Any accident with a truck can result in serious injuries or fatalities. However, side-impact —also referred to as T-bone—crashes can result in catastrophic injuries and deaths. If you were hurt in one of these accidents, you may have suffered life-altering injuries that could require long periods of medical treatment while not working—if you are able to return to your job at all. Fortunately, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver and the trucking company he works for.
Common Reasons Trucker T-Bone Collisions Happen
Side-impact wrecks involving trucks happen for a number of reasons, with many of the reasons involving driver errors. Some causes of these accidents include:
- Failing to come to a complete stop. Because trucks are harder to stop due to their large size and braking system, truckers may choose to roll through a four-way intersection. This is an illegal violation of traffic safety rules and one of the main causes of side-impact collisions.
- Failing to yield. If the truck driver at least stops at a four-way intersection, he may not yield to the other driver who has the right to proceed first. In addition, when the truck and another vehicle enter the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left has the right to proceed first—often ignored by many truck drivers with deadly consequences.
- Running red lights. Running a red light is especially dangerous because the trucker may do what most drivers do in this situation—increase his speed to get through the light before it turns red. This is illegal and could be considered negligence when a side-impact crash results.
- Turning across traffic lanes. Even when a trucker is in a turning lane and can legally make a turn across traffic lanes, he must wait until it is safe to do so. If the driver cuts across traffic and does not make the turn in time, he most likely will be found liable if he causes a T-bone collision.
- Failing to gauge traffic. When turning right at a stop sign or traffic light, a trucker must be certain it is safe to proceed before doing so. Sometimes looking in both directions is not enough, especially at a busy intersection where a speeding vehicle could suddenly appear.
- Driving when impaired. If a trucker is driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, his reflexes, vision, and reasoning abilities may be affected.
- Brakes and steering problems. While this is a less common cause of side-impact wrecks, brake and steering failures can cause a truck to be unable to stop. Unfortunately, some trucking companies adjust or disengage some of the brakes in an effort to reduce the wear and tear on them and to save money on repairs—with accident victims paying the price.
- Weather conditions. A trucker must be extra careful when driving in adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, ice, fog, and snow. When he fails to do so, he may slide into an intersection or past a stop sign when he did not leave enough time to brake and come to a complete stop.
Injuries Caused by Side-Impact Accidents
In these accidents, the person on the side of the vehicle that is hit by the truck will often suffer the most devastating injuries. Common injuries victims suffer include:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries, such as herniated discs and whiplash
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Crushed or fractured pelvis
- Soft tissue injuries—muscle, tendon, and ligament sprains and tears
- Internal organ damage
- Punctured eardrum
Were you or a loved one injured in a side-impact accident with a trucker? You need to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible so he can write the trucking company a spoliation letter to prevent the destruction of important evidence in your case. Start an online chat with our firm to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
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