Human error is the cause of nearly 90 percent of commercial truck accidents.
Truck accidents may be the fault of the driver or other drivers, or negligence on the part of passengers, pedestrians, or even cyclists or motorcyclists sharing the same road. Because a truck can weigh 20 to 30 times more than a passenger car, truck accidents have the potential to do more harm when serious injuries occur than car-on-car collisions.
- It’s estimated that large trucks are involved with more than 100,000 accidents each year in the United States
- About 5,000 of these are fatal
Causes of Truck Accidents
Semis, big rigs, and 18 wheelers aren’t the only types of trucks that may be involved in accidents. More than 2,000 firetrucks are also involved in accidents each year. Commercial tractor-trailers, agricultural vehicles, and other types of pickup trucks can also pose serious risks. Even a minor collision with any type of truck can result in significant damage and injuries. Semis, in particular, have larger blind spots and longer acceleration and stopping distances that may contribute to accidents. Truck accidents may also be caused by drivers not fully trained to handle their vehicle, distracted or inattentive drivers, or issues with the truck itself that prevented the driver from maintaining control of the vehicle.
Possible Truck Accident Injuries
With approximately 70 percent of truck accidents, there are no injuries are deaths. For times when injuries do occur, bones may be broken, the spinal cord might be affected, or limbs could be damaged enough to require amputation following a catastrophic impact. Many trucks carry hazardous materials that sometimes cause severe skin burns or respiratory ailments. In some situations, the blunt force trauma of a collision may cause internal damage to abdominal organs that are difficult to treat. Seatbelts and airbags can also contribute to neck, chest, and back injuries related to a truck accident. Truck accidents may also result in injuries that include:
- Severe traumatic brain injuries
- Complex back and neck problems
- Torso and rib injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Nerve damage
Treatment and Recovery
Treatment of any injury related to truck accident will depend on the severity of the injury, the overall health of the victim, and the impact of the force or trauma. Recovery may only take a few days or weeks if injuries are minor. With more extensive issues, however, long-term care that includes multiple surgeries and rehabilitation may be necessary. In some cases, the victim may have significant issues with their quality of life and ability to earn a living. Even with injuries that respond well to initial treatment, recurring pain may limit mobility or activity level.
More than 20 percent of all truck accidents result in some type of injuries. While the first priority should be to get medical treatment, an equally important step is to contact a personal injury attorney. If negligence contributed a truck accident, an attorney may be able to secure appropriate compensation. Surviving family members may be able to take legal action if a truck accident or catastrophic crash resulted in a wrongful death.