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What happens after a truck accident?

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

After a truck accident, you should first ensure that you are not injured and moved to a safe are. Then you should call the cops, get medical attention if needed, and report the accident. These types of accident should be treated just like a general car accident and it is would be wise to consult with a personal injury attorney on your legal options relating to your case.

How common are truck accidents?

The NHTSA reports that in 2019, there were over 5,000 fatalities caused by trucking accidents. Not to mention Florida is one of the worst states for trucking accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Florida accounts for half of all fatal U.S. truck crashes.

Common causes of trucking accidents

Since trucking accidents seem to occur a lot in Florida, our accident attorneys wanted to go through some of the reasons these types of accidents occur. It is important to stay mindful of these things even if you don’t drive a truck, so you can help avoid a collision.

Reasons why truck accidents occur

#1 Blind Spots

Trucks are large and long vehicles therefore, the rear view mirrors can not cover everything on the road. That is why it is important to note where their blind spots are, the image below shows.

#2 Reaction Time

A truck can not stop as quickly as a regular passenger vehicle. That is why it is important to ensure there is a large gap between you and the truck, whether you are in front of or behind it.

#3 Exhaustion

Truck drivers drive during all hours of the day and sometimes those shifts last 12 hours. Legally, the Florida Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety Department mandates that all truck drivers are allowed to work 12-hour shifts but that it must be followed by a 10 hour rest period. Regardless of this law, truck drivers can get exhausted from the long hours they work. Due to this, they sometimes make mistakes such as not paying attention to their blind spots, impaired senses of judgment, etc.

#4 Lane changes

This is actually the number one way in which passenger vehicles and trucks get into accidents. Any sudden lane changes can cause the drivers to try and make a maneuver to avoid the collision, ‌making them lose control of the car. Truck drivers should take prolonged caution when it comes to switching lanes because they need to ensure there are no cars in their blind spot.


#5 Distracted Driving

Distracted driving causes many car accidents, so it is no surprise that this applies to truck accidents as well. When a truck driver is distracted by their phone or something else it leads to absent minded decision making.

The different types of truck accidents

There are various types of truck accidents that could occur. It is important to know what happens in these accidents because it can help you avoid being in these types of accidents.

The 7 most common types of truck accidents

#1 Truck rollover

This is the most catastrophic of all types of truck accidents. Since trucks have a higher center of gravity than regular passenger vehicles, they have to be extremely careful about making turns and any sharp actions.

Speed is also an issue for truck drivers, because if they do so, they run the risk of flipping the truck. Trucks can roll over for numerous reasons beyond just speed, unfortunately. It can also be due to reckless maneuvers, fatigue, distracted driving, etc.

Trucks can also flip for reasons outside of the driver's driving capabilities. This includes a tire blowing out, improper maintenance of the truck, etc.

#2 Rear-end collision

Unfortunately, in these types of accidents because of the weight of most trucks, the passenger vehicle can end up completely crushed. As stated earlier, trucks reaction times are a lot slower than the average passenger vehicle.

That is why it is important to make sure you are a good distance away from a truck in all situations. The FMCSA have outlined a safe following distance for trucks to ensure they have enough time to properly react.

#3 Head-on collision

Head-on collisions can happen in a myriad of places, such as at a red light, stop sign, highway or intersection. These types of accidents can occur due to not following proper road rules, tire blowouts, exhaustion, etc.

#4 Jackknife accident

A jackknife accident occurs with trucks that have joints that connect to a tractor or trailer being held behind it. What happens is when the truck makes a turn or any sharp movements, the tractor/trailer swings out and makes contact with other vehicles on the road.

#5 T-Bone accident

These types of accidents happen most frequently at an intersection. This can occur because a truck took too long to turn or someone did not observe the right of way.

#6 Sideswipe accidents

This type of accident is similar to a T-Bone collision, but these cars are generally traveling in the same direction, side by side. These accidents are particularly dangerous because a sideswiped car may be forced sideways into other lanes of parallel traffic, causing multi-vehicle pile ups and even more damage.

#7 Wide turn accidents

Right hand turns tend to be tighter than left turns, thus trucks pulling large cargo struggle to make these types of turns. It is important to stay mindful that if you are turning at the same time as a truck that you have given them enough space to fully do so.

What should you do following a trucking accident?

After an accident with a truck, just like in any car accident, it is important to check for any injuries you may have sustained. Call 911 to report the accident and seek medical attention if needed. Once the police arrive, exchange all the needed information and let the police produce a police report based on the events that occurred.

How do you establish fault in a truck accident?

In order to receive compensation after a truck accident, you must prove that the driver was acting negligently. For example, if the driver was not properly checking their blind spots in the moments leading to crash, this can likely be considered negligent behavior and therefore the driver and/or their company may be liable for compensating the injured victim.

Another thing to keep in mind with these cases is commercial trucks nowadays have a two way camera that allows the company to see what goes on at all times. This footage can be used as evidence to show whether the driver was acting negligently.

Should I look for witnesses?

In these types of accidents, if you have a witness who saw the crash, it would definitely be good to jot down their information. This will just serve as additional evidence for your case and help your personal injury attorney to build a strong case for you.

What types of damages can you pursue as a victim of a truck accident?

The type of compensation you may be entitled to is dependent upon your specific case. Some of these damages include

  • Medical bills: You may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and medication.

  • Lost wages: If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for your lost wages.

  • Pain and suffering: You may be able to recover compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering that you have endured as a result of your serious injuries from an accident.

  • Property damage: If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the repairs.

The amount of compensation is dependent upon the severity of your injuries and the negligence level of each party involved in the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the types of compensation and what you may be entitled to based on your specific case.

What are the different liable parties in a truck accident case?

The commercial driver

Whether they were distracted, not paying attention to their blind spots or tired they can be held at fault for any injuries or property damages

The trucking company

A trucking company is the one that hires the drivers and or contracts jobs out to them. Therefore, the victim can blame the trucking company for hiring a careless driver who caused an accident. Not to mention the accident may have occurred by no fault of the driver. It could be because the trucking company did not thoroughly inspect the vehicle.

Is there a deadline when you can file a personal injury claim?

Similar to if you were to file a car accident claim, you have to act within the statute of limitations. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, it's always advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney to understand the specifics of your case and ensure that you file within the appropriate time frame.

What help can a truck accident lawyer offer in this situation?

At Demesmin and Dover Law Firm, we understand the trauma and devastation caused by truck accidents. Our experienced commercial truck accident lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and build a strong case against the trucking company if they were at fault. Don't face the aftermath alone. Call us at 866-954-MORE (6673) for a free consultation to learn how we can help you.

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