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Types of Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks and cars travel in both directions on a bridge in Florida

Common Types of Truck Accidents in Florida

Truck accidents are among the most dangerous types of vehicular incidents on the roads today. The sheer size and weight of trucks mean that collisions can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. Understanding the different types of truck accidents that occur in Florida is crucial for anyone on the road. In the instance that you have suffered in a truck accident, we are here to help. Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers has extensive experience handling cases involving all types of truck accidents. Our deep knowledge and commitment to our client’s well-being make them an invaluable resource for anyone affected by such unfortunate events. If you have been injured in one of these common types of truck accidents, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney.

Rear-End Truck Accident

Rear-end collisions occur when a truck collides with the back of another vehicle. Due to the significant difference in size and weight, when a truck is the striking vehicle in a rear-end collision, the consequences can be dramatically more severe for the occupants of the front vehicle. Factors such as high speed, distracted driving, or failure to maintain a safe following distance often contribute to rear-end accidents. The impact can cause extensive vehicle damage and serious injuries, ranging from whiplash to more severe, life-threatening conditions. Given the complexities involved, victims of rear-end truck accidents require specialized legal assistance to navigate the aftermath, whether it be dealing with insurance claims or pursuing just compensation.

A large truck that has rear-ended a minivan, causing substantial damage to the vehicle.

Tire Blowout

Tire blowouts in a truck can lead to catastrophic accidents on the road. These accidents occur when a tire suddenly loses all its air pressure, leading to a rapid loss of control by the driver. In commercial trucks, the immense weight and size make it exceptionally challenging to manage tire blowouts. The driver might swerve unexpectedly, trying to stabilize the vehicle, which can lead to collisions with other vehicles or even cause the truck to overturn. Additionally, the debris from the blown tire can hit nearby vehicles, creating further hazards.

Wide-Turn Accident

Wide-turn accidents involve the complex maneuvers that trucks often have to perform to make right turns in tight city streets or intersections. Given the size and length of trailers, truck drivers sometimes must swing wide to the left before making a right turn. This type of maneuver can create a dangerous, confusing situation for other vehicles. For instance, a driver may not realize a truck is making a right turn and attempt to pass on the right side, leading to a collision as the truck swings into its path. Alternatively, vehicles that are too close to the truck’s left side may be caught or squeezed against the curb as the truck completes its turn.

Underride Truck Accident

Underride truck accidents are among the most fatal and gruesome types of truck-related collisions. These occur when a smaller vehicle crashes into the side or rear of a large truck trailer, and the force of the impact causes the top of the passenger vehicle to be sheared off or the vehicle to become lodged underneath the trailer. This type of accident often results in catastrophic injuries or fatalities, primarily due to the significant disparity in height between the undercarriage of the truck and the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Safety regulations mandate the use of underride guards on trucks to prevent such accidents, but even with these precautions, underride accidents can still occur due to factors like poor visibility, lack of reflective markings, or failure of the underride guards.

Jackknife Accident

Jackknife accidents represent a particularly hazardous scenario, often involving large trucks or semi-trailers. This type of accident occurs when the trailer part of a truck folds at the articulation point such that it forms an acute angle with the cab, resembling the folding mechanism of a jackknife. These incidents are typically the result of sudden braking by the truck driver, which can cause the tractor-trailer to skid and swing out to one side. Factors contributing to jackknife accidents include slippery road conditions, brake failure, improper loading of cargo, or abrupt maneuvering. The consequences of such accidents can be severe, involving multiple vehicles and leading to extensive property damage, serious injuries, or fatalities.

 Semi-truck that has tipped over because its trailer jackknifed.

Truck Rollover Accident

Truck rollover accidents occur when the truck’s balance is disturbed, causing it to tip over onto its side or roof. These types of accidents are particularly dangerous and can result in the blockage of roadway lanes, spilling cargo, and cause multi-vehicle collisions. Factors leading to a rollover include driver error, such as excessive speed in a curve, when cargo is not properly secured, which affects the vehicle’s center of gravity, and mechanical failures. Environmental conditions like slippery roads or high winds also play a critical role. The aftermath of a rollover truck accident often involves severe injuries or fatalities, highlighting the need for strict adherence to safety protocols and regulations by commercial drivers and companies alike.

Blind Spot Accident

Blind spot accidents with trucks are a frequent and dangerous occurrence on the highways. Large commercial trucks, due to their massive size, have significant blind spots on all four sides – in front, behind, and especially on the sides just behind the cab and along the length of the trailer. These are areas where a truck driver cannot see other vehicles using the truck’s mirrors alone. Blind spot accidents usually happen during lane changes or merges when a truck driver fails to detect a smaller vehicle in one of these blind spots. The smaller vehicle can be sideswiped or forced off the road by the truck, leading to potentially severe accidents.

T-Bone Accident

T-Bone accidents, also known as side-impact collisions, occur when the front of one vehicle collides directly with the side of another, often at intersections. In scenarios involving trucks, the consequences can be especially severe due to the significant difference in mass between a truck and a passenger vehicle. These accidents often happen when drivers fail to yield the right of way, run red lights, or make improper lane changes. The impact of a truck hitting the side of a smaller vehicle can lead to critical, sometimes fatal, injuries for the occupants of the passenger vehicle, particularly if the collision occurs on the side where passengers are seated. The structural vulnerability of vehicle doors and sides often offers less protection than the front or rear of a vehicle, making T-Bone accidents particularly dangerous.

Head-On Collision

Head-on collisions stand as one of the most perilous forms of vehicular accidents, particularly devastating when involving trucks and smaller passenger vehicles. These collisions occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide directly with each other, often at high speeds. Such accidents are frequently the result of wrong-way driving into oncoming traffic, drivers losing control of their vehicles, or attempting to overtake other vehicles on two-lane roads without clear sightlines. The impact of a head-on crash, especially with the massive force exerted by a truck, can lead to catastrophic outcomes, including severe injuries or fatalities. Factors like driver fatigue, impairment, distraction, or poor road conditions can increase the risk of head-on collisions.

Steps to Take if You Have Been in a Truck Accident

If you find yourself involved in a truck accident, taking the correct steps immediately following the incident can be vital to ensuring your safety and protecting your legal rights. Here are crucial steps to follow:

  1. Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Attention: Your immediate priority should be to check yourself and others for injuries. Call emergency services for medical attention even if injuries seem minor, as some may not be immediately apparent.
  2. Ensure Safety at the Scene: If possible, move to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further accidents. Use hazard lights, flares, or warning triangles to alert oncoming vehicles if the accident scene poses a danger.
  3. Call the Police: It’s essential to involve law enforcement, especially in accidents involving trucks, due to the potential for severe damage and injuries. A police report will also be a critical document when filing insurance claims or legal actions.
  4. Document the Scene and Exchange Information: Take photographs of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and relevant road conditions or signs. Exchange contact and insurance information with the truck driver and note the truck’s license plate and company name.
  5. Gather Witness Information: If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information. Witness statements can provide valuable perspectives on the accident.
  6. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurer about the accident as soon as possible. Refrain from admitting fault or making statements that could be used against you. Contact a truck accident lawyer before giving any statement to an insurance company.
  7. Seek Legal Advice from a Truck Accident Lawyer at The Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers: Given the complexities involved in commercial truck accidents, consulting with an attorney who specializes in such cases can be beneficial. They can advise on legal rights, help with insurance claims, and represent you in legal proceedings if necessary.

Remember, the aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming, but taking these steps can help safeguard your health and legal interests.

Different Types of Large Commercial Vehicles

In addition to understanding the various scenarios that can lead to accidents involving large vehicles, it’s essential to recognize the range of commercial vehicles that dominate our roads. These vehicles vary in size, function, and the challenges they present to their operators and other road users.

Semi-Trucks and 18-Wheelers

Semi-trucks, also known as tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers, are among the most common large commercial vehicles. These transport heavy loads across long distances, making them a ubiquitous presence on highways. Their significant length and weight due to their tractor-trailers contribute to increased stopping distances and complex maneuverability, especially under adverse weather conditions or in heavy traffic.

Box Trucks

Box trucks, distinguishable by their large, rectangular cargo areas, are commonly used for transporting goods, especially for local deliveries. Unlike semi-trucks, they are often operated in urban environments, which presents unique challenges such as navigating through tight streets and making frequent stops.

Tanker Trucks

Tanker trucks are specialized vehicles designed to carry liquids or gases. They are crucial for transporting fuel, chemicals, and other hazardous materials. The cargo’s nature often classified as hazardous, adds a layer of risk, requiring drivers to have specialized training and certifications to ensure safe transport.

Flatbed Trucks

Flatbed trucks feature an open trailer design, making them versatile for hauling oversized loads or equipment that does not fit within the confines of a closed trailer. The nature of their cargo often requires additional safety measures, such as securing the load properly to prevent shifting during transport.

Dump Trucks or Garbage Trucks

Used primarily in construction and materials transport, dump trucks can carry large quantities of materials such as sand, gravel, or demolition debris. Their ability to unload their cargo quickly is essential for efficiency, but it also requires careful operation to avoid accidents during the unloading process.

Buses

Buses, including city transit buses, school buses, and long-distance coaches, are responsible for transporting large numbers of passengers. Their size and the responsibility of carrying passengers demand a high level of driver attentiveness and adherence to safety regulations.

Each type of large commercial vehicle plays a vital role in our economy and daily life, yet their operation requires specialized knowledge and adherence to safety standards to mitigate the risk of truck accidents on our roads.

The Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers Support Truck Accident Victims

The Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers law firm is home to a dedicated team of truck accident attorneys who are passionate about advocating for the rights of accident victims. With extensive experience in handling truck accident claims, our attorneys understand the complexities and challenges that these cases entail. We recognize that each accident is unique, and we are committed to providing personalized legal representation. Our goal is to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries, damages, and losses. By leveraging our knowledge, skills, and resources, we strive to make the legal process as smooth and efficient as possible for our clients. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, rest assured that The Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers are here to support and guide you through every step of the legal process. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.

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