Large trucks are a vital part of our economy, but a seriously menacing presence on our roadways. If you or a family member has been in an accident involving a large truck, you’re likely facing mounting medical and repair bills, and possibly missing a lot of time from work. For this reason, it is crucial that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney.
Norman and Graves, LLC has successfully represented accident injury victims in the Kansas City area and across the U.S. for over a decade. Our legal team has extensive experience with all types of motor vehicle accidents, including large truck collisions. We employ experienced investigators to gather all the evidence needed to determine liability and fault, analyze eye witness statements, accident reports, and weather conditions. Let us help you build a strong case.
Call Norman and Graves, LLC today for a free consultation at (816) 895-8989.
Damages in a Truck Accident
Because of their size and weight, accidents with trucks tend to cause more damage than accidents involving smaller vehicles. If you’ve been in an accident involving a large truck, you may be able to pursue compensation for any of the following damages:
- Current medical bills
- Future medical bills related to the initial accident
- Loss of limb
- Pain and suffering
- Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Permanent injury or disability
- Home and vehicle modifications (such as wheelchair ramps and lifts)
- Property damage or loss
- Mental anguish and emotional duress
- Lost wages from time off of work
- Loss of career or earning capacity
Wrongful Death Damages in a Truck Accident
In the tragic event that you’ve lost a loved one in an accident involving a big rig, you may be entitled to any of the following damages in a truck accident wrongful death claim:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before they died
- Loss of future income
- Loss of future benefits (such as medical benefits and retirement)
- Loss of household services the deceased provided (such as childcare, vehicle and property maintenance, chores, etc.)
- Loss of love, affection, companionship, guidance, marital consortium, etc.
Large Truck Accident Facts
Accidents involving large trucks account for over 130,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths each year in the United States. Almost 35 percent of those injuries can be categorized as catastrophic. Trucks over 10,000 pounds (tractor trailers or big rigs) represent only three percent of all registered motor vehicles, but are responsible for 25 percent of all fatal automobile accidents. This is mainly because of a tractor trailer’s size and weight. A fully loaded big rig can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, about twenty times the weight of the average passenger vehicle (which is about 4,000 pounds). Big rigs are also very powerful. In a collision, they can strike another vehicle with the force of 20 cars.
Federal Regulations for Large Trucks
Because tractor trailers are so large, powerful, and dangerous, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted strict regulations for these trucks and their operators. We mentioned the 80,000 load limit in the previous section, but the FMCSA also regulates the amount of hours and consecutive hours a tractor trailer driver can drive during a day and week. The FMCSA also mandates that truck owners perform regular maintenance checks on their vehicles and make any necessary repairs. These regulations are meant to make the roads we share with large trucks safer.
Unfortunately, many trucking companies don’t follow these rules and encourage their drivers to skirt regulations in order to increase profits. These illegal practices can include:
- Overloading trailers
- Driving more hours than federally mandated
- Not taking rest breaks
- Driving in dangerous weather
- Driving when fatigued
Causes of Large Truck Accidents
There are many factors that can result in a truck accident, including:
- Driver sleepiness or exhaustion
- Lack of or improper vehicle maintenance
- Defective vehicle parts
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Reckless Driving
- Tire blowouts
- Poor weather conditions
- Poor road conditions
- Blind spots