Because there are so many different types of truck accidents, often an independent investigation will make a final determination regarding the cause of the accident including which party remains liable and responsible for any types of injuries and losses to victims. Some of the types of truck accidents include rollover accidents, jackknife accidents, and cargo spills which can result from cargo loading issues, truck driver or trucking company errors resulting from the failure to follow federal guidelines or manufacturing defects.
Rollover accidents involving large commercial trucks can easily occur due to the higher center of gravity that these large trucks have in comparison to passenger vehicles. Any failure in brakes, steering mechanisms, inattention of a driver, or failure to secure cargo correctly could result in a rollover accident. When a rollover accident occurs with a large commercial truck, it often causes multiple-car pile-up accidents and catastrophic injuries and losses.
Large commercial trucks are typically composed of two parts: the front cab area where the truck driver sits and the back part holding the cargo, known as the trailer. If a truck driver makes a sudden stop, if there is a problem with the steering or brakes of the truck, or if cargo shifts unexpectedly, the truck may jackknife. Jackknifing is when the front cab of the truck attempts to stop, but the back-trailer section keeps traveling at the same rate of speed causing the trailer section to sweep in one direction or in multiple directions across several lanes of traffic. Similar to rollover accidents, jackknifing accidents often cause substantial injuries and losses and involve several vehicles.
T-Bone or Sideswiping Accidents
If a truck driver fails to come to a complete stop in an intersection, the truck may “T-bone” another vehicle, which involves the front of the truck hitting another vehicle perpendicularly. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), many commercial trucks weigh over 80,000 pounds. When a commercial truck collides with a passenger vehicle at a high rate of speed directly to the side of the vehicle, it often results in serious injuries and fatalities.
Sideswiping accidents also occur when a large commercial truck hits the side of another vehicle, but these typically occur when the side of the truck collides with the side of a passenger vehicle. This can occur as a result of driver inattention, driver fatigue, a driver failing to check all blind spots, or a driver operating a commercial truck recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When a truck accident occurs, the cargo and contents of the trailer could spill out onto the roadways. The cargo that large commercial vehicles carry is often dangerous or hazardous. In some cases, hazmat crews must immediately arrive on the scene of a trucking accident to attempt to clean the area of dangerous and toxic materials. Along with the injuries or fatalities suffered from the original trucking accident, the spilling of cargo from a large commercial truck can also cause serious injuries and losses resulting from flammable, explosive, radioactive, or otherwise toxic and hazardous materials.
Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many different reasons that a trucking accident could occur. Every truck accident will have its own unique set of facts and circumstances that result in different parties remaining liable to compensate victims for their injuries and losses. Some of the causes of trucking accidents include the following:
- Truck driver error (driving while fatigued, driving while distracted, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving without proper license, driving without appropriate experience or training, driving recklessly or negligently)
- Truck driver or trucking company failing to follow all standards and guidelines established under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- A trucking company (under the theory of respondeat superior; the trucking company has legal responsibility for the actions of its employees during the course of their employment)
- Cargo-loading company fails to property load the cargo correctly into the trailer of the truck or fails to properly secure the cargo
- Defective tie-down straps and fasteners cause cargo to shift during transit
- Other manufacturing defects in the trucking parts or components causing an accident
- Failure of a truck driver or trucking company to thoroughly inspect, repair, and replace any part of the truck appropriately and timely
Learn How a Trucking Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 to learn how a trucking accident lawyer can help you understand the different types of truck accidents and how you may have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact our legal team today for a free consultation regarding the specifics of your trucking accident case.