Why 18-Wheelers Can Be Dangerous
Most trucks including semi and large trucks are a major danger on the road. But, 18-wheelers, in particular, happen to be the leading cause behind a large number of traffic-related deaths in the US.
A typical 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer weighs about 20-30 times more than your average. Due to the enormous weight they carry, commercial trucks can crush smaller vehicles if the two collide.
In fact, in 2017, there were around 450,000 crashes involving commercial trucks in the US as reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Of those crashes, 1% resulted in death while 23% resulted in major injuries.
In 2018, in the state of Illinois, 106 people died as a result of large truck accidents.
If you have been in a trucking accident and have sustained any kind of injuries or property damage, you might be entitled to receive compensation to cover for –
- Loss of wages
- Emotional distress
- Loss of earning capability
- Loss of consortium
- Medical bills
- Emotional suffering and pain
But, to make that possible, it’s crucial to take immediate legal action by working with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer.
List of Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Underride Truck Accidents
This type of truck-related accident happens when a passenger vehicle collides from the rear end of the truck. The collision can also happen from the side causing the vehicle to slide under the truck. Since a truck is much bigger than a passenger car, it’s likely that the top and the front of a car would be crushed.
Underride truck accidents are some of the most fatal kinds of accidents that could lead to severe injuries such as severed limbs and even death.
A lot of trucks would have a metal underride guard installed to act like a barrier preventing the vehicle from sliding underneath. However, in the event of a collision, the guard may not always bear the impact.
A tire can blow out due to myriad reasons such as a break or a cut in the tire. Even a tiny puncture could cause the tire to lose air gradually over time. Tire blowouts are one of the leading causes of 18 wheeler accidents.
Below are the common reasons behind a tire blowout –
- Too much wear and tear due to excessive usage
- Air leakage
- Defective manufacturing
- High or low air pressure
- Cargo load that’s out of balance
- Poor road conditions leading to puncture
- Lack of truck maintenance
A typical 18-wheeler has two parts – the trailer and the cab. A jackknifing accident is when these two parts fold. Generally, this happens when something hits the truck from behind causing the trailer part to swing forward to form a steep angle between the rear end and the cab. The truck winds up facing in two directions.
In the event of a jackknife accident, the truck driver loses total control over the trailer. It’s possible for the colliding vehicle to be swept under the trailer. In most cases, the car becomes wedged between the two parts.
Rollover accidents are a very common type of truck accidents. They are also very scary and highly dangerous. They generally happen when the driver tries to take a turn too fast. However, they can happen due to myriad other reasons as well.
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The leading factors that lead to rollover accidents are –
- The poor weight distribution of the load
- Sudden lane changes or swerves
- Bad weather conditions
- Dangerous roads
- Poor truck maintenance
- Other errors including driver fatigue, improper training, and distracted driving
Poor cargo loading could lead to spills on the roads or highway creating dangerous situations for other drivers. Many trucks leave a trail of debris behind them which makes it difficult for other vehicles to swerve around.
If the material was airborne it would also hamper the on-road visibility. Poor weather conditions could make the roads slippery.
Determining Liability After an 18-Wheeler Accident
It’s often a logistical nightmare to determine liability in a truck accident lawsuit. Truck accidents are catastrophic from every perspective. They not only lead to life-altering injuries, but from a legal perspective also, they are highly complicated. There are so many parties involved and you have to look into each of them.
You should also know that many areas have zones where trucks are allowed and not allowed. This may affect the liability directly.
Based on the details, below is a list of possible defendants in a truck lawsuit –
- The truck driver for negligent driving
- Truck manufacturer
- Trucking company for errors that might have encouraged the accident
- County/city for poor road conditions
- Other drivers for their negligent driving
- Insurance provider
- Other parties involved in the accident
In most cases, even if the truck driver was at fault, it’s possible to sue the trucking company. In Illinois, there’s a legal method that allows the victims to hold responsible parties accountable by going for an 18-wheeler or semi-truck accident lawsuit.
Contacting an 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
By working with a truck accident attorney at Burnes Libman, which is based in Chicago, you can stay assured that you are working with the best. Our legal team has seen it all. Their familiarity with the nuances of trucking accidents and the knowledge of state law allows for a winning case.
We know the Federal Safety Regulations applicable to commercial trucks inside out. We have a promising history of securing major settlement amounts in accidents involving deaths and injuries.
Accidents are challenging on their own. You don’t need to face the pain of never-ending medical expenses. Allow us to fight on your behalf so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
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While you recover from personal and emotional injury, our attorneys will put together all the paperwork and create a winning lawsuit for you.
For information on 18-wheeler accidents, visit our resource page at www.burneslibman.com/18-wheeler-accident-lawyer. Call us today at (312) 726-6500 for a free consultation.