It’s a nightmare situation for most drivers: the thought of being in an accident with a truck, trailer, or other large commercial vehicle can strike fear in most of us. While all accidents can be dangerous and devastating, being involved in a truck crash can cause catastrophic injuries and damage. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 4,119 people died in large truck crashes in 2019, and two-thirds of those victims were passengers in other (usually smaller) vehicles.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Serious?
For starters, semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles are so large and so heavy that even low-speed collisions can cause devastating injuries. Trucks can be as much as 20 to 30 times heavier than cars, weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, and a smaller vehicle can underride a large commercial vehicle, causing injury. People who are traveling in smaller vehicles are simply more vulnerable to being significantly injured in a truck crash.
Moreover, when a truck and a smaller vehicle such as a car collide at highway speeds, the car will absorb most of the impact of the crash. Even the cargo itself can contribute to a dangerous crash, especially in cases where the truck is loaded incorrectly. These factors can add up to cause catastrophic injuries in an accident, such as traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, or spinal cord injuries—and in some cases, even wrongful death.
In addition, a truck collision can involve claims against multiple people and companies. For example, the victim of the crash may need to bring suit against the truck driver for negligent driving, as well as the trucking company for its negligent maintenance of the vehicle. These cases quickly become complex, requiring a team of truck accident lawyers, accident consultants, and other experts who understand how to read the scene of a crash.
What Are Some Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Our personal injury attorney can investigate many possible causes of truck accidents. These typically fall into three different categories:
- Driver error, such as fatigue, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or improperly loaded or secured cargo
- Failure by the truck company to take safety measures, which includes improper truck maintenance, the failure to investigate safety hazards on the truck, a lack of driver training and supervision, and failure by the trucking company to screen their new hires
- Defects by the manufacturer of the truck, such as a faulty design or a manufacturing defect in an integral truck part
In some cases, it is possible for multiple parties to be at fault and negligent. For example, a driver may be negligent while speeding in an improperly maintained truck, and the truck company may also be negligent for failing to make necessary repairs or updates to the truck. In cases like that, it is possible to file suit against all of the negligent parties who are responsible for causing your injuries and damages.
What Are Some Common Damages Suffered in a Truck Accident?
Damages and injuries that result from truck crashes can be quite severe. From serious personal injuries to significant damage to your vehicle, being in an accident with a commercial truck can be devastating.
Some examples of injuries that might occur, for which the parties may recover damages, include the following:
- Personal injuries, requiring you to pay for medical bills, hospital stays and services, and pharmacy bills
- Damage to your vehicle, requiring you to pay hefty mechanic’s bills or even purchase a new vehicle
- Pain and suffering that you experience as a result of the crash
- Loss of income, if you are unable to go to work because you are injured
- Loss of future income, if you are hurt so severely that you are unable to continue your current job in the foreseeable future
- Mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of everyday activities, among other non-economic damages
What Does the Process of Bringing a Claim in a Truck Accident Entail?
The first step to bringing an effective claim in a truck accident case is to investigate fully the facts of the accident. This requires a keen reconstruction of the events that led up to the cause of the crash, as well as the need to collect relevant evidence. It also requires collecting the parties’ and witnesses’ statements and building a case based on what happened.
To succeed in your lawsuit, all elements of the claims you bring must be proven. For example, suing a truck driver or trucking company for negligence requires you to prove that they breached a duty to you to operate safely on the road, and as a result, they caused your injuries.
Navigating such a complex area of law can be difficult without the help of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. Not only is it essential to pay attention to the facts, but it is equally important to understand and be able to apply the legal issues involved. In a truck crash, state personal injury laws cover most of the claims; however, truck drivers are also regulated by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
In addition to preparing an effective lawsuit, an experienced truck accident attorney can help negotiate with the other parties and their insurance companies. Because many different parties may be involved, it is possible that you’ll need to work with several insurance providers as well. That can be a daunting and complicated process.
How Can Aaron Allison Help?
Our Austin personal injury lawyer helps truck accident victims recover much-needed compensation. Our law firm has successfully litigated accident cases throughout Texas, and we are passionate about vindicating the rights of those injured by negligent semi-truck drivers and trucking companies. Even though a successful case cannot erase what happened, obtaining fair compensation can at least give you the resources you need to move forward in life.
Take the first steps towards justice. Call (512) 474-8346 or contact our law firm online. The initial consultation is free, and we do not collect attorney fees unless we first get you compensation.