Truck Accident Types & Causes

Our experienced attorneys know how to win complex cases

Trucks are a common sight on our country’s highways and interstates. These vehicles are an important part of our economy, carrying goods from one place to another to meet the demands of our growing population. Although they are essential to society, these large vehicles can pose a high risk to motorists, especially when truck drivers are negligent, trucks are left in disrepair, and company owners ignore government safety regulations.

At Fried Goldberg LLC, our truck accident lawyers are here to stand up for your rights and fight to secure the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are highly experienced with the complexities of truck accident claims and know how to get results.

Driving on the road alongside 18 wheeler

Our truck accident attorneys fight for victims

Truck accidents of all types cause devastation on today’s highways. Due to their sheer size and other physical characteristics, large trucks can cause considerable property damage and inflict catastrophic injury on multiple innocent victims.

Truck accidents can involve:

  • Jackknife crashes – These happen when a big rig folds itself so that the cab forms a 90-degree angle with the trailer, usually caused when a driver brakes hard and quickly. The weight of the trailer brings it forward against the traction of the cab.
  • Truck rollovers – If the driver loses control of a truck, it can slide and roll over onto its side, taking innocent motorists with it.
  • Tire blowouts – These can happen with any truck, often forcing it uncontrollably in wayward directions. This can pose a danger to the driver as well as nearby vehicles.
  • Wide turn collisions – When a driver first steers or “swings” left to make a right turn, it is known as a wide turn. When the driver is not aware of rear traffic or the right side surroundings, it can trap vehicles or even pedestrians.
  • Blind spots – A truck’s blind spots can be significant, so much that they have a name: “No Man’s Land.” When a truck driver can’t see other vehicles while changing lanes, it puts adjacent vehicles in tremendous danger of being hit, crushed, or forced off the road.
  • Rear-end crashes – Due to the weight of large trucks, rear-end trucking accidents can cause serious property damage and catastrophic injuries, as well as loss of life.
  • Underride accidents – When a truck stops quickly, smaller vehicles quickly approaching behind it can become lodged under the truck’s trailer. As a result, these underride accidents are some of the deadliest trucking accidents recorded.
  • Improperly loaded freight – If truck loads are not properly secured, they can fall out, causing extreme danger to nearby motorists as well as multi-car accidents.
  • Head-on collisions – These types of crashes with tractor-trailers are often the most devastating, causing serious injury and even death.
  • T-bone accidents – These crashes can occur when a truck driver runs a red light and hits another vehicle perpendicularly.

Why are there so many truck collisions throughout the country?

There have been many changes in the trucking industry in the last several years. Supply chain issues and an increase in online shopping have put tremendous pressure on the fleets and trucking companies. This comes at a time when there is a shortage of qualified drivers. The trucking industry has struggled to keep up with added demands.

Because of these and other factors, the number of truck accidents has been steadily increasing. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), this has also meant an increase in fatal truck collisions and injuries from large truck crashes.

Types of Truck Accidents FAQ

Tanker truck speeding through a construction site

If you were hurt in a truck accident, we can help

When a truck driver is careless or a trucking company is negligent, it can cause unsuspecting motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to suffer extensive injuries and cost precious lives. Unfortunately, many accidents can be avoided if the driver or truck company simply abided by safe driving and maintenance laws.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, the attorneys at Fried Goldberg are here to help. We have extensive experience representing victims of truck crashes, and a proven track record of delivering just verdicts to help our clients regain their lives.

A thorough understanding of the complex laws and regulations relating to the trucking industry gives us a valuable edge. Our team will aggressively pursue the party at fault to make sure your family gets the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. To find out how we can help you recover, contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Common injuries seen in truck accidents

The immediate aftermath of a collision with a truck is crucial. Often, truck accident victims are left to the mercy of a witness to call for help. While documentation is important following any accident, your medical needs come first.

Seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you or your passengers feel well, motor vehicle collisions can lead to delayed injuries that can become serious in the hours and days following a crash.

Truck collisions are responsible for many devastating and catastrophic injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage that can lead to paralysis and paraplegia
  • Severe neck and back injuries
  • Whiplash, which can be detrimental in serious cases
  • Broken, dislocated, and fractured bones
  • Loss of limb and amputations
  • Disfigurement
  • Severe lacerations and burns
  • Serious internal injuries, including internal bleeding and organ damage

What types of trucks are involved in accidents?

There are many types of commercial trucks on U.S. roadways, each designed to perform a specific task. The most common large truck types and the risk they pose to motorists and pedestrians include:

  • Trash trucks and other work vehicles such as dump trucks can be extremely hazardous to those driving, cycling or walking in close proximately. These vehicles are often in residential areas carrying large loads of waste, dry materials, dirt, demolition debris, gravel, sand, and other construction materials. The loads are often top-heavy, causing a risk of large blind spots, tip-overs, or falling or flying debris.
  • Tractor-trailers – also known as “semi-trailers,” “big rigs,” or “18-wheelers” – carry cargo across the country every day. They have considerable blind spots and a high center of gravity that makes them prone to rollovers. Combined with the fact that many big rig drivers are behind the wheel for long stretches of time, tractor-trailers can be extremely dangerous to other drivers.
  • Tanker trucks haul liquids or gases, many of which are classified as hazardous materials. Due to their size and shape, large tankers are also prone to rollovers. This can be extremely dangerous if the hauled liquid or gas is flammable, or if toxic substance fumes are released.
  • Flatbed trucks have a long open trailer to accommodate loading and unloading cargo. Accidents often involve improperly secured cargo that becomes dislodged from the truck, hitting other vehicles or causing massive accidents.
  • Tow trucks are usually run by private operators that may inadequately train drivers. These large vehicles weigh more than 10,000 pounds and can cause significant damage in a crash.

What are common causes of commercial truck accidents?

Every year, there are numerous fatal semi-truck accidents. Although factors such as poor road conditions and bad weather can play a role, most accidents could be avoided if truck drivers and the companies behind them weren’t so careless. Crashes are caused by:

  • Inadequate or improper training – An improperly trained truck driver who lacks skills in defensive driving, handling the vehicle, and other safety elements, is always a high risk to other motorists on the road.
  • Driver inexperience – Truck drivers who aren’t familiar with tricky routes or prepared for narrow, curvy, or rough roads can quickly lose control of the vehicle and collide with anything in the way.
  • Overloading cargo – A large load can create tire blowouts, causing the truck to jackknife, tip over due to too much weight, or produce flying debris that can cause cars to swerve and collide.
  • Failure to maintain trucks – Worn tires and braking systems can cause drivers to lose control and cause horrific accidents. All truck maintenance checks must be documented. This means a truck company can be held responsible for an accident if faulty equipment is found to blame.
  • Negligent driving – This includes speeding, driver inattention or distraction (due to texting, using GPS or talking), driver fatigue, use of alcohol or drugs, road rage or aggressive driving, failure to check for blind spots before turning or changing lanes, frequent lane changes, failure to use turn signals and improper turning, tailgating, and not obeying road rules.
Semi truck traveling down highway at dusk

Why is commercial trucking a complex area of the law?

The commercial trucking industry is regulated by numerous federal and state laws. Trucking regulations cover issues concerning vehicles, their drivers, and trucking company operations. If you have been in a truck accident, it’s crucial that your trucking accident attorney understands this network of laws and regulations to help win your case. For example, weight restriction violations and driving beyond a set time frame can both sway a case in the plaintiff’s favor.

Victims injured in trucking accidents who are not represented by a knowledgeable attorney take a big risk. Insurance companies do everything they can to win in court or avoid paying out a claim. You need experienced representation to go up against companies and insurance carriers with deep pockets and resources. A competent law firm can make all the difference in helping you receive the compensation you deserve. To minimize risk, choose a firm that focuses on truck accidents. At Fried Goldberg, more than 95% of our practice is focused on trucking litigation.

Let our truck accident attorneys fight for the settlement or jury verdict you deserve. We will advocate tirelessly on your behalf and guide you every step of the way.

What kind of settlement can I expect after a truck accident?

Collisions with negligent truck drivers are unavoidable. Semi-trucks, garbage trucks, and 18-wheelers flood roads in cities and rural areas. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident, you need experienced legal representation by your side to secure the financial award you deserve.

At Fried Goldberg, LLC, our truck collision attorneys use several factors to determine a fair settlement for your case, including:

Who is liable for your injuries?

Due to the massive size of trucks and the potential for greater damage, truck drivers have a higher expected duty of care on the road. You may be entitled to compensation if a driver operates his vehicle recklessly by speeding or aggressive “road rage” tactics.

If a truck driver has violated their hours of service, failed to inspect their vehicle, or has not had the proper training, the trucking company may also be held liable.

It is important to contact our truck accident attorneys to discuss the specific details of your case thoroughly.

What is the severity of your injuries?

Truck accidents often cause catastrophic damage. When a truck accident victim sustains injuries that leave them disabled or unable to perform the same work, a lifetime of medical care and lost earning potential will exponentially increase a truck accident settlement.

While most truck accidents are settled out of court, the higher financial stakes make it more likely you will need to fight for your fair compensation at trial. Our truck accident attorneys are talented litigators with a long track record of success. We have recovered millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients.

Compensatory damages are a legal concept in civil lawsuits that are designed to make the victim “whole.” Property damage, bodily injury, and psychological trauma are all damages that are represented in monetary form in a settlement.

For example, in a minor collision, an accident victim may need their vehicle repaired and medical bills covered. However, truck accidents are often far more severe.

If your injuries leave you disfigured or disabled, the consequences can span a lifetime. You may need:

  • Long-term medical care and physical therapy
  • Medical equipment for limited mobility
  • Prosthetic limbs
  • Home modifications

In addition, if you cannot return to work or find gainful employment despite your education and skills, you may be entitled to recover the loss of future earnings.

Does your claim qualify for punitive damages?

Punitive damages are unique compared to other personal injury damages. For this reason, it is crucial to speak to your truck accident lawyer to determine if your case qualifies for punitive damages.

Unlike other compensatory damages, punitive damages are meant to:

  • Punish a particularly negligent party
  • Deter future behavior

For example, if a truck driver was under the influence of an illegal substance or driving under the influence, you may be entitled to punitive damages.

Who pays the settlement?

In most cases, the truck driver who caused the accident, the insurance company, or the trucking company will pay the settlement or verdict. Personal injury claims may have one responsible party or several depending on the circumstances surrounding the truck collision.

Truck accidents are overwhelming. Assessing the extent of your injuries, the impact on your family and professional life, and the unexpected financial burden can lead victims to experience depression and anxiety.

If you were in a truck accident, contact us to schedule a free consultation

Allow the truck accident attorneys of Fried Goldberg, LLC to fight for the settlement you deserve.

The majority of personal injury cases we handle are truck collision claims. Our truck accident attorneys are skilled negotiators and experienced litigators. We have stood up for victims’ rights in both federal and state courts with focused and aggressive representation.

Our experience in this complex area of law helps us to win big cases and settlements so that our clients have what they need to properly heal and move on. We will advocate tirelessly on your behalf and guide you every step of the way.

Our firm is committed to helping clients rebuild their lives by fighting for the resources they need. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries and loss, and we are committed to helping you do that.

If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries in a truck accident, learn more about how we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review. We can discuss your legal options and answer any questions you have.

What types of damages can I recover in a truck accident lawsuit?

Semi-truck accidents are some of the most devastating collisions that occur on U.S. roads. Injuries are often catastrophic with life-changing consequences.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck crash, our personal injury attorneys are here to help you recover damages, including:

  • Lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Full coverage of medical expenses, both present and future
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Emotional distress damages
  • Loss of consortium damages
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent party

In some cases, truck accident victims suffer fatal injuries. The loss of a loved one is immeasurable. We understand that no amount of compensation can ease the pain of your loss. But we can help you get justice by holding the responsible parties accountable.

Recovering compensation in a wrongful death claim is not all about money. Standing up for the rights of your loved one, obtaining answers, and making sure negligent parties are answerable for their wrongdoing can help families gain the closure they need to move on.

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Who can be held liable for a truck accident?

Liability can be complex in truck accidents. For example, the truck driver may be held liable if they drove negligently, including:

  • Driving over the specified number of hours without proper rest breaks
  • Driving under the influence of an illegal substance

The trucking company may also be liable if:

  • The truck was not maintained
  • The truck was improperly loaded

Talk to an experienced truck accident attorney to discuss all liable parties for your particular set of circumstances.

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Are there filing deadlines for truck accident lawsuits?

In Georgia, personal injury truck accident claims generally must be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident. Deadlines can vary in different states. However, there may be some exceptions to the time limit. It is important to seek experienced counsel to discuss your rights and options as soon as possible. Contact our truck accident lawyers today for an evaluation of your case.

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What is the most common type of truck accident?

Truck accidents are unique due to their size and weight. Drivers are typically required to have special training to properly handle a truck’s lack of maneuverability. The most common type of truck crashes are jackknife accidents, wide-turn crashes, and deadly rollover collisions.

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How can a truck accident lawyer help me?

Truck accident lawyers protect the rights of injury victims by:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation
  • Identifying all liable parties
  • Gathering key supportive evidence
  • Negotiating on behalf of truck accident victims

If you or a loved one has been hurt due to a negligent truck driver, contact us for a free consultation. We can discuss the legal process with you and give you more information.

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