Truck accidents come in many forms and can lead to varying consequences, some of which are shockingly severe. These accidents often involve larger vehicles like semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, or commercial hauling vehicles that pose a higher risk due to their considerable size and weight.
The range of scenarios in which these accidents occur is as diverse as the types of trucks on the road. From overturns triggered by unbalanced loads to rear-end collisions instigated by failing brakes, each event presents unique circumstances along with potentially destructive outcomes.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Common injuries you might sustain from a truck accident can range widely in severity, largely dependent on the specific nature of the crash. Given their substantial size and weight, trucks often cause significant trauma when involved in accidents. Despite the varying causes and types of accidents, there are common injuries associated with truck accidents.
Minor to moderate injuries could include things like whiplash, lacerations, or bruises while more serious incidents may lead to broken bones, burns, or internal organ damage.
Particularly catastrophic accidents can result in life-altering conditions such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord damages leading to paralysis, and amputations.
Individuals profoundly impacted by these consequences do not only suffer physically but also face substantial emotional distress and financial hardships tied to recovery.
Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
Understanding the most common types of truck accidents can provide insight into prevention strategies, help establish liability when they occur, and uphold road user safety in general. The following are some of the most common types and causes of truck accidents:
A jackknife accident is one in which the truck folds at the point of connection between the cab and trailer, causing both to skid separately. This motion resembles a folding pocket knife or “jackknife.”
This type of incident is often caused by sudden braking which leads to a loss of control over cargo-containing trailers. Other potential causes might include slipping on icy roads or mechanical failures.
Jackknifing can lead not only to significant damage for other vehicles caught up in its wide arc but also pose severe threats due to hazards like flammable materials possibly present within semi-trucks that, when compromised, could lead to explosions.
Rollover accidents occur when trucks topple onto their sides or roofs due to adverse road conditions, high-speed turns, or unbalanced loads, among other factors.
When it comes to speed-related rollovers, these incidents typically happen when drivers take curves too quickly creating an unstable center gravity.
An underride accident happens when a smaller vehicle, such as a passenger car or motorcycle, crashes into the rear or side of a larger truck and slips beneath it.
Due to the height difference between standard automobiles and commercial trucks, this type of collision often becomes lethal. The point of impact on the smaller vehicles is typically up near the windshield, which means sometimes airbags aren’t activated, leading to catastrophic consequences including severe head injuries or even decapitation.
Blind Spot Accidents
Trucks – due their distinct size and structure – have much larger blind spots than normal vehicles, typically referred to as “no-zones.” These zones include areas directly behind and beside the truck where other drivers may go unobserved by a truck driver.
Cars traveling in these areas run higher risks since unseen vehicles can easily get hit if trucks change lanes suddenly or begin stopping abruptly without notice for those in their ‘no-zone.’
To stay safe and avoid getting caught in a truck blind spot, drivers should stay aware of these zones. Give trucks plenty of space, pass them quickly but safely, and avoid riding next to or closely behind them for long periods. If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors from your position on the road, it’s likely that they can’t see you either.
Lost Load Accidents
A lost load accident happens when a truck loses its cargo or freight during transit. Inadequately secured loads, imbalanced loading of goods, or failure of securing equipment can trigger such an incident.
These accidents pose serious dangers to other vehicles on the road as they often have little to no time to avoid sudden obstacles created by fallen or spilled cargo.
Brake Failure and Mechanical Malfunction
Equipment failures like brake malfunction in trucks can lead to catastrophic accidents. These incidents underscore the importance of regular maintenance checks for such large commercial vehicles.
Special attention needs be given towards ensuring that brakes are properly functioning and all essential mechanical parts are meeting necessary safety standards.
Fatigued Driving and Hours-of-Service Violations
Long hours behind the wheel significantly impact a truck driver’s alertness at critical moments, increasing potential for accidents due to fatigue.
That’s why regulations exist specifying how many hours drivers can consecutively spend behind the wheel along with requirements for rest breaks between shifts.
What To Do After a Truck Accident In Washington D.C.
After a truck accident, taking the necessary steps promptly and correctly can significantly impact future legal proceedings or insurance claims. Here are some crucial things to do following an accident:
Safety First: Ensure your safety and the safety of others involved in the scene. If possible, move vehicles out of traffic. If you can’t do this but you are able to walk, get out of the car and go to safety, staying as far away from oncoming traffic as possible.
Call The Authorities: Dial 911 for immediate assistance from police and medical personnel. When they arrive, they can tend to any injuries that occurred. Law enforcement will also complete an accident report detailing the situation, which can be helpful with insurance claims going forward.
Document The Scene: Capture photos or videos of the scene and the vehicles involved if it is safe to do so. This visual evidence could be critical later on during legal disputes.
Gather Information: Collect details such as the truck driver’s name, contact information, license plate number, and insurance information. Also obtain witness names and their contact information if possible.
Seek Medical Attention: Regardless of how minor you think your injuries might be, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. This not only ensures your well-being but can also serve as official documentation of any injuries linked to the incident.
Consult A Lawyer: An experienced Washington D.C truck accident attorney can help protect your interests, guide you through the legal process, and ensure you receive fair compensation for damages or injuries sustained.
For help after any type of accident, contact us to schedule a free consultation.