Truck Accidents and Getting Personal Injury Legal Help
If you have been injured in a truck accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to be compensated for your personal injuries. The wise thing to do is to get a personal injury case review and evaluation and discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
Truck accident statistics: Truck accidents are something that most people are very aware of. Hardly a day goes by without seeing some sort of truck accident on your local newscast on TV. Do you realize how often truck accidents take place in the United States? According to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), somewhere around 500,000 truck accidents occur every year in the United States. About 5,000 of these 500,000 truck accidents result in fatalities. The truth is that one out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a truck accident.
A truck is defined as any of various heavy motor vehicles that are designed and made for carrying, pulling and transporting loads. Trucks are vehicles that are used for carrying and transporting heavy articles or freight. A truck may either be straight (all axles attached to the frame) or articulated (two or more frames that are connected by couplings). Examples of vehicles that are trucks are eighteen-wheelers, delivery trucks and tractor-trailers.
A truck accident can be a one vehicle traffic accident. In most instances, however, truck accidents are traffic accidents that take place when large trailers (10,000 + lbs.) collide with some other vehicle or pedestrian.
Truck accidents are usually extremely serious kinds of traffic accidents. This is due to their enormous size and the extensive amount of damage that a truck can do. In fact, a truck constitutes a powerful and deadly weapon that can seriously injure or annihilate anyone or anything in its path.
Common Factors for Truck Accidents
Truck accidents in most instances are complex events. There are usually many factors rather than one single factor that go into what causes truck accidents. Some of these factors include:
- The use of alcohol
- Both prescription and illegal use of drugs
- Driving too fast
- Sleepiness, drowsiness and/or fatigue
- Weather conditions, such as rain, hail, sleet, snow or high winds
- Manufacture and design of the truck
- Condition of the roadway or highway
- Traffic signaling
- Blowout of a tire
- A decision to turn in traffic
- Experience and training of the truck driver
- Unsafe acts by drivers of passenger vehicles
- Unrealistic expectations and schedules of trucking companies that encourage truck drivers to go to fast in spite of the safety risks that are involved
- Systems of compensation by trucking companies that encourage more consecutive hours of driving and faster speeds than are normally advisable.
One or more mechanical problems and truck accidents
Truck accidents that result from mechanical problems. A 2009 study that was done by the University of Michigan Transportation Resources Institute discovered a significant casual relationship between mechanical problems and truck accidents. The study indicated that 55% of the large trucks that were examined after an accident were found to have had one or more mechanical problems. Almost 30% of these large trucks had mechanical problems that should have put the truck out of service and off of the road.
So, just how big a part does mechanical problems play in causing truck accidents? The answer to that question will vary, according to the particular study that you use to draw your conclusions. However, a large majority of studies have found that mechanical problems with trucks are underreported.
There is agreement among researchers on this point. The point is that when a truck accident is a fatal crash, there is a greater chance that the truck had mechanical problems and probably at least one defect that should have taken it off of the road.
Types of Truck Accident Injuries That Result in Personal Injury Lawsuits
In many instances, injuries from truck accidents prove to be fatal. However, there are several other serious, non-fatal injuries that result from truck accidents. These include:
- Abdominal injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Lacerations or cuts
- Neck and head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
An important thing to keep in mind about truck accidents is that the trucking industry is governed by federal regulations and laws. These laws establish certain standards that drivers, trucking companies and owners have to meet. In many cases, they determine who is responsible for truck accidents.