According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), there are about 150 million trucks in the United States. Commercial trucks can weigh over 120,000 pounds, making them 20 times heavier than the average passenger vehicle. Trucks are more likely to be involved in multiple-vehicle accidents than passenger vehicles, and when they are, the damage is often catastrophic.
Were you involved in an accident with a truck? We are here to help. The legal team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can be reached at (631) 600-0000. Our Long Island truck accident lawyer can help you identify the at-fault parties responsible for your truck accident and quantify and evaluate your losses. We can also assist with filing a claim and with negotiations with the at-fault parties or their insurers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us today for legal assistance.
Types of Truck Accidents
Any accident involving a truck can be classified as a trucking accident, but some truck accidents are more common—and some are more deadly—than others. Common accident types include:
- Rollovers: this accident is when a truck rolls over either because it turned too quickly on a sharp curve or struck an object and tipped over.
- Jackknifing: these accidents occur when the front brakes of a tractor lock, causing the tractor to skid and turn to an acute angle against the trailer. When this happens, the driver has virtually no control over the truck.
- Underride and undercarriage: when these accidents occur, smaller vehicles strike a truck from the side or the rear and become lodged under the truck. These accidents are often fatal.
- Side-impact: this type of accident is common with trucks, especially since trucks require a very wide berth to turn and take time to maneuver from lane to lane and between roads and when taking turns.
- Blindspot: This accident can occur if a truck driver attempts a lane change or to merge without seeing a vehicle in his or her blind spot.
Common causes of these and other truck accidents are discussed in the next section.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Trucks are less likely to have an accident on an interstate or freeway than on other major roads. Over half of all truck accidents occur on major sideroads, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), whereas truck accidents on interstates and freeways combine for about a third of all truck-related accidents.
In addition to location, truck accidents can be influenced by other factors, as outlined below.
There are many forms of negligence that can cause or contribute to a truck accident. Overspeeding, reckless driving, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are all forms of negligence that can lead to an accident. Reuters reports that the use of stimulants and drugs amongst truckers is common. Drowsy driving, overworked drivers, and distracted driving, such as texting and driving, eating and driving, or using devices while behind the wheel, can all lead to a collision.
Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truckers to follow safe driving rules, including maximum work hours per week, some drivers may drive more than they should, and this recklessness can lead to an accident.
Road or Vehicle Issues
If a truck is not properly driven or maintained, or if safety precautions are not taken when it comes to the likes of loading cargo or replacing worn parts, an accident can occur. Tire blowouts, brake failures, malfunctioning brake lights, and improperly loaded cargo can all lead to an accident. Potholes, inadequate road signage, poor lighting, slick or slippery surfaces, uneven surfaces, and dangerous curves can also play a part in causing an accident.
If other road users make driving errors, follow a truck too closely, or cut a truck off, an accident can occur. Poor truck driver training, driver inexperience, narrow lanes, and driver unfamiliarity with a certain area can also increase the likelihood that an accident occurs.
Common Injuries and Treatments
Truck accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries, such as amputations, paralysis, and death. Other injuries common in trucking accidents include:
- Head and spinal cord injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Nerve and muscle damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal organ damage
- Eye, mouth, and dental injuries
- Lacerations, contusions, and burns
These injuries can require expensive treatments, such as:
- Invasive surgery
- Diagnostic testing
- Long-term medication
- The use of assistive devices
- Therapy, rehabilitation, and regular doctors’ visits
Physical injuries, even injuries that are mild or moderate, can take weeks or months to recover from them. During this time, you may lose income. Depending on the type of insurance you have, you may or may not be covered for some of your treatment outlays and other losses. The Long Island truck accident lawyer with Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you file a claim and quantify your losses. Please reach out to us today at (631) 600-0000 for a free evaluation.
Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents
Several key differences between car and truck accidents make handling claims involving the latter more complex than the former. Consider the following:
- Truck accidents have a higher fatality rate than car accidents.
- Truck accidents tend to involve multiple vehicles, whereas most car accidents involve just two vehicles.
- Trucks and trucking companies are typically heavily insured.
- Truck drivers and passengers are better protected than car occupants.
- Truck drivers must pass more comprehensive training and screening than car drivers.
- Truck accident claims usually involve the trucker, his or her employer, the owner of the truck involved in the accident, and maintenance crews responsible for servicing the truck. Car accidents usually involve just the car drivers involved in the accident.
Contact Our Offices Today
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our Long Island truck accident lawyers may be able to assist you with your truck accident case. Please call (631) 600-0000 today for a no-obligation consultation. We can help you identify the at-fault parties responsible for your accident and can help you collect the evidence needed to file a claim. Please do not hesitate and call now.