Wide Turn Trucking Accidents: Who Can be Held Liable?

White tractor trailer truck making a wide turn in front of a building

The phrase “trucking accident” often stirs up images of high-speed collisions, runaway trucks, and highway pile-ups. While these accidents frequently happen, truck accidents can also occur at lower speeds and on smaller roadways and side streets. These can also cause serious injuries despite the lower speeds. A typical example of these types of “close-quarters” accidents are wide turn accidents.

What is a Wide Turn Truck Accident?

Due to the size of tractor-trailer trucks and their large turning radiuses, they need to approach turns differently from the way smaller passenger vehicles do. This is especially true when making a right turn.  

When a truck driver needs to make a tight right turn, they will usually have to move over one lane to the left so they have enough space to turn right. As they make the turn, they may often veer more to the left, sometimes into oncoming traffic. They will then finish the turn by entering back into the right-hand space. 

In opening the space on the right, car drivers or pedestrians may enter into that area, which ends up closing in on them as the truck completes the right turn. Smaller vehicles can end up being wedged between the truck and the curb, causing them to get crushed, run into poles or other fixtures, or get “squeezed” into another car or building.

In these types of accidents, close scrutiny will be needed to determine which party is liable or at fault for the accident. In many instances, a truck driver may have acted negligently by failing to take the proper precautions before, during, and after a wide right turn. 

Negligence in a Wide Right Turn Trucking Accident

There are many ways in which a truck driver can negligently perform a wide right turn, causing injury to other drivers or pedestrians. This usually happens when the truck driver disregards their duties to take all the proper precautions in connection with a wide turn.

Examples of errors that a commercial truck driver can commit when making a wide right turn can include:

  • Turning from the wrong lane
  • Swinging out too far to the left (often resulting in a head-on collision)
  • Failing to signal before the turn
  • Having mirrors or cameras set incorrectly, creating a larger blind spot
  • Turning too quickly, which can often result in a rollover accident
  • Not waiting for traffic to clear before making the turn
  • Being unaware of the surrounding traffic and pedestrians
  • Driving while drunk

Another issue to consider concerning wide right turns is that of making a right turn on a red light. Red light turn laws may vary by state. In the state of Georgia, motorists are allowed to make a right turn on a red light, provided they make a full stop first. They must also be sure there are no signs prohibiting the turn. They should still exercise caution and follow any right-of-way rules when proceeding to turn on a red light. 

Thus, if a commercial truck driver tries to make a right turn on a red light without fully stopping, it can create a dangerous situation. Such violations can lead to very severe intersection accidents, as the cross-traffic might not have enough time to stop while the truck makes the turn.

Spinning big rig wheel with mud flap saying "CAUTION WIDE TURNS"

Trucking Company Liability

In many instances, it may be possible to hold a trucking company liable for damages related to a wide turn collision. These can usually be traced back to broader policy deficiencies that are widespread throughout the whole company. 

Trucking companies can be held liable if they fail to make sure a truck driver has sufficient training in making turns before sending them on their delivery routes. Companies may be liable due to issues related to:

  • Incomplete or negligent training
  • Inadequate supervision of a driver
  • Failing to reprimand or remove violating drivers
  • Negligent hiring practices

So, for instance, if a trucking company knowingly hires a driver whose license has been suspended, or who has a history of making illegal right turns, this could be factored into a lawsuit.

Recovering Damages in a Wide Turn Trucking Accident

As with any commercial vehicle accident, a wide turn truck accident can cause severe damage and losses to victims of the crash. Due to the complexity of such incidents, legal action may be required to help compensate the victims for the losses caused by the negligent acts of the truck driver. 

Damages in a trucking accident can cover:

  • Medical expenses (such as hospital bills and costs of medication)
  • Property damage ( to the passenger car and any buildings or structures involved)
  • Lost wages 
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Pursuing legal action is vital in a trucking accident case. It will not only benefit the injured victim, but it may also help launch an investigation into a trucking company’s policies and safety practices. In many instances, this can help prevent future accidents and injuries from occurring. 

Hire an Experienced Commercial Truck Accident Attorney

Due to filing deadlines, you may only have a limited amount of time to file an accident lawsuit. Be sure to take action as soon as possible if you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a commercial truck accident.

When it comes to specific types of crashes like wide right turn accidents, you’ll want to work with an attorney who has experience and knowledge of these particular types of crash lawsuits. The lawyers at Fried Goldberg have the expertise, resources, and experience needed to help you get the compensation you deserve. 

We understand what you are going through after a major accident. Get in touch with us today at 877-591-1801 to see what legal options are available to you. 

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