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Truck accidents are some of the deadliest types of car accidents – in fact, one out of eight auto accident fatalities involve large trucks like tractor-trailers, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles. Due to their size and weight, the force of impact can be devastating, and in most collisions the most seriously injured are the drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicles.
If you were involved in a truck accident caused by negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to Action Law Group. As our name suggests, we don’t just listen to your story – we go to work to achieve your legal goals.
Truck accidents can be difficult to manage when it comes to determining liability, but our New Haven truck accident attorneys have more than 50 years of experience that we can use to hold at-fault parties liable for damages. You don’t have to worry about the future when our team is by your side today.
What To Do if You Are Hit by an 18-Wheeler
If you are in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, your first priority should be your safety. You should immediately call 911. When you are able, get the driver and their employer's contact information including their drivers license, registration, and insurance.
Be sure to give the police a statement and try to collect witness statements from anyone who saw the accident happen, and collect their contact information as well. It's recommended that you don't talk about the accident with the truck driver and avoid discussing the accident with the insurance company.
In many cases the insurance company has used what victims of truck accidents have said following the accident against them. If you are involved in a truck accident it may be in your best interest to enlist the expertise of an attorney as soon as possible.
Common Truck Accident Types
Truck accidents can be caused by the same factors that cause all auto accidents, from impaired driving to reckless and distracted driving. And while rear-end accidents and head-on collisions are common, there are a few common types of accidents that are unique to trucks – accidents that can cause catastrophic injuries.
Common types of truck accidents include:
What are Jackknifing Accidents?
This refers to accidents that occur when a big rig folds itself so the cab forms a 90-degree angle with the trailer and is usually caused when a driver brakes quickly and hard. Such an accident often takes down any vehicles near the truck and can block off entire sections of the road.
What are Rollover Accidents?
When a driver loses control of their truck as a result of speeding, hydroplaning, taking sharp turns, or more, the truck can slide and roll over onto its side or roof, taking other drivers with it. This can cause crushing injuries and even fires or explosions, depending on the cargo the truck is carrying.
What are T-bone Accidents?
T-bone accidents occur when a vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle and are most common at intersections. These can occur when truck drivers run red lights and hit other vehicles at a perpendicular angle.
What are Underride Accidents?
One of the most disastrous truck accidents, this occurs when a truck stops or brakes quickly and causes smaller vehicles approaching it to become lodged under the trailer. These nearly always produce serious injuries and fatalities.
What are Catastrophic Injuries?
Truck accidents typically cause catastrophic injuries, which differ from injuries like whiplash and broken bones in that they’re often permanent or long-lasting, requiring additional care. Catastrophic injuries can also transform your life and force you to quit your job and change careers, or be unable to work entirely.
Examples of catastrophic injuries include burns, amputations, spinal cord and neck injuries, and brain and head injuries. Paralysis, for example, can confine you to a wheelchair and prevent you from doing any of your typical everyday activities – you may even need to have a caregiver to support you at home. Some brain injuries can result in loss of cognitive functions or change your personality.
As a result, these injuries can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to treat over time. In addition to immediate emergency care, you may also require extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation, at-home nursing care, equipment like wheelchairs and lifts, and more.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Truck Accident?
Various parties can be found responsible for a truck accident that causes damages, which is why it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer who can investigate your accident.
While in many cases a truck driver can be held personally responsible for negligence, like if they were found to be drinking or on drugs at the time of the accident, sometimes their employer can ultimately be at fault.
Besides the truck driver, liable parties in truck accidents can include:
- Truck companies: Companies can be held responsible if it’s revealed that they didn’t conduct a background check on their drivers, if they trained their drivers poorly, or if they didn’t properly inspect their trucks beforehand.
- Manufacturers: Sometimes a faulty or defective truck part, like brakes, can contribute to an accident. In these cases, the truck manufacturer can be found responsible – this is often how product recalls come about.
- Cargo loaders: If cargo is loaded improperly or not secured, and the cargo is what causes the accident, the cargo company or loaders can be blamed for damages. Some trucks can fall over if they’re unbalanced, or cargo can fly out of the truck and hit the vehicles behind them. Some cargo can even cause explosions or fires.
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