Accidents that involve heavy commercial vehicles are potentially dangerous. They account for about 10 percent of all fatalities in the US. Over 327,000 accidents involving 18-wheelers are reported to the police every year. These accidents occur in different forms. Here the most common types of truck accidents you need to know.
1. Jackknife Accidents
A jackknife accident occurs when a large 18-wheeler and its trailer skid and swing to form a 90-degree angle with each other. This accident often occurs when the front wheels are locked due to improper braking. A jackknife can crash other vehicles on the road or hit pedestrians, leading to injuries and even deaths.
2. Underride Accidents
An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle slides under a truck. It is one of the most horrific and deadly crashes involving trucks in the country. An underride can either occur at the side of the truck or at the rear end. Side underrides usually happen at night when the truck driver is attempting to cross or turn on a highway. The absence of underride guards and reflective tapes on the truck are the major causes of underrides.
3. Override Accidents
An override accident happens when the truck driver is unable to stop the vehicle and runs over a smaller car in front of him. The failure to stop may be caused by a mechanical failure or negligence on the part of the driver. Other factors such as low visibility due to rain, tire burst or speeding may also cause an override.
4. Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents occur when the truck rolls on its side or roof. They have higher fatality and injury rates than any other form of truck accidents. They are often caused by excessive speeding, steep inclines and increased center of gravity of the truck due to loading. You can click here to learn more about rollover accidents in the US.
5. Rear End Collisions
A rear-end collision involves another vehicle crashing into the back of the truck in front. It also occurs when the truck crashes into the vehicle in front. Rear end collisions may be caused by aggressive and reckless driving, fatigue, tailgating and failure to observe the traffic rules.
6. Truck Driver Under The Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense. However, some truck drivers ignore the possible ramifications and use the drug en route to their delivery destinations. A drunk trucker cannot concentrate or make quick decisions when driving hence likely to cause an accident.
What To Do When Involved In A Truck Accident
Do not apologize or express beliefs that the accident is your fault. Report the accident to the police. Be honest when talking to the police. If you are injured, call an emergency service immediately to take you to the hospital. Notify your insurance company and call a lawyer.
The Role Of A Lawyer After The Accident
A lawyer knows the approach to take in order to hold the truck driver accountable for the accident. He understands all the special considerations that may apply to your case. Once you make an appointment, he will carry out the due diligence to investigate the potential causes of the accident and issues that can affect the liability of the truck driver. A lawyer will also apply his expertise and experience to negotiate with the insurance company so that you get the right compensation.
A truck accident is potentially dangerous and can occur in different ways. It is your right to file a claim or lawsuit if you are injured in a truck accident. Do not deal with the insurance company alone, as you may lose or get a lower compensation. Instead, hire a lawyer to help you navigate the complex issues that often come up when negotiating with truck insurance companies.