Common Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Because of the great difference in their weight versus passenger cars, truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Understanding the common causes of truck collisions and the types of injuries they can cause might help people to take precautionary steps to avoid them. The truck accident attorneys at Raynes & Lawn can review your case and help you to understand whether it might have legal merits.
What are the common causes of truck crashes?
Most truck crashes are preventable and result from driver error on the part of the truck driver or the passenger car driver. Some of the most common causes of truck collisions include the following:
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Inadequate training
- Poor maintenance
- Improper loading and securement
Common types of injuries in truck accidents
Truck vs. car accidents frequently result in severe injuries and deaths. Some people who survive collisions with large trucks will be left facing permanent disabilities, making it important for them to pursue claims for compensatory damages that might pay for all of their losses, including the expenses needed for future care. The following injuries commonly occur in collisions with large trucks:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent paralysis
- Loss of limbs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head, neck, and face trauma
- Whiplash injuries
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Internal injuries
- Thoracic injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations
- Multiple fractures
Many truck accident victims suffer multiple types of severe injuries and might succumb to them. Each year, thousands of people are killed in collisions with large trucks. If you have lost your loved one in a truck collision, you might be entitled to pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties. Wrongful death claims might allow family members to hold the negligent parties who caused their loved ones’ deaths accountable for their actions.
Damages in a truck collision case
Trucking carriers are required to carry liability insurance with high policy limits because of the severity of the injuries people might suffer when they are involved in accidents. Because of the potential amounts of money that might be involved, trucking companies and their insurers frequently aggressively fight against accident claims. This makes it important to work with an experienced attorney who has handled truck collision claims in the past and understands how to investigate complex cases.
The value of your claim will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, your prospect of recovering from them, your income losses, property losses, other losses, whether you shared fault for the accident, and whether any other parties also contributed to your accident.
Both compensatory and punitive damages might be available, depending on what happened. Compensatory damages include monetary amounts that are meant to compensate you for your economic and non-economic losses. These might include the following categories:
- Past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Past and future home care that might be needed
- Past wage losses
- Reduced ability to earn income
- Property losses
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Reduced ability to enjoy life
- Loss of consortium for spouses
- Emotional trauma
In a wrongful death case, certain family members might recover compensation for their funeral and burial expenses, the cost of treatment for their loved one before he or she succumbed to his or her injuries, the deceased person’s lost inheritance rights, the amounts the deceased person might have earned over his or her expected life span if he or she had lived, any physical pain and suffering the deceased person experienced after the accident until the time that he or she died, and loss of the guidance, support, and consortium the victim provided to his or her children and spouse.
If you are deemed to have contributed to the cause of a truck collision, you will not be barred from recovering damages as long as your negligence did not exceed that of the defendant. However, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault the jury determines you had in causing the accident. For example, if the jury determines that your total damages are $1 million but finds that you were 20% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 20% to a net award of $800,000.
Some cases involve multiple liable parties. When more than one defendant contributed to the cause of your accident, the jury will determine the percentage of fault each party holds. Each party will then be responsible for paying the percentage of damages equal to its fault but will not be jointly liable for the total amount.
In some cases, punitive damages might be recoverable. These are damages designed to punish a defendant instead of compensating the plaintiff. They are only awarded in cases involving egregious conduct. For example, a truck accident caused by a speeding driver might not involve punitive damages. However, a truck collision caused by a drunk truck driver who was traveling on the wrong side of the highway might.
Get help from an experienced truck accident attorney
Your priority after being injured in a truck collision should be to seek immediate medical attention. Doing so can ensure that your injuries are promptly diagnosed and treated so that they do not worsen. Once you have received medical care, you should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. The attorneys at Raynes & Lawn have represented truck accident victims for more than 50 years and are prepared to evaluate your case. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 1-800-535-1797.
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