Just as there are many different causes of truck accidents, there are several different types of truck collisions as well. Most of them will typically involve some sort of negligence, either on the part of the truck driver, the trucking company, both the driver and the company, or a third party. Since a truck accident is oftentimes so much more serious than a car accident, this will usually be a much more complicated legal case.
But the truck accident attorneys with Penn Kestner & McEwen have a vast amount of experience in not only fighting these cases, but also winning them. Our firm has the resources to conduct a thorough investigation to determine not only why the accident occurred, but to also determine all the potentially liable parties.
Here is some information on five of the more common types of truck accidents that take place far too often.
1. Jackknife Accidents
This accident gets its name from the fact that the truck often winds up in a position that looks something like an open jackknife. The reason it happens is that the coupling device – which is supposed to keep the trailer securely attached, while allowing enough slack for the truck to make a turn – fails.
When this failure takes place, the trailer swings out extremely wide – so wide, in fact, that it is almost perpendicular to the cab. A jackknifed truck will crash into anything that’s in its path, since the driver will almost always lose control.
2. Override Accidents
An override accident is one of the most devastating forms of truck accident. It occurs when a truck slams into the back of a passenger vehicle and then drives over the car, completely crushing the back. If anyone happens to be in the backseat of the car at the time, they will very likely be killed.
There can be a lot of reasons why an override accident takes place. A trucker may be speeding, and can’t react quickly enough when a car has to suddenly stop in front of them. The trucking company may have negligently failed to check the brakes, making it impossible for the driver to stop the rig before it hits the automobile.
3. Underride Accidents
This is basically the opposite of an override accident. Instead of the truck hitting the back of the car, the car slams into the back of the truck. If there is no underride guard on the back of the truck – which is required by law – the bumper of the truck can destroy the car’s windshield, striking the driver as well as the front seat passenger.
Similar to an underride accident, a side underride collision occurs when the front of a passenger vehicle strikes the side of the truck. Tragically, this can result in the entire top of the car being sheared off. There are guards that can protect vehicle drivers and passengers from suffering this fate. But, inexplicably, they are not a requirement.
4. Lost Load Accidents
There are times where a truck can lose its load due to negligence. Trucking companies will often outsource the loading of a truck to a separate business. When loading is rushed due to trying to meet a deadline, it can be done improperly. This can lead to a serious accident.
One of the most common forms of negligence is overloading a truck. All commercial trucks have weight limits. The specific limit will depend on several different factors, including the number of axles the truck has, as well as its size. If a truck is carrying too much cargo, that could make it a lot harder for the driver to be able to stop.
Oftentimes, drivers have no idea how much cargo they’re actually carrying. So, they might not be aware that their truck is overloaded. They may not leave enough room between themselves and other vehicles as a result. Since they can’t stop as easily as normal, the risk of a devastating accident rises significantly.
5. Rollover Accidents
Improperly loaded cargo can also increase the chances of a rollover accident, which is one of the most dangerous types of accidents involving a truck. Rollovers will typically include several other vehicles, resulting in not only debilitating injuries but also deaths. Trucks can roll over for several reasons, including the following:
- Speeding. Trucks are difficult enough to control when traveling the speed limit. When they go too fast – in clear violation of not only the law, but also federal trucking regulations – that’s a recipe for disaster. A truck driver whose speeding may have to hit the brakes so hard that they completely lose control and the truck rolls over as a result.
- Curves. Drivers will often not be aware of sharp curves ahead, either because they haven’t been properly trained, they’re fatigued or they’re impaired. This can, of course, result in a deadly rollover.
- Overloaded cargo. An overloaded trailer, as noted above, can make it incredibly difficult for a driver to stop a truck. If the cargo should shift in transit because it wasn’t properly secured, that can cause an imbalance. This will also increase the risk of a rollover.
Contact Penn Kestner & McEwen Today for Help With Your Truck Accident Case
One of the first things you should do after a truck accident – after getting medical help and notifying the police, of course – is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney. As you’ve already learned, this can be an incredibly complex type of case, with a lot of potential parties that can be sued. The complications are simply too much for someone with no legal experience.