Kenneth City Truck Accident Attorneys
The aftermath of a truck accident is challenging to navigate. On top of tending to your injuries, you have to manage the various costs that arise from the accident. You know you can pursue compensation from the at-fault party, but the process is rarely straightforward because of all the people and companies at play in the trucking industry.
Commercial Truck Accident Statistics
Large trucks compromise 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal car accidents. In recent years, injuries resulting from truck accidents have increased. The number of annual truck accident injuries rose from 112,000 to 121,000 between 2016 and 2018. In 2017 alone, nearly 32,000 of those large truck accidents happened in Florida.
Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents
Truck accidents are far more devastating than the typical car accident. The main reason why is that at 20,000 to 80,000 pounds, trucks are exponentially larger than passenger vehicles. As a car occupant in a truck accident, you’re especially vulnerable to serious injuries, and the outcome is far more likely to be fatal. For instance, in 2018, 82% of truck accident deaths affected car occupants, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Yet truck occupants accounted for only 16% of the deaths.
Proving fault after a truck accident is a different process as well. The truck industry has rules and regulations to follow that don’t apply to most drivers. For example, truck drivers have limits on how long they can drive. Determining what rules and regulations were violated is a key component of your truck accident case. An attorney who is familiar with the industry can confidently investigate this for you.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Distracted Driving – Truck drivers who divide their attention to text,eat, or video chat put other motorists in danger.
Driver Fatigue – Drivers are sometimes offered incentives to meet deadlines. Others are eager to finish their routes and head home. They overextend themselves, and they’re not always awake and alert enough to drive safely.
Substance Abuse – Using drugs and alcohol is unfortunately common among professional truck drivers. This slows down their reaction time, blurs their judgment, and can even impact their vision.
Inadequate Training – There are different types of licenses that dictate what size truck a driver can operate. If they’re not properly trained to handle the truck they’re given, it could be the fault of their employer.
mechanical malfunctions – Because of the long miles they travel, trucks need to be checked regularly for mechanic problems. When they’re not, critical parts can fail at the worst possible time.
Common Injuries from Truck Accidents
Traumatic Brain Injuries – TBIs happen when the head endures blunt force or is penetrated by an object. TBIs can cause a host of cognitive problems, including a reduced IQ. Physical problems like chronic headaches and nerve damage are also common.
Spinal Cord Injuries – Truck accidents place a tremendous amount of force on car occupant’s necks and backs. This can result in full paralysis or partial paralysis in the lower half of the body. However, there are other less severe spinal cord injuries that can still have an incredible impact on your life. For instance, chronic back pain may need to be managed with pain medications or therapy on a long-term basis. It can be debilitating enough to permanently disable a truck accident victim.
Internal Injuries – Internal injuries often aren’t immediately noticeable. They quickly become life-threatening. With internal bleeding, your body parts that rely on a supply of blood aren’t getting what they need to function. Vital organs that have been punctured or crushed can rapidly begin failing.
Wrongful Death – Sadly, truck accidents take the lives of many as soon as a collision happens. Other times, the injured parties suffer for months or year before an injury takes their lives.
Third-Party and Multi-Party Liability
In most car accidents, a driver is at-fault, but with truck accidents, there is a good chance that a third-party or multiple parties are liable.
Truck drivers make the same mistakes that other motorists do. Some speed, change lanes without checking blindspots, and ignore traffic signals.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company is responsible for meeting a myriad of standards. One is hiring properly trained drivers and ensuring they only drive trucks they’re licensed to operate. Another requirement is making sure drivers take breaks regularly. Unfortunately, some companies cut corners to decrease labor and transportation costs, and accidents happen as a result.
Every truck has a weight capacity, and truck loaders should never allow that limit to be exceeded. An overloaded truck makes it difficult for a driver to control the steering and breaking. Extra weight also wears down parts like the brakes much faster than normal. Despite the risks, excess cargo is sometimes loaded to cut down on the number of trips drivers have to make. Another shortcut loaders may take is packing cargo without properly securing it. As a result, items can shift and change the distribution of weight within the truck. This makes it harder for a driver to maintain control. It can lead to a turnover.
Parts that are faulty are manufactured and placed in vehicles of all kinds regularly. Trucks are no exception. Defective brakes, steering mechanisms, and tires are just a few issues that can make the road unsafe for everyone.
The Truck Owner
The truck owner is often a different entity than the truck company. An owner who rents out trucks needs to ensure that their vehicles are regularly and properly maintenanced. However, an owner may take shortcuts to get their rented trucks back on the road so that they can generate more income.
Compensation for Your Damages
Since accident victims often need to be compensated for extensive damages, companies within the truck industry carry large insurance policies. You can recover for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, as well as for the cost of replacement services you need while you’re unable to take care of yourself and your household. If you’re the survivor of a truck accident victim, you may be able to collect compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Even though truck accident victims are eligible for multiple forms of compensation, they’re often shortchanged. The insurance company might offer just enough to cover your immediate expenses. However, an experienced attorney will value your claim based on how your injuries impact you in the long-term. For example, you may have an injury that is likely to require multiple surgeries in the coming years. Or your injury could cause you to miss out on future career advancements.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, contact an attorney at Jones Law Group. We are uncompromising with insurance companies that want accident victims to settle for less. Our team will investigate all possible contributors to your accident and explore all forms of compensation you’re eligible for so that you can get the most for your claim. For a free consultation, call us at 727-571-1333 or contact us online.