Why Are Truck, Tractor-Trailer, And Semi-Truck Accidents So Serious?

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Large vehicles can cause more devastating damage than any other vehicle on the road. Nearly all of us are aware of this fact. Whenever two vehicles collide and at least one of them is a truck, tractor-trailer, and semi-truck, the extent of injuries and damage can increase exponentially.

According to the National Safety Council, in 2019, more than 5,000 traffic accidents in the United States involving large trucks resulted in fatalities. This number continues to increase every year, which can be alarming for motorists across the country. 

In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that more than 10% of road accidents in the United States involved at least one large truck, with almost one-third of those crashes occurring as a result of brake problems. 

When a truck is involved in an accident, the results can be catastrophic and devastating. In addition, trucks that carry dangerous or volatile materials can magnify the accident’s severity. This makes it essential for crash victims to consult with an accident attorney in the aftermath of a disaster.

Truck accidents commonly involve:

  • 18-wheeler crashes
  • Backing up or moving in reverse 
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver negligence
  • Disobeying safety protocol
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failure to properly maintain the vehicle
  • Failure to yield the right of way on the road
  • Unbalanced truck loads that shift weight
  • Mechanical or brake failures
  • Overloaded trucks or trailers
  • Repair and maintenance failure
  • Speeding
  • Transporting equipment with trailers
  • Tire damage
  • Truck rollovers
  • Multiple-vehicle collisions

In many cases, truck drivers are not responsible for the truck accidents at all, and the crashes occur because of negligence attributable to the drivers of smaller vehicles. When truck driver negligence does come into play, it often results from stress and fatigue that causes them to be unable to maneuver or brake quickly, compounded by the driver’s limited vision on the road. 

Reasons Why Truck Accidents Can Be Complicated:

  •       Injuries: It is no secret that many truck, semi-truck, and tractor-trailer accidents result in grave injuries. The damages and losses can be devastating. For some people, the pain can last for years or even a lifetime. To help ensure that accident victims receive the total and fair compensation that they need to recover for their losses, individuals who have been involved in truck, tractor-trailer, or semi-truck accidents should consult an experienced legal professional
  •       Geography: Especially in cases in which an accident involves a long-haul trucker, it can be challenging to track down that truck driver and the company they work for. In such a scenario, if a crash occurs in one state and the vehicle and driver came from another state, the victim may be able to file their claim in federal court to pursue the case.  
  •       Multiple defendants: While most motor vehicle accidents involve more than just one vehicle, crashes involving trucks, tractor-trailers, and semi-truck are more likely to involve more than two vehicles because of how heavy they are and how long it may take for them to come to a complete stop. 

Serious Truck Accident LawyerIt is also important to note that most semi-truck accidents may involve more than just the truck driver who is at fault. For example, if the truck driver is an employee of the carrier company that owns the truck, the injury victim might have a viable claim against both the truck driver and the carrier company, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Additionally, motor vehicle accidents may also be attributable to a manufacturing or maintenance defect on the truck, which means that the victim could also pursue claims against those parties as well.       

Federal laws and regulations: Through the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal government oversees semi-trucks and the trucking industry. In addition to state laws, federal law may also apply in truck, tractor-trailer, and semi-truck accidents, which adds another layer of complexity to a semi-truck collision case. 

While the local law enforcement authorities will likely send their investigators to the scene of a semi-truck collision, federal investigators may also conduct a review and file a report. The aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can become highly complicated when multiple governmental agencies and investigations are involved. 

If you have the misfortune of becoming involved in a truck or tractor-trailer accident, it is important to contact the local police, seek medical attention for any potential injuries, and file a formal accident report – no matter how minor the accident may seem on its face. Next, you should notify your auto insurance company immediately.

Some states have a strict time limit in which drivers must report an accident to their insurance company and file a legal claim for compensation and other benefits. Hire an experienced Fort Myers auto accident attorney to protect your rights as you seek the compensation you deserve. It is important to move quickly, because time may run out.