Common types of truck accidents include T-bone accidents, jackknife accidents, rear-end accidents, sideswipe collisions, and head-on collisions. Because large trucks weigh significantly more than most other vehicle types, the outcome of such accidents can be devastating.

If you are involved in any type of truck accident, allow a lawyer to seek a financial recovery for you. Your Augusta truck accident lawyer will evaluate your pain and suffering, medical costs, and all other damages from the truck accident. They will lead any insurance claim or lawsuit you choose to pursue.

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Most Common Types of Truck Accidents

Some of the most frequent types of truck accidents are:

Rear-End Accidents

Truck Accidents

When a truck strikes another vehicle from behind, it is called a rear-end accident. Distracted driving, speeding, and impaired driving can contribute to rear-end truck collisions.

The size and weight of large trucks can make rear-end accidents dangerous. When a vehicle is stopped or slowed, the impact of another vehicle striking from the rear can be catastrophic.

Head-On Accidents

Though head-on collisions are relatively rare, they are exceptionally dangerous. The forward momentum of two vehicles comes to a stop in a head-on collision, putting severe strain on the victims’ bodies.

Sideswipe Accidents

When a motor vehicle hits another in a scraping or swiping style, it is called a sideswipe accident. These collisions can occur when:

  • One motorist begins changing lanes without checking blind spots
  • A distracted driver veers out of their lane into another vehicle
  • Motorists nearly avoid a collision during confusing circumstances (such as at an intersection)
  • An impaired motorist loses control of their vehicle or is visually impaired, swiping another vehicle as a result

While sideswipe accidents do not typically cause the force of impact as head-on collisions or other accident types, a sideswipe truck accident can cause severe injuries.

Side-impact accidents (or T-bone collisions)

When a truck strikes another vehicle in a T formation, this is known as a side-impact accident. These collisions can be particularly serious when someone is sitting on the side of the vehicle that the truck strikes.

Jackknife Accidents

When a truck’s trailer swings irregularly, it can cause the cab and trailer to “jackknife.” This irregular positioning can cause the truck to strike other vehicles.

These are only a few of the many truck accident types that can leave victims with serious injuries. These accidents can even be fatal, leading survivors to pursue wrongful death cases against liable parties.

Potential Causes of Truck Accidents

When a truck accident lawyer seeks compensation for their client, remember to determine the accident’s cause. Some possible causes of truck accidents are:

Dangerous Driving by the Trucker

Most auto accidents stem from unsafe driver behavior, and truck accidents are no different. Some of the most common driver-related accident causes include:

  • Speeding, which resulted in 12,330 deaths in a singular year alone
  • Tailgating
  • Changing lanes without ensuring the safety of doing so
  • Running red lights, stop signs, and yield signs
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Driving while distracted

If a truck driver did anything that led to your accident, they and their employer are likely liable for your accident-related damages.

Unsafe Road Conditions

Roads themselves can be hazards, particularly when:

  • A work zone spills into the roadway (or merely too close to the roadway)
  • Cracks and uneven driving surfaces catch vehicles’ tires
  • Potholes cause tire blowouts, vehicle redirections, or other hazardous events
  • A lack of adequate signage causes confusion among motorists
  • Any other road-related conditions contribute to accidents

Your truck accident attorney may sue a municipality or other party responsible for hazardous road conditions.

Vehicle Defects

Trucks are elaborate vehicles with high-tech components. Design each component logically built with quality materials, and sustain the wear and tear that trucks accumulate.

If a truck-related defect contributed to your accident, your attorney will:

  • Work with engineers and other professionals to identify the defect
  • Determine who is responsible for the defect
  • Document the defect in the greatest detail possible

Vehicle and component manufacturers are typically liable for any defective products they introduce to the marketplace. Your attorney may file a lawsuit against a negligent manufacturer on your behalf.

Negligence-Related Equipment Failures

Defects are not always the fault of a manufacturer. In some cases, failure to properly maintain a truck causes components to become hazardous. Examples of this include:

  • Failure to replace worn-down tires
  • Failure to replace brake pads
  • Failure to act upon warning lights
  • Failure to replace faulty trailer hitches or other dated truck components

A truck driver, company, or other negligent party may be liable for maintenance-related defects.

Driver Impairment

Truck drivers work long, grueling hours. The driver’s responsibility (and their employer’s, to a certain degree) is to remain alert and sober every time they operate a truck. Dangerous forms of impairment include:

  • Intoxication by alcohol
  • Tiredness (a serious concern among truck drivers who drive for several hours at a time)
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Drug impairment
  • Impairment by prescribed medications
  • Visual impairment

Truck drivers and their employers must ensure that every trucker is in good health, has a sound state of mind, and is free from impairment.

Your truck accident lawyer will investigate your collision and establish liability for your accident-related damages.

A Trucking Company’s Negligence May Have Contributed to Your Accident

Every truck accident attorney must consider whether a trucking company did anything that contributed to the accident. Common examples of negligence by trucking companies include:

Hiring unfit driver

  • Hiring unfit drivers: Truck drivers must have a high degree of skill, intelligence, physical strength, and awareness to do their jobs effectively and safely. If a trucking company does not hold its employees to a high standard, it endangers the public.
  • Failing to properly train drivers: Even though truck drivers must have commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), the trucking company must go further by training each driver and testing their abilities.
  • Failing to service or replace vehicles: A trucking company must ensure its drivers have safe operating vehicles. The trucking company must mandate that drivers immediately report possible safety hazards and then repair those vehicles as soon as possible. If a vehicle has become outdated to the point where it is dangerous, the company should replace it.
  • Promoting a corner-cutting culture: Not every trucking company promotes a culture where safety comes first. If a trucking company allows (or even encourages) employees to cut corners, break the rules, or engage in any other dangerous actions, the company can be liable for resulting accidents.
  • Failing to ensure drivers’ health and sobriety: Trucking companies must actively monitor drivers for signs of failing health, impairment, or poor judgment. If a company has reason to suspect a driver is unfit in any way, the company must take immediate action, which may include taking the driver out of rotation.

Trucking companies know the danger that comes with their industry. These companies must take every possible measure to reduce the risk of accidents. When companies fail in this duty of care, victims should hold them accountable for the harm they have caused.

A Trucking Company May Be Liable When Their Employee Causes an Accident

Even if a trucking company does not directly contribute to an accident, it may be financially responsible for the victim’s damages. Employers often have legal accountability for their employees, so you can sue a trucking company following your collision.

Who Pays for the Cost of a Truck Accident?

Your attorney will determine who caused your accident. Once they know the cause of the collision, they will establish who has financial liability for your damages, and liable parties can include:

  • A truck driver
  • A trucking company
  • A motor vehicle manufacturer
  • A motor vehicle component manufacturer
  • Someone who sold a defective secondhand vehicle
  • A municipality
  • Any other party whose negligence contributed to the accident

Let an attorney who understands truck accidents and liability determine who to seek compensation from.

What to Do After Being in a Truck Accident

If you were in a truck accident or lost a loved one because of a fatal truck accident, your next steps should include:

Getting Care for Physical Injuries

Physical Injuries

Medical authorities explain that some injuries common among accident victims, including whiplash, do not always cause immediate symptoms. Even if you do not immediately experience injury symptoms after the accident, get medical treatment because:

  • A doctor can explain any symptoms you are experiencing
  • A doctor may uncover injuries that aren’t yet producing symptoms
  • You must document accident-related injuries for the sake of your insurance claim or lawsuit

You must get the necessary treatment and protect yourself from worsening symptoms and injury. The only way to do this is to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Protecting Your Mental Health

Few events in life are as stress-inducing as a serious motor vehicle accident. You may seek counsel from a mental health professional to:

  • Manage stress
  • Get a diagnosis for any accident-related mental health problems you suffer (such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety)
  • Get necessary treatment for accident-related mental health problems.
  • Document the emotional and psychological toll of the truck accident.

Psychological stability and recovery are as important as physical health, so seek any treatment that can benefit you. Your attorney will seek compensation for the cost of any treatment you receive, whether it is counseling, medications, or other types of care.

Hiring a Qualified Truck Accident Lawyer

Your case should be the next priority once you have tended to your health. You can give due attention to your insurance claim or lawsuit by hiring a qualified truck accident attorney.

When you are looking for a lawyer, consider:

  • How prominently they feature truck accident cases on their website
  • The amount and size of financial recoveries they have obtained for their clients
  • The reviews former clients leave for the firm (both good and bad)
  • The type of fee structure the law firm uses (a contingency fee will require you to pay no upfront compensation to the firm)

You can complete free consultation with each truck accident lawyer you are considering. Ask any questions about the firm and evaluate how well the firm’s representative treats you during the call.

What Truck Accident Lawyers Will Do for You

Your truck accident lawyer will be responsible for every aspect of your insurance claim or lawsuit, which generally includes:

The Investigation

Your lawyer will investigate your truck accident as soon as possible, which may entail:

  • Interviewing any witnesses who saw the accident
  • Hiring professionals to evaluate the cause of the accident
  • Securing evidence from the trucking company (this may require filing a legal document called a letter of destruction)
  • Seeking video footage of the accident
  • Having a skilled accident reconstructionist at the collision

Your attorney will secure any evidence they believe benefits your case.

Documentation of Your Damages

Your attorney must prove the ways that your truck accident has harmed you. They will seek medical records, copies of medical bills, professional testimony about your injuries, and any other documentation related to your case.

Calculation of a Fair Settlement

Truck accident lawyers understand how to calculate both economic and non-economic damages. This skill will be vital to your case.

If you have suffered injuries with long-term symptoms, your attorney will calculate the cost of any damages you can suffer.

Settlement Negotiations

Your truck accident lawyer will meet with liable parties to:

  • Exchange relevant evidence
  • Present documentation of your damages
  • Explain their calculation of your damages
  • Demand a fair settlement

Parties often settle truck accident cases, and your lawyer will fight for a fair settlement to resolve your case.

Trial (If One Is Necessary)

If your lawyer does not receive a fair financial offer from liable parties, they may file a lawsuit and take your case to trial.

Jacque Hawk, Attorney in Augusta
Jacque Hawk, Augusta Truck Accident Lawyer

Damages Your Truck Accident Lawyer Will Evaluate

Your lawyer will consider every type of harm resulting from your truck accident, which may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income
  • Vehicle repair costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Mental health treatment costs

If you have suffered any other damages because of the accident, your lawyer will include those damages in your case.

Do not wait to hire a truck accident lawyer, as they may face a deadline for filing your case.