When a big rig and a passenger vehicle crash, lives are changed forever. While any vehicle accident has the potential to cause catastrophic damage, truck accidents are far more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than other types of collisions. The sheer weight and length of a tractor-trailer make it capable of inflicting enormous damage. With major highways like I-85 and U.S. Route 29 running through College Park, truck accidents are always a possibility.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a College Park truck accident, it’s time to talk to an attorney. Find out how the team at The Stein Firm, P.C. can help you—give us a call at 770-824-3107 to set up a consultation now.
How Common Are Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are on the rise across the United States, a trend that means more injuries and fatalities. Per the National Safety Council, there were 5,700 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2021. This marks an 18% increase in fatal crashes since 2020 and a 49% rise over the past ten years. This is an unsustainable upward trend that will only worsen as the driver shortage becomes more severe and more inexperienced drivers flood the roads.
Overall, large trucks make up 5% of total registered vehicles on the road. However, they account for 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal collisions—this means that they are far overrepresented in the fatal crash category.
This trend can also be seen among crashes resulting in injuries. There were over 117,000 trucks involved in injury-causing collisions in 2021, which is 12% higher than the year prior. In the vast majority of collisions, occupants of passenger vehicles are those who suffer injuries; truck drivers are injured in about 27% of all crashes.
Different Types of Truck Collisions
The unusual shape and size of a tractor-trailer put it at risk of being involved in a wide range of accident types. Many of these crashes simply aren’t seen when only passenger vehicles are involved. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:
• Jackknife: Jackknife accidents are usually the result of inclement weather, an inexperienced driver, or an unexpected obstacle on the road. When a driver is forced to swerve, the back end of the truck may swing out away from the tractor. The two parts of the truck form a 90-degree angle, much like a jackknife. The weight of the trailer pulls the tractor along until the entire vehicle comes to a stop.
• Rollover: Rollovers are more common among large trucks because of their top-heavy design. The fallout of a rollover can be catastrophic, especially if a truck rolls over onto other vehicles.
• Tire blowout: Large trucks are at a heightened risk of tire blowouts because of the amount of wear and tear put on their tires every single day. Truck owners and trucking companies must be proactive about their maintenance to avoid blowouts.
• Right turn: Truck drivers must turn slightly left before turning right in order to avoid hitting the curb. If they go too far left, they risk crossing into the oncoming traffic lane or hitting the median. If they don’t go far enough left, they may ride up on the sidewalk or hit another obstacle.
• Underride: Underride accidents are among the deadliest types of truck accidents. They happen when a small vehicle runs into the back of a tractor-trailer. They get wedged beneath the back of the truck and are pulled along until the truck stops. Underride collisions often result in fatalities.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different from Other Collisions
While the general process of seeking compensation is the same after a car accident or truck accident, there are many factors that make truck collisions much more dangerous and complicated than others.
To start, tractor-trailers dwarf passenger vehicles. A fully loaded truck usually weighs more than one dozen times more than a passenger vehicle. When that large of a vehicle hit a vehicle less than 10% of its size, it doesn’t matter what speed it’s traveling at—significant damage will follow.
Second, driving safely around tractor-trailers requires extra effort from drivers. They must be aware of trucks’ large blind spots, the fact that trucks need extra time to stop, and the tough conditions truck drivers work under.
Finally, truck accident claims are much more complex than many other types of injury claims. In addition to the two drivers, other parties involved in the claim may include the trucking employer, the employer’s insurance provider, the company’s legal team, and the person who owns the cargo on the truck. This means extra work and more extensive negotiations.
How The Stein Firm Can Help You
At The Stein Firm, we understand how devastating a truck accident in College Park can be. You’re likely dealing with a totaled vehicle, significant injuries, and an unknown period of time off of work. Those expenses add up quickly, and the extra stress can make it even harder to recover from your injuries.
That’s why we’re committed to helping accident victims like you. The trucking company may not be willing to do what’s right—but through our in-depth investigative techniques and aggressive negotiation skills, we’re ready to prove your claim and force them to negotiate fairly. You shouldn’t be left suffering the full consequences of a crash you didn’t cause.
We’ll look at the truck’s electronic logging device, check the driver’s hours of service, look for violations, and gather crucial evidence. Whether your claim ends in a settlement or goes to court, we’re ready to represent you every step of the way.
Contact Our Team and Start Your Truck Accident Claim
If a truck accident has left you injured, don’t wait a second longer to talk to an attorney about your legal options. The team at The Stein Firm is ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us at 770-824-3107 or send us a message online to schedule your free consultation now.