According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are approximately 11,000,000 commercial trucks driving on our nation’s roads. With so many of these massive vehicles on the road, it’s no wonder there are so many trucking accidents. National data reveals that each year, there are approximately 450,000 truck accidents. More than 4,000 victims are killed in these crashes, while another 310,000 victims suffer serious to catastrophic injuries.
At Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, our Virginia personal injury attorneys have represented hundreds, if not thousands, of truck accident victims in our more than three decades of advocating for accident victims. The following are some of the most common causes of truck accidents we see in the cases we handle.
- Falling cargo: When the cargo a truck is transporting is not properly secured, it can fall off the vehicle, especially in flatbed trucks. Falling cargo can land on a vehicle and cause substantial damage, depending on the type of cargo. There is also the risk of the cars crashing trying to avoid hitting (or they do actually hit) cargo that has landed in the road.
- Jackknife accidents: A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer of the truck goes in front of the cab, forming a 90-degree angle. This can occur if the truck driver hits the brakes of the truck too hard or loses control of the truck, such as on icy roads. Any vehicle occupants or pedestrians that are in the way of the trailer as it is moving forward will likely suffer severe or fatal injuries.
- Rear-ending truck accidents: When a vehicle rear-ends a tractor-trailer or other type of commercial truck, the rate of death or catastrophic injuries is high. In many of these accidents, the vehicle slides right under the truck, becoming crushed.
- Rollover accidents: Rollover accidents happen frequently on highways where there are no trees or other barriers to block strong winds. If these winds are strong enough, they can cause the truck to flip over. Rollover accidents also occur if a truck driver takes a curve too fast.
- Tire blowouts: Due to the massive weight of commercial trucks, along with the extra weight of the cargo, tire blowouts are fairly common for large trucks.
- Wide turn accidents: Truck drivers need plenty of room in order to make turns. Unfortunately, there are times where a vehicle or pedestrian are in a truck driver’s blind spot and he or she does not see them. Vehicles should never pull up on a truck’s right side when the truck is signaling it is taking a right turn.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Truck accident cases can be complex, and it is not uncommon for there to be multiple at-fault parties who are responsible for the payment of financial damages you may be entitled to for your injuries. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our dedicated Virginia truck accident attorneys. Our personal injury firm has successfully represented many injured victims and their families and we are happy to meet with you and offer legal guidance on what the best options may be for your circumstances.