Commercial trucks are the lifeline of our country. They move and deliver goods, food, and essential supplies that help our great nation thrive. Without them, life would come to a complete and total standstill.
However, they can cause serious injuries or even death if they’re involved in an accident with a passenger car. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a report that shows that in 2017, around 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal accidents throughout the country.
Due to their weight, size, and relative inability to stop or safely maneuver in an emergency situation, trucks can pose a dangerous hazard to all nearby vehicles.
We’re going to explore what causes these accidents and what you should do if you find yourself the victim of a commercial truck accident in North Carolina.
Causes and Types of Truck Accidents
There are many factors that could cause a truck accident. Some of these could include inclement weather, mechanical failures, or even driver intoxication. Sometimes an expert witness will need to be brought in to testify and offer their opinion as to what caused the accident.
There are also several different kinds of truck accidents:
Underrides – If a truck has to come to a complete stop quickly, the passenger car behind it may become trapped underneath the trailer. An underride is one of the deadliest kinds of truck accidents that passenger cars can get into.
Blind Spots – Due to their sheer size, most commercial trucks have a huge blind spot. This is why many of them have an oversized driver and passenger mirrors. However, if the driver doesn’t use his mirrors, he could easily sideswipe a car, causing an accident.
Lost Load – Sometimes, drivers are negligent in securing their cargo. It can fall off by itself or if the driver has to stop or swerve suddenly. A lost load can turn into a deadly projectile that causes massive damage to nearby pedestrians and cars.
Rollover/Jackknife – Trucks are often loaded to the point where they are physically top-heavy. If the driver loses control, the truck can easily roll over. Sometimes a situation called a “jackknife” would occur wherein the trailer slides outward and creates a 90-degree angle to the truck. This is dangerous because it acts as a proverbial bowling ball while it’s out of control.
Tire Blowouts – Tire blowouts are extremely common as well. You’ll often see the remnants of a blown truck tire lying on the side of a highway or road. Blowouts can occur from the truck being overloaded, a manufacturing defect, or the tires having too much wear and tear.
When a blowout occurs, the tire explodes and sends heavy pieces of rubber tire shrapnel in any direction. This can cause catastrophic damage to nearby cars and pedestrians.
Common Commercial Truck Injuries
When an automobile and commercial truck collide, it’s the occupants of the passenger car that usually wind up with severe injuries. Whiplash, broken bones, and even spinal cord damage are all common in these types of accidents.
Accident victims who survive the crash will often require many years or even decades of expensive medical and psychological treatment. This is why it’s so important to immediately call a personal injury attorney after you’ve sought medical treatment.
Time is of the essence, and the insurance companies want to try to get you to settle for a lowball amount before you have the chance to speak with a lawyer. You should politely refuse to talk to any insurance agents and instead tell them that your attorney will give them a call.
After the Accident
If you’ve been involved in a commercial truck accident, the first thing you need to do is ensure the safety of yourself and everyone in the car with you. Call the police and seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you could have whiplash or other injuries that won’t manifest themselves until a few days to a few weeks afterward.
If you can safely do so, try to take as many pictures as you can of the accident scene with your cell phone. If there’s a witness nearby, ask them for their contact information. Once you’ve been medically treated, gather up any police reports and medical documents, and call a Ballantyne Personal Injury Lawyer.
The clock is ticking, and you need an attorney who can immediately spring into action and perform the necessary legal steps so that you can being your quest for justice.
South Charlotte and Ballantyne Injury Law
As an accident victim, you need a caring and professional attorney on your side who will aggressively fight for your rights. At Bumgardner Law Offices, we’ve helped countless Charlotte and Ballantyne residents seek justice in a court of law for the injuries that they’ve sustained due to the negligence of others. If you’ve been injured in a car or commercial truck accident, give us a call at (704) 887-4981.