Richmond Truck Accident Attorney
Because of the vast size difference between semi-trucks and other road users, collisions with trucks almost always cause serious injuries to occupants of passenger vehicles, and nonoccupants such as pedestrians and cyclists. In fact, 67 percent of victims killed in truck collisions are passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users, while just 16 percent of truck fatalities are truck drivers, according to the Insurance Information Institute. As a victim of a truck collision, the trucking company owes you significant compensation for your injuries. Our Richmond truck accident attorneys here at MichieHamlett have handled countless truck collision cases, and can secure fair compensation for you.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
According to Carsurance, 66 percent of all fatal truck crashes occur during the day when there is more traffic on the roads and yet 68 percent of all the fatalities were from collisions on rural roads, where truck drivers may become more lax and be easily distracted. There are three common categories for truck accidents including:
- Jackknife – Anytime a vehicle is towing a trailer, including sem-trucks, there is a risk of the driver losing control and the trailer folding towards the cab in what is referred to as a jackknife accident. This happens because the trailer moves at a faster rate than the cab itself and can be caused by improper braking, overcorrecting with steering, and improperly loaded or overloaded trailers. In these crashes, the trailer frequently sweeps wide and can take out other vehicles on the road.
- Rollover – Trucks have a high center of gravity because of their height and the position of the load they are carrying. This makes them more likely to overturn. Rollovers are more likely to occur if a driver goes too fast through curves or if the driver is distracted and not reacting in time to situations on the road. If a load is not adequately secured before driving, it can shift mid-trip and also cause a rollover situation.
- Underride – These crashes occur when momentum of both vehicles during a crash causes the smaller passenger car to slip underneath the body of the truck’s trailer. These crashes are frequently fatal because of the trauma to the upper body of individuals stuck in the car. Trucks should have protections such as rear impact guards to protect against underride accidents, but they can still occur depending on the angle and force of the crash.
Five Common Causes of Trucking Collisions
- Distracted Driving—Distracted driving is a serious problem among all drivers, including truck drivers. Examples of distracted driving include using a cell phone for any purpose, talking hands free on a device, watching videos or TV, eating and drinking, reaching for objects, staring out the window, daydreaming, and using GPS.
- Aggressive Driving, Including Speeding—Speeding, tailgating, cutting others off, speeding up to block another driver from passing, and quickly switching lanes are examples of aggressive driving that are likely to increase the odds of a collision.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo—When trucks are loaded with too much cargo, or the cargo is not properly distributed or strapped down, problems are likely to arise. Improperly loaded cargo can make the truck more difficult to maneuver, increase the chance of a rollover, or lead to objects falling off the truck and causing crashes behind.
- Fatigued Driving / Falling Asleep—It is estimated that drowsy driving or fatigued driving is involved in around 21 percent of all crashes, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This number is even higher among truck drivers, who often drive double digit hour shifts multiple days in a row. The truck’s Black Box may reveal whether the truck driver violated regulations by driving over the federal hourly limit.
- Negligent Truck Maintenance—Improper maintenance, such as failure to replace the brakes or tires, can lead to truck collisions. While the driver themselves may not have been at fault for negligent maintenance, the trucking company is.
In order to hold the truck driver and company accountable, you must be able to prove that the driver or company was negligent in some way, which is where an attorney becomes invaluable.
Damages in a Truck Collision
Trucking companies generally have large insurance policies to protect their business assets in the event of a lawsuit. You may be entitled to some or all of the following types of compensation for your damages:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages and earning ability;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of joy of life and emotional distress;
- Property damage; and
Call a Richmond Truck Accident Attorney Today
The average four door sedan on the roads in America weighs about 4,000 pounds. According to CJ Pony Parts, a 2018 Ford F-150 has a maximum payload capacity of 3,270 pounds while the vehicle itself weighs in over 6,000 pounds. The Ford F-150 is considered a light duty truck. Commuters also share the roads with semi-trucks, dump trucks, and other heavy duty vehicles that can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. While car accidents themselves can be tragic, when trucks are involved in crashes the resulting injuries tend to be far worse and sometimes even fatal because of the size and weight difference between vehicles. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a traffic collision involving a truck, it is critical that you seek legal representation from a qualified Richmond truck accident attorney.