There are about 500,000 crashes caused by semi-trucks annually in the United States. These collisions usually lead to severe injuries, death, and truck accident lawsuits.
Why Accidents Caused by Semi-Trucks Are Dangerous
In a collision between semi-trucks and passenger vehicles, the occupants of the latter are often the most affected. Semi-trucks cause about 11 percent of all traffic accident deaths in the United States. Ninety-seven percent of those who died in crashes between semi-trucks and passenger vehicles in 2017 were those in passenger vehicles.
It is a no-brainer that pedestrians and passenger vehicles are vulnerable in crashes with semi-trucks. One of the reasons for this is the weight of semi-trucks; they have more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating. While an average car weighs less than three tons, trucks easily weigh 40 tons.
Maneuvering trucks is often tedious and challenging due to their enormous weight and size. The most dangerous accident form is a rollover, where a truck overturns.
Most truck accidents occur on highways and in rural dwellings. The United States roads are always busy with a sizable number of trucks because the country has about 15.5 registered large trucks.
Stakeholders seem to downplay the common occurrence of truck accidents. For instance, 2017 alone witnessed 4,237 large truck fatal collisions.
The past 13 years have seen an unimaginable increase in large truck collisions, surging by at least 13 percent since 2010. There were 12 deadly truck accidents per million persons in the country in 2016.
Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Many factors contribute to a truck crash. For example, bad weather, like icy or snowy, can heighten motorists’ collision threats. Other factors, such as human error—reckless driving and negligent behaviors—also contribute to mishaps.
Some common reasons for semi-truck accidents are driver fatigue, improper loading, overspeeding, drug or alcohol abuse, lack of training or inexperience, poor vehicle maintenance, breach of trucking laws, and distracted driving.
An average of 70 percent of semi-truck mishaps occur in ideal weather situations and are unrelated to drunkenness. Instead, many risky wrecks may occur due to equipment failure, mechanical fault, and blind spots on all sides.
No matter the cause of a truck accident, victims should contact an experienced and versatile lawyer regarding their rights and the possibility of getting compensation. Truckers and their firms are often accountable for the recklessness or negligence that causes mishaps, severe injuries, or mortality.
Actions Being Taken on Semi-Truck Wrecks
Legislators are working round the clock to tackle the high stakes of semi-truck mishaps. A House committee recently passed a bill to substantially increase the insurance amount that commercial motor vehicles can carry. The Lower House and the Senate must pass the bill before it can become law.
If the bill eventually becomes law, commercial vehicles will now have $2 million in insurance against the present $750,000. Many stakeholders have endorsed this proposed change, believing the “amendment will help families who have survived truck collisions and further sanitize the trucking industry.” Safer Trucking observed that the authorities had not raised the minimum requirement for insurance since the 1980s despite the growling effect of inflation.
The organization affirmed that the lawmakers’ move would bolster families’ ability to pay medical care bills, lost earnings, funeral service costs, and other bills that might arise after a troubling truck accident.
Conversely, critics are complaining about the potential economic strain this increase would put on firms. Whatever the case, we must put in a concerted effort to protect human lives.
You Can File a Semi-Truck Collision Suit
Some factors determine the amount of compensation a victim can get from a truck accident lawsuit. The fundamental issue is liability. Though liability differs by state, it means the less guilt attributed to the injured person, the higher the compensation.
In some states, a defendant must be more than 50 percent liable for a victim to stand a chance of recovering anything.
The severity of the injury is another issue you should consider in your lawsuit. Usually, injured victims file lawsuits against the trucker, trucking firm, or vehicle manufacturer.
If a victim dies from a truck crash, their relatives may file a wrongful death suit.
Any semi-truck accident victim may be qualified to file a class action lawsuit and demand compensation. While a lawsuit cannot obviously relieve pain and suffering or bring back your loved one, it will, however, ease your financial burden as you can recover your funds for medical bills, property damage, and lost earnings, among others.
It will also force negligent drivers and their firms to be responsible and accountable. Sometimes, truck settlements can run into thousands or millions of dollars.
“It can be overwhelming to pursue compensation yourself; hire a local truck accident attorney to help you handle the technicalities and argue to increase your compensation,” says Attorney Charles Boyk of Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC.
Interesting Related Article: “How Long Does Collision Repair Take?“