Truck Accidents: Common Causes and Injuries
Those who work in the commercial trucking industry are often required to drive for long periods of time and over great distances. For this reason, the federal government regulates how many hours can be driven in a single day, how long drivers are permitted to work without breaks, and how cargo must be loaded. While many trucking companies and drivers are careful to implement these rules, truck accidents still occur at an alarming rate, causing thousands of injuries and deaths every year.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
There are a number of factors that contribute to truck accidents, including the weather conditions. However, negligence is one of the leading causes of truck accidents nationwide, which could include any of the following:
- Driving while fatigued
- Improperly securing cargo
- Driving while intoxicated
- Speeding or driving aggressively
- Negligent vehicle repair or maintenance
- Distracted driving
While it is always dangerous for drivers to engage in these types of behaviors and activities, it is doubly dangerous for truck drivers, who are operating much larger vehicles that weigh thousands of pound. Furthermore, because they are so large, when semi-trucks are involved in crashes they almost always collide with more than one vehicle. Finally, trucks often carry dangerous cargo, which when it comes loose, can cause devastating injuries and even death. For these reasons, injuries sustained in truck accidents are particularly severe and can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which are caused by blows to the skull that lead to swelling and fluid build-up in the brain, causing paralysis, memory loss, and even death
- Broken bones, which usually occur when victims are trapped beneath heavy cargo or pieces of the truck itself
- Spinal cord injuries, which are often the result of an occupant’s head snapping forward or backward after a sudden impact, resulting in fractured vertebrae
- Burns, which are often the result of exploding gas tanks or coming into contact with dangerous chemicals
- Organ damage, which is also much more likely to occur in truck crashes due to the more significant impacts involved
- Treating these types of injuries can be ruinously expensive, even for those injured parties who have insurance
To help prevent these types of injuries, truck drivers must comply with regulations regarding:
- Maximum driving time
- Cargo loading procedures
- Safety inspections
- Truck weight limits
- Driver qualifications
A truck driver’s failure to comply with these regulations can have devastating consequences. Fortunately, injured parties can collect compensation from the driver as well as other negligent parties, including:
- Trucking companies
- Truck owners
- Vehicle parts manufacturers and distributors
- Negligent mechanics
- Cargo manufacturers
While no amount of compensation can bring back a loved one or return a severely and permanently injured individual to his or her pre-accident state of health, collecting compensation can be instrumental to helping truck accident victims and their families begin the long road to recovery.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one were recently injured in a truck accident and have questions or concerns about your legal options and or rights to compensation, please contact us by calling 1-800-732-3070 or by completing one of our free case review forms.