Accidents involving a passenger car and a commercial truck (semi-trucks or 18-wheeler) are more likely to result in death or serious injury than are accidents between two passenger cars.
But the ones who are most likely to suffer serious injury or death are not the truck drivers. They are the people riding in the passenger cars. According to statistics from the National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety, nearly 73% of all truck crash injuries and deaths are suffered by people riding in the vehicle that is hit by a commercial truck.
Common Causes of Accidents With Commercial Trucks
Anything can cause an accident of course. But when it comes to the big rigs, there are some pretty consistent common causes of truck accidents.
Most truck crashes are caused by speeding.
Another common cause of trucking accidents is driver error caused by fatigue. Because truck drivers are under significant pressure to deliver their cargo long distances in a short period of time, many truckers drive for days without much rest. The long, lonely hours cause boredom and lead many truck drivers to use drugs to stay awake. Lack of sleep is a major cause of trucking accidents.
Another common cause is drinking and driving. Over ½ of all truck drivers participating in one study admitted to drinking and driving.
There are more trucks on the road now than 10 years ago, making accidents between commercial vehicles and passenger cars more likely.
Common Trucking Accident Injuries
Not surprisingly, being in an accident with a big rig can result in some pretty big damage. Many of these trucks weigh 80,000 pounds — and that’s assuming they are not overweight. In contrast, most passenger cars only weigh about 5,000 pounds. This means that the damage to anyone riding in a passenger car that is hit by a big rig can be devastating.
In addition to death, some common injuries suffered in an accident with a commercial truck include:
- back and neck injuries
- spinal cord injuries
- head injuries
- internal injuries
- broken bones
- lacerations, and
Trucking accidents frequently cause catastrophic injuries like brain injuries or spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis. Such severe injuries can result in enormous medical costs for treatment, care, and rehabilitation.
Which brings us to the subject of damages.
Trucking Accident Damages
In most truck accidents, you can recover from both your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are losses that can reasonably be calculated in terms of dollars and cents. Examples of economic damages include:
- present and future medical expenses
- present and future lost earnings
- expenses for child care
- transportation that arises from the accident
- any other calculable economic loss that occurs as a foreseeable result of the accident
Non-economic damages are generally intended to compensate for any psychological harm caused by the accident. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- pain and suffering
- mental anguish
- loss of sexual function or other physical disfigurements
In some cases, for example, if the truck driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash, you may be entitled to other damages, including punitive damages. As always, however, it is important to speak with experienced truck accident counsel about your particular facts and what the law in your state allows.
Driven to Get You The Compensation You Deserve If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, semi-truck or 18-wheeler, contact us. We are experienced truck accident attorneys in Louisiana. We offer free consultations and we don’t get paid unless you win your case. Contact us ToDay at (225) 465-1232 to schedule your free consultation.