are held to different standards than other truckers are.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents Often Cause Serious Injuries And Death
Because they’re so large and carry so much momentum, tractor-trailer accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. When these big trucks hit other cars, pedestrians or even other trucks, the consequences can be tremendous. Semi trucks are heavy, and they’ll stop anything in their paths. These sudden stops cause passenger cars to crumble, which often results in broken bones.
If the truck was carrying toxic chemicals or there was a fire involved in the crash, serious burn injuries can result that leave disfiguring scars and can lead to life-threatening infections. The momentum and severity of a tractor-trailer accident also can cause injuries that partially or completely sever the spinal cord. Some spinal cord injuries are severe enough to cause permanent paralysis or death. Internal injuries from a truck accident can be incredibly severe. Being forcefully restrained by a seat belt, hitting the air bag and being thrown around the interior of the vehicle can cause painful injuries that require immediate medical care, and sometimes surgery. The most commonly injured internal organs include the lungs, liver and kidneys. Trauma to the abdomen can also cause spleen damage or damage to the pancreas.
Get The Legal Help You Deserve!
If you or a family member has been seriously injured because of an accident involving a truck, talking to a law firm with experience in truck accident cases just makes sense. Call Gerling Law today at 1-888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or complete the free case review form for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.