Picture this: You’re cruising down the highway on an average day when suddenly you find yourself sharing the road with a menacing semi-truck. This common yet perilous scenario occurs all too often, with over 500,000 semi-truck accidents reported yearly. Unfortunately, these accidents often result in devastating injuries, fatalities, and complex legal battles.
The danger is all too real, with 97% of deaths in semi-truck accidents involving passenger vehicle occupants. This blog will delve into the mechanics of semi-truck accidents, exploring their underlying causes, the associated risks, and the path to seeking justice for those affected by these devastating collisions. Join us as we reveal the truth behind these frightening encounters on the road.
The Dangers of Semi-Truck Collisions
The primary reasons semi-truck collisions are dangerous stem from these vehicles’ immense gross weight. Semi-trucks are significantly larger than the average vehicle, with a weight totaling more than 10,000 pounds. Consequently, they are more challenging to maneuver and stop, factors that contribute to many accidents involving these behemoths.
In addition to vehicle weight, numerous factors can contribute to a semi-truck accident. Here is a rundown of the most common ones:
- Driver fatigue
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance
- Improper loading
- Intoxicated driving
- Distracted driving
- Driver inexperience or lack of training
Notably, most semi-truck accidents, around 70%, occur in ideal weather conditions and are not caused by drunk driving. Key risks associated with these accidents include blind spots in the truck’s side and rear-view mirrors and equipment failure related to the truck itself.
Efforts Towards Mitigating Semi-truck Accidents
Recognizing the high stakes involved in semi-truck accidents, US lawmakers have recently made several strides to address this pressing issue. One such effort is an amendment to the INVEST Act, aiming to double the minimum commercial motor vehicle insurance from the current $750,000 to $2 million.
The Institute for Safer Trucking has praised this move, stating that it will help make the trucking industry safer and support survivors of truck accidents. However, concerns have been raised regarding the economic stress this amendment will impose on trucking companies. Nonetheless, it is a step in the right direction, as it can cover the costs of potential lawsuits against truck accidents and drivers should accidents occur.
Filing a Semi-Truck Collision Lawsuit
Semi-truck collision lawsuits fall under the domain of personal injury law. The amount of compensation awarded to the victim depends on various factors, including liability and the severity of the injuries. A jury will determine the degree of blame to assign to the parties based on the available evidence. In some states, the defendant, i.e., the driver and the trucking company, must be more than 50 percent liable for the victim to recover any damages.
It is essential to note that determining liability in a semi-truck accident can be inherently complex. The list of potentially at-fault parties can be extensive, ranging from the driver, trucking company, truck owner or leasing company, loader, to the truck manufacturer.
“Semi-truck accidents are often fatal due to the immense weight of these vehicles. It is your mandate to observe traffic rules and report drivers who might be endangering others on the roads,” said Attorney Walter Clark of Walter Clark Law Group. If you are a victim of a semi-truck collision and it is not your fault, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries.