Tractor Trailer Accidents-What to Know

18 wheeler truck on highway

18-wheelers are essential for transporting a wide variety of goods across our country, but due to their size and weight, they also pose a much higher risk of causing serious injury when involved in a crash. According to The U.S. Department of Transportation statistics, United States’ roads witness over 5,000 18-wheeler accidents resulting in death each year nationwide, and 500,000 tractor-trailer accidents annually. In addition, a collision with an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer causes one out of every eight fatal automobile accidents.

Passenger Vehicle vs. 18-Wheeler Wrecks

When large trucks are involved in a collision with an automobile, it is generally the smaller passenger vehicle that sustains the most damage, causing injury to the driver and passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, among accidents that caused serious injuries and fatalities, 73% of these catastrophic collisions affected the vehicle occupants, not the truck. The massive size and weight of a semi-truck make them difficult to maneuver and stop, and colliding with another vehicle carries a heavy impact. Passenger vehicles don’t stand a chance in a collision with a huge diesel truck. According to highway safety data:

  • One person suffers an injury or is killed due to a large truck accident every 16 minutes, on average
  • One death is caused by commercial truck crashes, on average, each daylight hour
  • 68% of all fatal commercial truck collisions occur in rural areas
  • A commercial truck, fully loaded, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds
  • Truck inspection data shows that almost one in four inspections reveal safety issues
  • Truck drivers are not legally allowed to drive more than 11 hours in a stretch
  • Up to 16% of all large truck collision fault can be attributed to the truck driver
  • 66% of all fatal truck accidents occur during the day

When there is so much at risk, even a second of negligence can quickly lead to a tragedy when a large truck is involved in a wreck. If you are injured in an 18-wheeler or commercial truck accident, it is crucial to seek legal representation who understands the legal complexity of the incident. These cases involve complex federal guidelines, large minimums on liability insurance coverage, and require a professional with extensive experience handling 18-wheeler accident injury lawsuits.

Negligent Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents

Carefully exploring all of the factors leading up to the collision will help determine the cause and party at fault. Some of the negligent causes of 18-Wheeler accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to obey traffic lights or signs
  • Improper passing
  • Failure to use signals
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Operating without sufficient sleep
  • Hauling a heavy load that is outside legal parameters
  • Failure to maintain the truck
  • Failure to maintain parts such as brakes, tires, and valve systems

Liable Parties in 18-Wheeler Accidents

A collision involving an 18-Wheeler can easily result in catastrophic injury and even death. These injuries may leave you with devastating financial costs, such as emergency care, overwhelming medical bills, lost wages, and long-term personal care. There may be multiple parties responsible for the collision and your damages, including the:

  • Driver
  • Owner of the truck
  • Company that leased the truck
  • Company which employs the driver
  • Manufacturer of the vehicle or its parts
  • Loader of the truck’s cargo

If you or a family member have suffered injuries from an accident involving an 18-Wheeler which was caused due to negligence by any involved party, you and your loved ones may have legal grounds to seek compensation. Whether you’ve been rear-ended by a truck or side-swiped by a semi on Texas roadways, the attorneys of Branch & Dhillon, P.C. can guide you through the process of holding the liable parties responsible for your personal injuries and related costs.