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Common Causes of Truck Accidents and Related Injuries

Truck in SunsetCar crashes involving standard-sized vehicles can cause painful and serious injuries, but when an accident involves a big rig or commercial truck, injuries can be especially devastating and are often deadly. This added risk is largely due to the sheer size of semi-trucks, which, when fully loaded, can be as much as 25 times heavier than an average passenger vehicle.

Driver Error

Driver of big rigs and commercial trucks must obtain special licenses and adhere to state and federal regulations. Most truck drivers are skilled and careful, but the unique characteristics of commercial transportation make it much more likely that a driver will be the cause of an accident involving other vehicles.

Factors that most often contribute to driver-caused truck accidents include:

  • Overly taxing schedules that encourage or force drivers to ignore safety risks;
  • Inadequate training about driving technique and safety; and
  • Driver fatigue.

While truck drivers are sometimes at fault for accidents, drivers of passenger vehicles are also to blame for a surprising number of crashes involving commercial trucks and big rigs. For instance, drivers are often unaware of truck drivers’ limited ability to accelerate or brake quickly, and many avoidable accidents occur as a result.

Some of the most typical unsafe acts committed by drivers of passenger vehicles, such as standard cars, who are in the vicinity of large trucks include:

  • Driving in the areas behind and beside a commercial truck where the truck driver has almost no visibility;
  • Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck;
  • Driving between two large trucks;
  • Unsafe passing;
  • Failing to accelerate or decelerate when a truck changes lanes or merges;
  • Misjudging an approaching truck’s speed;
  • Merging improperly into traffic;
  • Passing a truck and then being blown out of position by air turbulence or cross-wind; and
  • Failing to get a disabled vehicle off the highway and onto the shoulder.
Injuries and Damages

The sheer weight of commercial trucks makes it much more likely that passengers involved in collisions with trucks will be seriously injured. The costs associated with such injuries can be financially devastating for victims and their families.

Some of the most common injuries sustained in truck accidents include:

  • Burns;
  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Broken bones;
  • Internal bleeding;
  • Organ damage;
  • Toxic exposure; and
  • Spinal cord damage.

These types of injuries are especially expensive to treat and may result in permanent disability that requires lifelong care. If a truck driver’s negligence caused the accident, victims may be able to obtain compensation to cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At-fault parties can include drivers, trucking companies, truck owners, and manufacturers whose faulty designs contributed to the accident.

Injuries sustained in truck accidents can have heavy physical, financial, and emotional costs, but a dedicated attorney can help you obtain compensation for that harm. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, please contact the skilled San Jose personal injury attorneys at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. for a free consultation today at (408) 289-1417.

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