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Accidents involving trucks are a serious traffic safety problem due to basic physics. A fully-loaded tractor trailer can weigh over 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs just 4,000 pounds. In a crash, the huge weight difference between the vehicles dramatically increases the potential for injury.
Dangers of Truck Accidents
Because of the height difference between the vehicles, occupants of the car can become trapped underneath the truck in an accident, resulting in catastrophic injuries.
Tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, semi trucks and other large commercial vehicles require a much greater stopping distance than cars. The heavier the truck, the greater the distance needed to stop. If you are traveling at 55 mph in a car, you can stop in about 130 to 140 feet. A large truck traveling at the same speed can take up to 400 feet to stop. Trucks also can be susceptible to rollover or jackknife incidents.
Truck accidents can be caused by a number of factors including:
- driver fatigue or inattention;
- drunk driving/DUI, speeding or aggressive driving;
- excessive, unsecured or unbalanced cargo loads;
- improper truck or trailer maintenance; and
- equipment failure, such as tire-tread separation, tire blowout or brake failure.
My experience with Kline Law Offices was remarkable. I was injured in a car accident, overwhelmed by my symptoms and inundated by paperwork. While I was trying to make a difficult decision related to surgery, [Rob] negotiated the highest settlement available under the law.
Establishing Fault for Truck Accidents
Fault can also extend to others, such as the trucking company owner, the owner of the cargo, and the truck manufacturer.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state agencies have extensive regulations for trucks, truck drivers and truck companies. Understanding the regulations is important when seeking compensation for injuries caused by a truck accident. An experienced truck accident lawyer will investigate the causes of the accident, determine if any regulations were violated, and help you obtain compensation for your injuries.