There are more than 10 million large trucks on America’s roads, and many of them are trailed by tractors carrying massive cargos. These trucks and their trailers can weigh 20-to-30 times as much as your average car. That means that accidents involving tractor-trailers can do 20-to-30 times as much damage: a scary thought.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2017, tractor-trailers were involved in 61.3% of fatal large-truck crashes. Even more disturbing, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses increased by 40% between 2009 and 2017.
If you or a loved one were injured in a collision involving a tractor-trailer, you may be able to recover significant financial compensation. Keep reading to learn how a Morgan & Morgan personal injury lawyer can help.
Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
The risk factors for tractor-trailer accidents are similar, but not identical, to those of car crashes. Some common causes of these accidents include:
- Truck driver inattention
- Truck driver fatigue (truckers can make more money by driving longer hours/more miles)
- Truck driver under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Excessive speed
- Equipment failure or poorly maintained equipment
- Improperly loaded cargo
Tractor-Trailer Accident Injuries
The injuries sustained in tractor-trailer accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down — or end it. In 2017, 4,761 people were killed in large-truck crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: a 9% increase over 2016 (4,369). In 72% of these fatal crashes, the person who died was not the truck driver but an operator or occupant of the other vehicle.
Some of the most common tractor-trailer accident injuries include the following:
- Neck and back injuries (whiplash, herniated disc, etc.)
- Head injury/concussion
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
If you were injured in a tractor-trailer accident and believe the truck’s operator, owner, manufacturer, or another party was at fault, you might be wondering how to go about proving it. “Negligence” is the legal term for liability or responsibility in an accident. Proving liability generally involves satisfying the following criteria:
- The tractor-trailer operator owed you a duty of care. They were responsible for operating the tractor in a safe manner, and they failed to do so.
- They breached their duty. The tractor-trailer operator (or another party) breached their legal obligation to avoid harming you.
- Their breach caused the accident. The other party’s actions were responsible for the accident, making them legally liable.
- There were losses suffered as a result. The other party’s actions caused you injury (physical or emotional) and/or property damage.
If you or a loved one were injured in a tractor-trailer crash, you may be eligible to recover compensation for:
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Loss of life’s enjoyment
- Funeral expenses
Speak to a Tractor Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a tractor-trailer accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan. Our highly skilled attorneys can review the facts of your case to determine liability for your injury and help you collect financial compensation during this difficult time. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there’s no cost to get started, and we get paid only if you win. To learn more, schedule a free case evaluation now.