How Are Truck Accidents Different from Other Auto Accidents?
Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 4:23 pm
Whether you’re involved in an accident with a small car, SUV, or large truck, you could suffer injuries. However, commercial trucks often cause more significant property damage and physical injuries during collisions. The results of an accident involving a tractor-trailer or another large truck can be catastrophic. Many victims required emergency medical care and ongoing treatment to heal.
Unfortunately, it can take months for the occupants of a passenger car to recover after an accident involving a commercial truck. Some people suffer permanent injuries and never regain normal functioning. The consequences of a truck accident can be far-reaching and cause a lifetime of physical, emotional, and financial burdens.
Below are the primary reasons truck accidents are much different from other auto accidents.
Large Blind Spots
Non-commercial vehicles only have two blind spots. There’s one on each side of the car. However, commercial trucks have four blind spots, and they’re massive in size.
The front blind spot can extend as far as twenty feet from the front of the cab. The blind spot towards the rear of the vehicle can extend up to thirty feet behind the trailer. There’s also a blind spot on the right side starting at the front of the cab, extending to the back of the trailer, and out two lanes. On the left side of the truck, the blind spot starts by the rear of the cab and extends to the back of the trailer.
Turning, merging, or changing lanes require truck drivers to check their blind spots thoroughly. It’s easy to lose sight of a small car in those areas. If the trucker doesn’t look before maneuvering their truck, they could sideswipe someone traveling beside them or turn directly into a vehicle in the next lane.
Big and Heavy
If you’ve ever driven next to a commercial truck, you know how massive they are. They’re long, sit high off the ground, and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds with a full cargo load. The weight the truck carries creates a strong force during a collision with another vehicle. It’s dangerous for anyone in a small car to end up in an accident with a large truck due to the significant size difference.
Truck drivers need to have the necessary skills and experience to operate a commercial truck. Maneuvering around other vehicles can be tricky. The trucker should know how to navigate narrow roads, around sharp turns, and through heavy traffic. They should also know what to do if they encounter adverse weather or poor road conditions.
Non-commercial motorists might keep bottled water, emergency kits, and other small items in their cars. In contrast, truck drivers transport a range of items that can become hazardous during an accident.
Some commercial trucks contain toxic or flammable substances. A spark could ignite a fire after a collision, placing the occupants of all vehicles at risk of burn injuries or death. Toxic gases and fumes released from a punctured tanker can lead to internal injuries, such as lung damage.
Trucks also transport consumer products, such as food, household appliances, and other necessities. If any fall of the truck during a collision, they can become obstacles other drivers must swerve to avoid hitting. Sharp objects can even act as projectiles and cause penetrating injuries.
More Severe Injuries
Injuries can happen in any type of accident. However, truck accidents tend to cause more serious harm to the occupants of small vehicles. The most common injuries include:
- Loss of limb
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Crush injuries
- Permanent disability
How to Prove Fault for a Truck Accident
Human error typically plays a role in motor vehicle accidents. However, proving the truck driver should be liable for your injuries can be a challenge. Proving their liability requires obtaining sufficient evidence of the trucker’s negligent actions prior to the crash.
Truck accident cases are often complex because many factors could contribute to the incident. Even though the truck driver was at the wheel of the commercial truck, someone else could ultimately be responsible.
For example, their employer could be liable if they knowingly hired an inexperienced truck driver. Or the manufacturer of a faulty part could be to blame if the truck malfunctioned.
After the accident, you should hire a lawyer to receive the legal representation and guidance necessary to prove what happened. Your lawyer can investigate and gather all available evidence to show the at-fault party should be held liable and compensate you for your losses.
Speak to a Dedicated Truck Accident Attorney Today
The Fort Smith truck accident attorneys of McCutchen Napurano - The Law Firm have over 50 years of combined experience representing Arkansas accident victims. We know what it takes to build a case against negligent truck drivers and trucking companies to prove their actions resulted in an accident. When you hire us, you can count on our team to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options after an accident involving a commercial truck, call us at (479) 783-0036 right now.