Common truck accidents include:
- Jackknife accidents: Slippery conditions, abrupt braking and erratic driving can cause a large truck to lose control. The trailer will often spin out and form the shape of a pocket knife.
- Underride accidents: When a truck pulls out into traffic or stops abruptly, passenger vehicles can often get crushed under the trailer. These accidents usually happen at night or during poor visibility, and are rarely survivable.
- Rear-end collisions: These accidents are often caused by distracted driving, speeding or fatigued driving. Rear-end collisions involving large commercial trucks are often deadly.
- Lane departure accidents: Drowsy driving and tire blowouts are often to cause of lane departure accidents. When truck driver veers out of his or her lane and sideswipes a nearby vehicle, the impact can result in a fatal or catastrophic injury.
- Head-on collisions: While these accidents are very rare, they can be the most devastating. It's very unlikely that a motorist operating a passenger vehicle will survive a head-on collision with a large truck.
- Intersection accidents: Impaired or distracted driving and inclement weather are often the culprit for intersection accidents. A truck driver who fails to obey a traffic signal or stop sign can cause a fatal T-bone accident to occur.
What causes fatal truck accidents?
There are a number of factors that can lead to fatal truck accidents:
- Environmental: Inclement weather, slippery road conditions and road defects can all contribute to fatal truck accidents. Truck drivers are expected to operate commercial vehicles with caution when conditions aren't favorable. Failure to do so puts other motorists in danger.
- Impaired driving: Truckers who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol put themselves and others at risk, since their judgment and ability to react is often clouded. Some truckers are legally prescribed opioid medications, but should never operate a commercial vehicle after using such drugs.
- Vehicle defects: Trucking companies are required to ensure that their vehicles are safe to drive. Failure to maintain brakes, tires and other commercial vehicle parts can cause a great liability to the driver and other motorists.
- Distracted driving: No driver should ever operate a vehicle while distracted with handheld devices, infotainment systems or other habits that might take their attention away from the road. Truckers who drive distracted may not be able to react quickly enough to avoid a catastrophic accident.
- Fatigued driving: The new federally mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs) may help prevent fatigued driving by keeping an accurate limit on the number of hours truckers are allowed to drive. However, truck drivers are still urged to get enough rest during off-hours to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel. Truck accidents caused by fatigued driving are often the most catastrophic, since crashes tend to happen at full speed.
- Aggressive driving and speeding: With such a large vehicle, truck drivers should maintain a safe speed and distance from other vehicles. Swerving in and out of lanes and driving over the speed limit are prime examples of aggressive driving. Truckers who fail to drive safely can greatly increase the chances of a fatal accident occurring.
- Inexperienced drivers: With the trucking industry's high turnover rate, many companies are forced to hire inexperienced drivers. Operating a large commercial vehicle requires an adequate level of training and skill. Truckers who lack in both are a danger to themselves and other motorists.
Why your claim matters to us
If a loved one was fatally injured in a truck accident, you may be eligible for a wrongful death claim. This means that the closest surviving relative, or the estate, can sue on behalf of the deceased person. The expenses covered may include funeral expenses and medical expenses, as well as mental and emotional suffering.
A wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the fatal truck accident, in compliance with Florida's statute of limitations. For this reason, it's advisable to take action as soon as possible to build a strong case. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Pajcic & Pajcic will launch a thorough investigation and fight to hold the truck driver, and his or her company, accountable for the loss of a loved one.
Don't hesitate to contact us today for a free case evaluation, or call our Jacksonville office at 904-358-8881.