Commercial trucks are necessary to transport heavy and often hazardous loads across the United States. Although commercial truck drivers must acquire special driver’s licenses and are held to a higher standard for operating commercial trucks safely, sharing the road with these large vehicles on a daily basis increases the risk of a collision.
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue a lawsuit against the responsible party. Read on to learn more about common truck accident causes and what you may be entitled to recover in compensation.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
While an accident can happen for any number of reasons, the most common causes of truck accidents are seen time and time again.
Driver Error and Negligence
Despite the substantial time commercial truck drivers spend training, they may still make bad decisions on the road.
Collisions involving commercial trucks often result in catastrophic injuries due to the difference in the size and weight of these trucks compared to passenger vehicles. Speeding, texting while driving, driving recklessly, or other dangerous behaviors increase the likelihood of driver error and an accident.
Poor Road and Weather Conditions
Even the most experienced drivers can face challenges driving a truck during sudden changes in weather or road conditions.
Rain, snow, ice, and wind make it difficult for commercial truck drivers to travel safely and can occur without warning. Skilled drivers must utilize safety techniques such as braking at even greater distances and driving at slower speeds to avoid skidding, hydroplaning, or jackknifing.
Failing to properly maintain a commercial truck creates a significant risk of injury to not only the truck driver but to other drivers on the road.
Failing to change or maintain the quality of tires creates a risk of a tire blowout while in transit. These blowouts cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle and may have devastating consequences.
Additionally, commercial truck brakes must be monitored and replaced regularly to ensure effective operation.
Defective or worn brakes may not stop in time when there’s a sudden change in road conditions. Non-functioning tail lights also increase the likelihood of a rear-end collision by failing to provide proper warning to other vehicles on the road about sudden deceleration or stopping.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Commercial truck drivers who operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol greatly increase the risk of causing serious injury or death. Drugs and alcohol reduce a driver’s reaction time and awareness.
As a result, collisions involving drugs or alcohol can be especially traumatic. Your attorney may advise you to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and the trucking company to recover the full value of your losses.
Improperly loaded commercial trucks limit a driver’s ability to control their vehicle and often result in catastrophic accidents.
Trucking companies, cargo loaders, and truckers are trained to recognize an improperly loaded truck and have a responsibility to ensure a load is properly secured before the truck heads out on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck drivers to stop driving and take steps to secure a truck’s load if they notice any signs of improper loading.
If your accident was caused by a negligently loaded truck, multiple parties may be responsible for your losses and it’s vital to hold all parties responsible.
Common Injuries Suffered After Truck Accidents
A commercial truck accident often results in catastrophic injuries for all parties involved, but especially for those in smaller passenger vehicles.
The most common injuries seen in these types of accidents typically require lengthy recovery periods and substantial medical costs. The most common injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Back and neck injuries,
- Severe cuts and bruises,
- Rib and torso injuries,
- Internal bleeding,
- Broken bones,
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis, and
While the severity of injuries suffered in a commercial truck accident may range greatly, it’s vital to seek medical attention immediately following a collision to prevent complications.
Obtaining an immediate medical evaluation also helps you keep an accurate record of your medical diagnosis and treatment and assists your attorney in getting the compensation you deserve from the party responsible for your injuries.
What Can I Recover After a Commercial Truck Accident?
Texas allows victims injured in commercial truck accidents to recover compensatory damages in the form of actual and general damages. Actual damages reimburse a victim for direct financial losses resulting from their injuries. These include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Documentation including invoices, pay stubs, and receipts helps your attorney calculate an accurate value for these losses.
General damages represent intangible losses caused by the accident. These damages usually include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent injury or disfigurement.
Due to their subjective nature, general damages are challenging to recover without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Despite this difficulty, general damages compensate victims for the value of an injury that has destroyed or permanently changed their lives.
With almost a century of combined legal experience, the attorneys at The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., assist clients in all types of personal injury claims in Waco, Texas, and the surrounding communities. We represent victims suffering losses in car accidents, truck collisions, workplace accidents, and several other types of incidents.
Whatever your circumstances, we are here to fight tirelessly to recover compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. Our clients are at an advantage when we put our wealth of knowledge and resources to work.
Our attorneys are with you every step of the way, handling all aspects of your case so you can focus on your recovery. We offer no-cost consultation and never collect fees until we recover compensation on your behalf.
Contact us today by phone or email to schedule your free case evaluation and learn how The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., can help you.