The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines trucks as vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 10,000 pounds. However, some commercial trucks can weigh up to 100,000 pounds or more. Due to their size and weight, big rigs, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and construction vehicles can cause devastating injuries.
Despite heavy regulation, truck collisions are all too common. The NHTSA reports that nearly 4,700 people were killed in truck crashes in 2017, and thousands more were seriously injured. If you suffered injuries in a truck-related accident, you may be able to recover various forms of compensation for your losses and injuries.
A truck accident lawyer serving Brookhaven can help you learn more about personal injury litigation and the types of damages that may be compensable. Call Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. at (631) 451-7900.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Brookhaven, call 631-203-1691
Types and Causes of Truck Accidents
Common types of truck crashes include frontal impacts, undercarriage collisions, rollovers, jackknife crashes, and cargo-related accidents. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), there are over 12 million trucks in operation on U.S. roadways. Depending on the type of collision in question, many different contributory factors may require investigation. Some common causes of truck crashes appear below.
Speeding, as well as reckless, drowsy, and distracted driving are all common forms of negligence that can cause a crash. Driver distraction, in particular, is a growing concern for law enforcement authorities. The penalties for distracted driving— especially for collisions that lead to substantial damages or fatalities—are harsh and can even result in jail time. The same applies to collisions caused by alcohol or substance abuse.
Service and Maintenance
The trucking industry is subject to heavy regulation. Everything from driver hours to the process of securing cargo loads to the bed of a truck must fall in line with prescribed rules. The same applies to truck servicing and maintenance. Poor servicing that leads to issues with truck performance and the breakdown of parts such as worn brakes, tire blowouts, or unsafe loads can all cause a collision.
In the pursuit of profits, a trucking company may try to cut costs where it is unsafe to do so. A failure to thoroughly screen or train drivers, or to perform maintenance or service checks–can equate to negligence. A failure to recognize potential hazards such as suspended driver licenses, complaints of reckless driving, or the overworking of drivers can also lead to a trucking company, a driver, or a fleet operator being liable for collision damages.
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Truck Collision Liability
Many different parties may shoulder some of the blame for a trucking collision, such as:
- A truck driver, a truck owner, or a truck company.
- A maintenance crew member or a service company.
- A parts manufacturer.
- A government office.
Truck drivers may be held liable for collisions caused by negligence, such as texting while driving, running a red light, or driving while drowsy or intoxicated. A truck owner or a trucking company may be liable for a collision if poor hiring practices or inadequate screening or training of drivers contributed to a crash.
A parts manufacturer may be liable if an unexpected parts malfunction occurs while a truck is in operation, and a government office may be liable for a collision if poor road maintenance or poor signage created dangerous driving conditions.
A truck accident lawyer serving Brookhaven can investigate your case to see which factors–and which parties–played a part in your case. Then, you can file a claim for damages if the circumstances surrounding your collision warrant one. Reach out to Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. at (631) 451-7900 to find out how to get started.
Truck Collision Damages
The injuries caused by truck crashes can be catastrophic. These events are one of the leading causes of new spinal cord injuries every year and can cause other injuries and damages as well, including:
- Head trauma.
- Internal organ damage.
- Broken bones.
- Nerve and muscle damage.
- Amputations and lacerations.
- Disfigurement and scarring.
These injuries may require extensive medical treatment, long-term therapy, and expensive diagnostic and surgical interventions. In addition to the costs of care, the victims of truck collisions often face considerable property damage, time away from work, incidental expenses such as car rentals or home service charges, the loss of a loved one, and an inability to return to work.
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The physical injuries that truck collisions cause are serious enough. You should not also have to suffer the financial stress of paying for the treatment. Various forms of proof can help to prove a truck collision case, including:
- Video footage
- Police reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Cell phone usage data
- GPS tracking data
- Maintenance logs
- Driver performance reports.
These documents may help you establish a case if you can establish that the at-fault party in question owed you a duty of care. This includes driving safely, performing truck maintenance, and properly fastening the truck’s load to prevent harm to others.
Duty of care plays an extensive role in vehicle collision and personal injury cases. If you can prove that the driver failed to abide by the duty of care they owed and this led to your injuries, it may be possible to seek damages for your losses.
An attorney may be able to gather the evidence needed to build your case, file a complete claim by all mandated deadlines, and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance agents. Please contact a truck accident lawyer serving Brookhaven to learn more about truck collision litigation. The Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. team is available at (631) 451-7900 We provide free case evaluations at no upfront cost.