Truck Accidents

Tractor Trailer, 18-Wheeler, Semi Truck & Commercial Truck Accidents

FJW Truck AccidentsThere are nearly 11 million large trucks on U.S. roadways. Due to their sheer size and weight, any collision between an 18-wheeler or commercial truck with a passenger car is likely to result in catastrophic injuries and major property damage for those in the smaller vehicle. More often than not, the truck driver walks away with little or no injury while the driver and other occupants of the passenger car may suffer traumatic injuries.

According to a 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, 3,675 people were killed in large truck crashes (tractor trailers, semi trucks and commercial trucks), an increase of 8.7 percent from 2009 tractor trailer crashes. This figure also includes truck drivers and drivers and passengers in other vehicles. The number of injuries sustained in large truck crashes (19,000 in 2010) rose 12 percent from 2009.

Our truck accident attorneys handle large truck accidents, 18-wheeler accidents, semi truck accidents, big rig accidents, car accidents, andinsurance coverage issues.

Common Causes of Tractor Trailer and Semi Truck Crashes

There are many potential causes for truck accidents. These can include:

  • Distracted driving (talking on the phone or texting)
  • Drowsy driving and driving fatigue (falling asleep at the wheel)
  • Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol
  • Reckless driving
  • Overloaded trucks and trailers
  • Inexperienced or unlicensed drivers (licensing fraud)
  • Improper driver training
  • Mechanical failures (tires, brakes)
  • Maintenance failures or repair failures
  • Failing to yield to right of way, speeding, cutting off another driver
  • Backing up or moving in reverse
  • Inclement weather conditions
  • Driving in truck blind spots

Underride Guard Accidents and Conspicuity Accidents

In 2011, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that underride guards often fail on tractor trailers – even in low-speed crashes. An underride accident is when a car strikes the sides or backs of semi trucks and goes partially or wholly beneath a large truck or tractor trailer in a accident, increasing the chance of death (decapitated) or severe injury (severe head injury, face and eye trauma). Federal law requires that certain large, newer commercial trucks be equipped with regulation-compliant rear underride guards, but when the underride guard is missing or faulty, it is likely to be particularly deadly. Side guards are not currently mandated.

Conspicuity refers to how well an 18-wheeler or tractor trailer can or can’t been seen under existing conditions. For large trucks, this usually refers to reflective paint, tape or other agents used to make them more visible to other drivers. Since March 1999, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has required all trailers on heavy trucks be equipped with either reflective tape or reflectors.Truck drivers are supposed to make sure that their reflectors are clearly visible, but due to schedules and driver fatigue, reflectors are often neglected. Many reflective tape and/or reflectors are missing, broken or obscured by dirt which leads to unsafe driving for passenger vehicles.

Injuries Associated Large Truck, Bus and Commercial Truck Accidents

More often than not, large trucking accidents result in devastating personal injury, extensive property damage or death. Many times, the debilitating injuries sustained significantly reduce the quality of life of the truck accident victim. Trucking accidents often result in serious injuries including broken bones and fractures, amputations, neck and back injuries (disk injury, spinal cord injuries), paralysis (paraplegia and quadriplegia), head and brain injuries, and more often than not, death.

Free Initial Legal Consultation – and We Aren’t Paid unless there is a Recovery

We have handled hundreds of truck, car and motorcycle accident cases and have achieved numerous multimillion-dollarverdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Our consultations with potential auto accident clients are free. If we take your case, we are only paid fees and costs of suit if we succeed in winning a recovery for you. We advance the costs of your case, too, so there’s no cost to you of bringing your lawsuit or claim.