Commercial vehicle accidents are often far more serious than accidents involving non commercial vehicles. A normal commercial dump truck or big rig will weigh a minimum of twenty-five times more than a standard car, when fully loaded. Because of this huge disparity in weight, and the fundamental laws of science, the majority of road collisions between big rig trucks and other vehicles cause severe, and sometimes life ending, injuries.
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) reports that, in 2015, there were 415,000 recorded crashes involving commercial trucks on American roads. These accidents caused 3852 deaths overall, a twenty-two percent rise from the same types of accidents six years previously. Interestingly, sixty percent of accidents involving commercial trucks happened on countryside roads, whereas just twenty-five percent of them happened on urban or countryside interstate highways. Furthermore, thirty-five percent of fatal accidents involving commercial trucks happened over a twelve hour timeframe, from 18:00 to 06:00.
To gain compensation for injuries sustained in a commercial vehicle accident, you should identify all the possible defendants. This might not be restricted to the vehicle’s driver. Much of the time, trucking contractors, firms, insurers and employers might be held liable for your physical injuries.
If the vehicle’s driver was in an employment relationship with a shipping or trucking firm, then that firm might be legally accountable for the driver’s error. Your lawyer will have to prove that the accident happened while the driver carried out his employment duties, and that the firm had some level of influence on the driver.
Usually, drivers of commercial vehicles are regarded as fairly good, however federal reports indicate that their mistakes, negligence and errors result in more than fifty percent of all truck accidents. Therefore, although manufacturers can build commercial vehicles with extra safety features, and authorities can improve and maintain existing roads, the key element in lessening the quantity of accidents involving commercial trucks is better training for drivers.
Operating large commercial vehicles (particularly big rigs) on roads and highways poses specific dangers, which do not come into play with normal passenger vehicles. Commercial trucks are often hard to turn, and have to use a couple of lanes to turn right. This isn’t always an obvious example of negligence, however certain courts have ruled that driving big rigs in this way (occupying a couple of lanes, or turning from inside lanes) is enough to put the truck driver at fault. Big vehicles, like eighteen wheelers, can often jackknife in some situations too, particularly if the driver turns or brakes suddenly. Drivers of trucks that jackknife (and other potential defendants) might not be held liable, if the jackknifing occurred because of a sudden turn to avoid stationary trucks or motorists, or because of unforeseen road slipperiness.
Moreover, commercial vehicle accidents can be exacerbated greatly, by the cargo the vehicle is transporting. For instance, if flammable or poisonous materials (like industrial waste or gasoline) are being carried by a big rig that crashes, related injuries from that toxic freight can arise.