Accidents involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles are typically much more dangerous than those involving passenger vehicles and are more likely to result in serious injuries and wrongful death. The reason is due to physics: an object with more weight and mass is harder to slow down or bring to a stop unless there is a great force applied to it. If you have been injured in an accident with a truck, you need to speak to a truck accident attorney to discuss your case, how the accident has negatively impacted your life and what compensation you can recover from a personal injury case.
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What types of damages can I be eligible to receive?
The two types of damages that you may be eligible to receive from the liable party’s insurance company after your accident are economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate you for your financial losses and include:
- Medical expenses, such as the emergency room visit, hospitalizations, surgeries, prescription medications, follow-up appointments, and physical therapy
- Lost wages from the time you missed at work due to your injuries
- Future loss earning potential if your injuries prevent you from being able to return to work in the foreseeable future, or if they prevent you from working in the same industry as you did before
- Property damage, which is damage to your personal vehicle
- Any out-of-pocket expenses ranging from childcare to grocery delivery services
Non-economic damages compensate you for your intangible losses. Although these cannot be quantified, the court recognizes that the whole person has experienced losses related to pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one in the crash, lost the use of a limb or an organ, lost your enjoyment of life, or are suffering from other psychological effects of the crash, then you should speak to your personal injury attorney about recovering non-economic damages.
What are the most common causes of truck accidents?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the top associated factors assigned to large trucks into vehicle crashes include:
- Driving under the influence of prescription drugs or over–the–counter drugs
- Not being familiar with the roadway
- Not paying attention
- Driving too fast for the road conditions
- Making an illegal maneuver
- Feeling under pressure from the trucking company to work
- Driver fatigue
- Driver inattentiveness
- Brake failure or brakes were out of adjustment
- Inclement weather
- False assumptions of other road user’s actions
Passengers in Cars at Greater Risk
Unfortunately, when a large commercial truck and a car collide, the impact is felt more strongly in the car as it absorbs the energy of the crash. According to the laws of physics, objects with a lot of mass that are in motion require more space and time to come to a complete stop. And if you have ever rented a moving truck or filled your car full with heavy suitcases, then you know that you have to drive more carefully and slowly because of the added mass to your vehicle.
Truck drivers know that they should drive with caution because they can’t zip around as cars can. Speeding while driving a truck increases the likelihood of causing a damaging crash.
What are the most common injuries after truck accidents?
The injuries range widely depending on each individual case, but usually, the injuries are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. They include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Neck injuries, like whiplash
- Spine and spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Dislocated joints