Any driver, passenger, or pedestrian who has encountered a commercial truck on the road can attest to its significant size and weight, relative to other vehicles. This size disparity often leads to more severe injuries and even death for those are involved in a collision with a truck. Many times, a collision may be the result of the intricacies of how a truck operates and a lack of such knowledge by drivers of other vehicles. As a result, unnecessarily dangerous situations may arise.
In addition to their size, commercial trucks can become more dangerous as a result of their cargo. Many trucks transport hazardous or toxic materials that can cause injury to those who come into contact with it. Other issues that are unique to semi-trucks are jackknifing and issues with turns. Jackknifing occurs when a truck driver has to suddenly stop or turn the truck due to road or traffic conditions, thus causing the trailer to move out of control and possibly strike other vehicles. Trucks have difficulty turning and often have to make wider-than-normal turns. This maneuver may cause them to strike cars that other vehicles normally would not.
Those injured in a collision that they feel is caused by a truck driver may be able to receive compensation from multiple parties. In addition to the driver of the truck, an injured victim may be able to collect from the trucking company for which the driver worked, a contractor or an insurer, among others. To properly hold a trucking company liable, a plaintiff must show that the driver was operating the truck in furtherance of his or her employment with the company and that the company had some supervisory capacity over the driver.
Truck drivers must apply appropriate care in their actions to avoid creating dangerous conditions for others on the road and causing serious injuries. Those injured in a truck accident may consult with a personal injury attorney to assess their potential claims and the parties whom may be held liable.
Source: FindLaw, "Truck Accident FAQ," accessed Feb. 15, 2015