Truck accidents can be serious, leaving drivers, passengers, and bystanders injured. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, or about 20 times the weight of an average sedan. There are key differences between car accidents and those involving trucks, which can greatly affect your accident claim. If you've been injured in a truck accident, it is crucial to know the differences and work with an experienced truck accident attorney to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation.
Truck Accident Injuries
Injuries are a common result of most auto accidents, but they may not be severe. When a heavy commercial truck is involved, injuries often are catastrophic or even fatal. Because of the severity of injuries that are sustained in trucking accidents, it is critical to receive the compensation you need.
Common injuries from truck accidents can include:
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Back and neck injuries
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Crushing injuries
- Amputations or limb loss
- Severe burns
Liability in Truck Accidents
Unlike car accidents, where typically one of the drivers is at fault, a truck accident may have more than one liable party. Commercial trucks will often have a driver and a company who is responsible for the truck, but these vehicles may also have a lessee and a lessor who may be held liable. If the accident was caused by a mechanical failure, the manufacturer of the truck may also be held responsible. Because there are many parties who can be held liable, you will require the services of a truck accident attorney. Your lawyer will be able to determine what evidence is necessary to prove your claim, as well as how to prove how the negligence of each of these parties contributed to your accident.
In addition to the possibility of multiple parties having liability for the accident, you may also find yourself dealing with multiple insurance companies. Each party will likely have their own insurance policy, and getting compensation from any of them can be difficult. If a trucking company is involved, it is likely that a team of lawyers will be dispatched to comb the scene for evidence to protect the company and the driver from your claim. Because of the fast pace of many trucking accident claims, time is of the essence. Contact a skilled trucking accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents may have more complicated causes than many car accidents. Mechanical failure can commonly cause truck accidents. These failures can be due to improper maintenance schedules or poor maintenance. Companies that neglect proper care for their trucks can be held liable for an accident caused by a mechanical issue. If the issue is found to be due to a manufacturer defect, the manufacturer may be held liable instead.
Drivers can also be liable for the accident. It isn't uncommon for overtired truck drivers to cause accidents. Strict deadlines and long hours can leave truck drivers without adequate rest. Because of the pressure from trucking companies for drivers to meet difficult deadlines, it is possible that drivers may take risks to arrive on time or may alter logs to allow them to work past the legal limit of time on the road. It is also possible that drivers may not have received adequate training for their job, and are inexperienced. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes that many accidents involving inexperienced drivers were caused by unsafe behaviors, such as following too closely or speeding.
Truck accidents can be life-altering, and fighting for compensation can be a difficult victory to win. Our Austin truck accident attorneys at Komie & Morrow, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience to draw from to help your case. Our caring team is dedicated to pursuing justice for injured clients. You can trust us to fight for your rights. Contact Komie & Morrow, LLP today to arrange a free consultation.