Facts About Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Every sixteen minutes in this country one person is killed or injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer. These statistics are the result of more than 400,000 accidents annually which involve these huge vehicles. Many of the accidents involve a collision between a tractor-trailer and a passenger car. The occupants of the smaller vehicle usually come off worse with over 3,500 occupants of these smaller vehicles losing their lives in devastating wrongful death crashes each year.
It’s not hard to picture these alarming statistics when considering that a tractor-trailer can weight up to thirty times more than the average auto. This sheer weight does not only have the capability of demolishing a smaller vehicle completely, but it can terminate lives too.
What Causes Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Driver Error is the Main Cause of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
The most common reason is fatigue. This is not really surprising, as tractor-trailer drivers are out on the road far more often and for longer periods than the average auto driver. Another cause is distracted driving. Distracted driving is often the result of eating and drinking, and of course texting and/or calling on a mobile phone. Semi-truck drivers are often paid by the mile, providing an incentive for them to more frequently eat and text on the go.
Being under the influence of alcohol and drugs is also a common reason for tractor-trailer accidents. Drivers of these large trucks often take methamphetamines in order to stay awake and drive for longer periods of time. Driving too close to a vehicle in front and speeding also cause tractor-trailer accidents as both these two actions limit the chance of the driver stopping if road conditions change. Jack-knifing is also common if the truck driver suddenly has to lock the tractor-trailer’s wheels when a hazard looms ahead.
Tractor-Trailer Companies Influence Accidents
Owners of tractor-trailer companies chasing as many dollars as they can may not always be as rigorous as they should when undertaking checks and maintenance. Trucking companies are responsible for compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations which pertain to all commercial motor vehicles. These federal mandates are in place to ensure the safety of other drivers from these large vehicles using roadways for a profit.
Faulty brakes and transmissions have time and time again caused serious truck accidents. Trucking companies often try to cut corners on maintenance in order to increase profit. If you consider how long and how heavy a tractor-trailer is, maintenance is a top priority.
Common Types of Tractor-Trailer Accidents Include:
- side swiping;
- head on collisions.
All these accidents can cause serious injuries to anyone who comes into contact with a tractor-trailer, whether it’s at slow or high speed.
Tractor-Trailer Accident Injuries
The sheer weight of a tractor-trailer when it hits a smaller car is enough to cause devastating life-changing injuries such as:
- spinal cord injuries leading to quadriplegia;
- traumatic brain injuries;
- internal organ injuries;
- facial lacerations.
These sorts of injuries are life-changing events. All too often the victim, if they escape with their life, will never fully recover. Large financially crippling medical expenses will have to be paid, job loss may take place and your home may need to be adapted.
Finding The Best Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney For You
Fortunately in Missouri there is financial assistance available for accident victims. If a tractor-trailer driver is responsible for your injuries, victims are entitled to bring a personal injury compensation claim to seek reimbursement for their harms and losses. It is imperative that a comprehensive investigation is completed immediately after a truck crash. Semi-trucks have on board recording devices that track the vehicle’s speed, braking, and other internal diagnostics. If this information is not downloaded and preserved after a crash, it will be lost forever.We have seen this data directly contradict the testimony of tractor-trailer drivers.
A successful injury claim will provide the victim with compensation for medical treatment, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, punitive damages if the tractor-trailer accident was due to extremley reckless conduct, and other accident related damages. In Missouri, there is no cap on the amount that can be claimed for an injury; however, the statute of limitations applies to all cases. If your personal injury claim is not filed within the appropriate time period, your claim will be forever barred.
The trucking accident lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm are always available to provide accident victims a FREE consultation by calling (314) 409-7060. Our Top 100 Trial Lawyers will help make sure an appropriate investigation is conducted immediately to preserve all necessary evidence. We are here to serve.