Wrecks involving 18-wheelers often lead to severe injury, death
In East Texas, we're used to sharing the road with semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. For the most part, truckers here in Henderson County follow the rules of the road and avoid driving recklessly. Still, it only takes one negligent big rig driver to cause a truck accident that has devastating consequences.
A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can cause tremendous damage in a collision with a much smaller passenger car. Victims can be left with life-changing injuries. Medical expenses can add up quickly, leading to financial stress during an already difficult time.
Truck accidents happen in many different ways on highways and on busy streets. Most fall into one of these types:
Drifting off the road or out of a lane
A truck driver may have tried to avoid hitting an obstacle in the road or was texting. A driver may have drifted off to sleep or suffered a medical emergency. The result is the truck suddenly starts heading into the other lane or the side of the road, causing a collision.
This can happen when a truck driver is distracted or fatigued, makes an error in judgment, or moves into another lane without carefully checking for other vehicles first. The truck can hit the side of a passenger car or another vehicle.
Turning into the path of a vehicle
A truck may have made a left turn at an intersection, directly into the path of another vehicle. How does this happen? There may have been an obstacle blocking the driver’s view, or the driver failed to check the truck’s blind spots. The driver may have been going too fast or was distracted.
A driver who is starting to lose control of a truck may slam on the brakes. This can cause the wheels to lock up and the truck to go into a skid. The trailer swings out from the cab, in a jackknife shape. The truck will crash into anything in its way before coming to a complete stop.
A driver may have been traveling too fast or misjudged a turn. Or, the truck's cargo may shift and cause an imbalance. Because trucks have a high center of gravity, the wheels on one side may come off the road and the entire vehicle can roll over onto its side. It may fall onto a car or slide down the road and crash into one.
An 18-wheeler brakes suddenly – or brakes normally, but the brake lights aren’t working. An approaching car is not able to stop in time and there’s a collision. Because of the height difference, the car slides underneath the trailer, resulting in serious injury for the people inside.
A car in front of a truck may have to brake suddenly because of road conditions. But it can take a great distance to bring a truck to a complete stop, and the driver may crash into the car ahead. Another vehicle can also crash into a truck from behind.
Talk to a truck accident lawyer in East Texas
If a negligent truck driver or trucking company caused a collision that left you hurt, you deserve financial compensation. But the legal process can be lengthy and complicated, and insurance companies are not on your side. That’s why you need an experienced truck accident attorney to level the playing field.
Attorney Jeff Weinstein fights for the injured in Athens and throughout East Texas. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.