Truck Accidents (2024)

Editorial Team

ConsumerShield

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Editor

This ConsumerShield guide to truck accidents provides insights and support for those in collisions involving commercial trucks or "big rigs." Recognizing that truck drivers and manufacturers adhere to stringent standards, this guide breaks down the potential for compensation following accidents.

We provide essential information on legal procedures, rights protection, plus common truck accident causes.

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Unique Challenges Presented by Truck Accidents

Collisions with large commercial vehicles, such as eighteen-wheelers, introduce distinct complications. The considerable mass of a fully loaded commercial truck, often exceeding 80,000 pounds, far outweighs that of a typical passenger car weight, which weighs around 3,000 pounds.

This significant weight difference, combined with physics, means accidents involving big rigs can have catastrophic outcomes. The substantial size of these trucks affects their maneuverability, including acceleration, braking, visibility and turning capabilities.

Big-rig trucks face challenges like "jackknifing" during sudden stops or turns. Navigating turns, especially right turns that may require encroaching into adjacent lanes, presents difficulties, leading to varied legal interpretations regarding negligence.

Given that trucks often operate under a company, identifying liable parties in truck accidents can differ from those involving private vehicles. Liability may extend to employers, contractors, trucking or shipping companies, and insurers, especially when considering the driver’s employment status or if the truck carries hazardous materials.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Beyond the inherent risks due to their size and handling limitations, various factors contribute to accidents involving commercial vehicles. These factors include truck drivers' insufficient training, compensation models encouraging unsafe driving practices, unrealistic schedules leading to fatigue and poor vehicle maintenance.

Conversely, car drivers can also elevate crash risks through actions such as unsafe lane changes or merges, making inadequately spaced left turns in front of trucks, or failing to maintain visibility around trucks. Additional risks include driving in a truck's blind spots, abrupt lane changes, and not accounting for a truck's longer stopping distance, among others.

Commercial trucks, including big rigs and delivery vehicles, pose significant risks on the roads, necessitating heightened awareness from both truck operators and other drivers. Missteps in driving near these large vehicles can lead to severe accidents, highlighting the importance of understanding and respecting their operational limitations.

This guide looks at scenarios that frequently result in commercial truck accidents. For comprehensive insights into these causes and sage legal advice, reach out to a ConsumerShield attorney today.

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