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Types of Truck Accidents in Sandy Springs, GA

Whether you’re driving down a busy roadway or a long interstate, you’ll probably be sharing the road with a large truck at one point or another. These vehicles are often massive and incredibly heavy, making them incredibly dangerous, especially to those in passenger cars. If large truck drivers take their eyes off the road or fail to obey traffic laws, they could cause a serious truck accident or even fatal accident. Crashes involving large trucks can be caused by a variety of factors. Some types of truck accidents may only affect truck occupants, while some may affect truck occupants and other vehicle vehicles involved.

If you or a loved one was in a serious or fatal accident with a large truck, the Sandy Springs trucking accident lawyers are here to help. With over 50 years of combined experience, you can trust our truck accident lawyer team to provide you and your case with the care and attention you deserve. Call us at 770-394-8909 and schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.

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Truck Accident Statistics in the United States

Large truck crashes tend to cause severe damage, even in nonfatal crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a “large truck” as any medium or heavy truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds, excluding motorhomes and buses. 

The NHTSA’s Crash Report Sampling System reported a total of 523,796 traffic accidents involving large trucks in 2021. According to the highway statistics provided by the Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, fatal large truck accidents made up 11% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in that same year.

Large trucks involved in accidents with passenger vehicles resulted in 2,573 fatalities, with only 3% of those fatal crashes affecting large truck occupants. Single-vehicle crashes involving large trucks resulted in 435 fatalities of large truck occupants.

Alternate Terms for Large Trucks

Large trucks, a crucial component of the transportation industry, are known by several nicknames that reflect their size, purpose, and capabilities. Here are some common nicknames for this vehicle type:

  1. Big Rig – Big rig is a popular term that emphasizes the large size and power of these trucks.
  2. Semi-truck – Refers to the truck’s design, specifically the tractor unit without a load, which is a “semi” capable unit until the trailer is attached.
  3. Tractor-Trailer – “Tractor-trailers’ describe the combination of the tractor unit and the trailer it pulls.
  4. 18-Wheeler – Highlights the typical number of wheels on these trucks, including those on the tractor as well as the trailer.
  5. Truck and Trailer – Another descriptive term that simply states the components of the vehicle.

These nicknames are often used interchangeably by those within and outside the trucking industry, illustrating both the functional aspects of this vehicle type and its dominance on the highways.

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Common Types of Truck Accidents in Georgia

As with all auto accidents, there are a few different types of truck accidents, varying due to the circumstances surrounding the accident as well as the causes of the accident. Below are some of the most common types of large truck crashes, many of which involve collisions with passenger cars. 

Trucks have a very high center of gravity, making them prone to tipping. If a truck driver takes a turn too quickly, they could cause the truck to roll onto its side and crash down onto whatever is beside them, like a guardrail or another car.

Additionally, a truck rollover accident could cause the truck to block one or more lanes of traffic, potentially causing other cars around them to crash into their trailer. These truck crashes could also cause the truck’s cargo to spill onto the road, potentially leading to another accident.

Rear-end collisions occur when a large truck crashes into the rear of another vehicle. Commercial trucks are incredibly heavy and require more time to slow or stop compared to smaller vehicles. When truck drivers notice something in front of their truck too late, they often don’t have enough time to be able to stop before the truck crashes into it. 

Additionally, large trucks have large blind spots, one of which is in front of their cab. If a car moves into a lane in front of a large truck, and they are too close, the truck driver may not even see their vehicle at all. This kind of large truck crash can cause serious injuries, so passenger vehicle drivers should be vigilant and mindful when driving around large trucks.  

A large truck can also crash into the front of another vehicle head-on. Due to the sheer weight and size of large trucks, the vast majority of these kinds of head-on collisions are fatal crashes. A head-on truck accident can also cause serious damage to any vehicles involved. 

Head-on collisions involving a large truck can occur for a variety of reasons, including brake failure, distracted driving, drunk driving, and more.

Underride accidents occur when passenger vehicle drivers crash into the rear of a large truck. Many tractor-trailers are higher off the ground than other vehicles, leaving a large gap between the road and the bottom of the trailer. In underride truck accidents, the front of the passenger vehicle can get trapped under the back of the large truck, depending on the passenger vehicle type.

Jackknife accidents are accidents in which the trailer of the truck and the truck cab fold in on themselves. If a large truck makes a sharp turn or makes any sudden swerves, the cab of the truck can become unaligned with the trailer, forming a “V” shaped angle with the rest of the truck. The trailer basically pushes the cab to the side, making the truck driver lose control of the vehicle and causing jackknife accidents.

Jackknife accidents can cause rollover accidents or cause the cab and trailer to become disconnected. If jackknife truck accidents happens suddenly, and the cab of the truck is pushed in front of other vehicles that are on the road with them, this can also cause an accident. 

Just like with other vehicles, large trucks can cause t-bone accidents. A t-bone accident occurs when truck drivers crash into the side of another vehicle with the front of their truck. These kinds of truck accidents often occur at intersections and can occur if truck drivers or passenger vehicle drivers run through red lights, blow through stop signs, or turn without having the right of way.

In t-bone accidents that involve large trucks, those in the other vehicle that are on the side of the impact are in serious danger of being severely injured or even killed.

Contact our Sandy Springs broadside collisions attorney for a free consultation.

Just like with passenger vehicles, large trucks can sideswipe other vehicles. If the driver of the tractor-trailer suddenly swerves into another lane or merges into traffic without enough clearance, they could scrape the side of another vehicle, causing damage. Sideswipe truck accidents could also cause either driver to lose control of their vehicle, which could cause a more severe accident.

Since large trucks have such large blind spots, it’s important that other drivers try to avoid those blind spots as much as possible. Truck drivers should also check their blind spots every time they move into another lane or merge into traffic to avoid hitting other vehicles on the road.

When large trucks make right turns, they need to swing slightly to the left in order to ensure the trailer has enough space to turn. This can cause a truck accident if another driver mistakes the truck moving to the left as the truck changes lanes. The car may try to get into the right lane to pass the truck on the right, not realizing the truck is about to turn right in front of them.

Squeeze Play Truck Accidents

This kind of large truck accident is often called a “squeeze play” accident because the car may be squeezed between the trailer and the curb, guardrail, or barrier wall. While many large trucks have notices on the back of their trailers warning of wide right turns, other drivers may not know the truck is trying to turn, especially if the truck driver doesn’t use their blinker. Commercial drivers have to be extra vigilant when making right turns in order to avoid these kinds of accidents.

Another type of large truck accident is trucking accidents caused by tire blowouts. Tire blowouts can cause the truck driver to lose control of the truck, which can cause it to swerve into another lane of traffic, jackknife, or even roll over.

Tire blowouts can be caused by a lot of factors, including 

  • Dry rotted tires

  • Low or no tread on tires

  • Incorrect tires

  • Poorly inflated tires

  • Defective tires

  • Large, sharp debris in the road

  • Excessive heat

  • Speeding

  • Overloading

If trucks are not well maintained, they could suffer from a tire blowout while on the road, potentially leading to serious or fatal crashes. Additionally, other cars on the road may drive into tire treads or pieces left in the road, which could cause them to crash. 

Large trucks are often carrying cargo, such as raw materials, equipment, or other goods. If that cargo is not properly secured, or if tractor-trailers are in accidents, the cargo can spill out onto the road or go flying out of the back of the tractor-trailers. This material can hit other drivers, block the road, or make it difficult to drive on the road. 

Unsecured cargo accidents can harm more than just passenger vehicle drivers; if the large truck was transporting volatile or otherwise hazardous cargo, the spill could cause environmental issues or increase the chances of fatal crashes. 

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Common Semi-Truck Accident Injuries

Large truck accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, especially ones that involve other vehicles. Passenger car and truck occupants can suffer from injuries such as:

  • Contusions
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Crush injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Amputation and other catastrophic injuries
  • Facial fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Wrongful death

Our Sandy Springs catastrophic injury attorneys can help victims of crashes involving large trucks in Sandy Springs and Atlanta, Georgia. Call our Sandy Springs truck accident law firm for a free consultation.

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Can You Sue Truck Drivers for Truck Accidents?

Yes, victims of trucking accidents can sue large truck drivers for their losses in a personal injury lawsuit. Truck drivers have an obligation to drive cautiously and reasonably protect other passenger vehicle occupants, truck occupants, bus occupants, motorcyclists, and pedestrians from harm. 

Possible Liable Parties in Crashes Involving Large Trucks

While many truck accidents are caused by negligent truck drivers, there are additional parties that could be liable for any given truck accident. For example, if a truck driver drives while intoxicated, they could cause serious or fatal crashes and be made liable. Additionally, if they fall asleep or lose focus due to truck driver fatigue, they could also be found entirely liable for the truck accident. In some truck accident cases, however, there are other people or organizations that could be responsible for certain large truck accidents.

In addition to truck drivers, some other potentially liable parties in a large truck accident include the:

  • Trucking company that owns the truck
  • The manufacturing company that made the truck
  • Cargo owner
  • Cargo loading personnel
  • Local municipalities in charge of road safety/maintenance

For example, if your truck accident was caused by a tire blowout, the trucking company responsible for maintaining the truck could be found liable for damages. Truck accidents can also be caused by defective trucking equipment, which could make the truck’s manufacturer liable for damages. 

If you were in a truck accident caused by unsecured cargo, the personnel in charge of loading and securing the cargo may be to blame for the accident. It all depends on the specific circumstances surrounding your truck accident case.

Are you unsure who was responsible for your truck accident? A large truck accident lawyer in Sandy Springs can review the evidence and help determine who was responsible for the accident, allowing you to recover compensation from the liable party. 

Types of Truck Accidents

Compensation for Truck Accident Victims

When compared to other motor vehicle crashes, large truck crashes can have much more severe consequences and often result in significant personal injuries and property damage. Victims of large truck accidents may be able to recover financial compensation for their economic and non-economic losses, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Occupational or physical therapy expenses
  • Counseling services
  • Property damage
  • Disfigurement or disability;
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Funeral expenses for fatal crashes. Contact Sandy Springs wrongful death attorneys to learn more about the types of damages you could recover in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Fatal truck crashes can seriously affect the families of deceased victims. No amount of compensation can bring loved ones back from fatal crashes. Still, compensation for losses like funeral and medical expenses can help ease some of the financial stress experienced by fatal crashes.

Georgia Personal Injury Statute of Limitations for Large Truck Crashes

Victims of negligence only have a short window of time in which to file a truck accident lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for large truck accidents and fatal crashes in Georgia is two years from the date when truck accidents happened. If you have been involved in an accident with a large truck, it’s important that you take action fast so that you can pursue fair compensation for your injuries.

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Sandy Springs Truck Accident Lawyers

Most crashes involving large trucks result in injuries, many of which can be serious and even fatal. If you have been injured in an accident with a large truck, call the Sandy Springs personal injury attorneys at Ashenden & Associates. We strive to hold negligent commercial drivers and trucking companies responsible for their actions and can help you recover compensation for damages.

We are proud to be able to help families who lost their loved ones in fatal large truck crashes. If your immediate family member lost their life in a fatal truck crash, you may be able to receive compensation for your emotional and monetary losses. Call us at 770-394-8909 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.