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11 Common Truck Accident Questions Answered

Truck Accident

Tractor-trailer crashes can leave people with serious injuries and questions — questions they’ve never thought to ask before.

We’ve helped victims of truck accidents pick up the pieces of their lives and get justice for injured or lost loved ones.

One thing we stress to any potential clients, however, is that filing a claim against a truck company and its insurance is a complicated, time-consuming process.

Our Georgia truck accident attorneys can shoulder this burden for you. We walk you through the legal process and advise you on what the best options are for you and your family.

For more information, contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates today or read more about how we protect Atlanta truck accident victims.

1. How many semi-truck accidents happen per year?

Semi-trucks can also be referred to as tractor-trailers, 18-wheeler trucks, or big rigs. In 2018, there were more than 5,000 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes. The number of injury crashes involving large trucks was around 121,000. There were 13.5 fatal truck accidents per million people in the U.S., a 27% increase since 2010.

Large truck accidents occur every 15 minutes in the U.S.

2. What percentage of accidents are caused by trucks?

“Critical pre-crash events” refer to decisions or circumstances that trigger a wreck. Large truck movements or loss of control contributed to 23% of reported crashes. Most crashes (74%) involving a tractor-trailer or other large vehicle were caused by another vehicle, person, animal, or object being in or encroaching on the truck’s lane.

3. Which trucking company has the most accidents?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations set forth by the Department of Transportation requires carriers to report accidents if there is a fatality, injuries at the scene that require medical attention away from the scene, or one or more vehicles that experienced “disabling damage” which have to be towed from the scene.

Trucking companies who have reported the most accident involvement over the past two years from the date of this post include:

  • United Parcel Service Inc. - With 2,570 crashes, there were 62 fatal accidents and 910 injury crashes reported.
  • FedEx Ground Package System Inc. - Experienced 2,252 crashes, including 65 fatal wrecks and 749 injury accidents.
  • B. Hunt Transport Inc. - Out of a total of 1,536 crashes, 37 resulted in fatalities, and 533 resulted in injuries.
  • Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona LLC - A total of 1,355 crashes, resulting in 38 fatalities and 361 injuries.
  • XPO Logistics Freight Inc. - Their trucks were involved in 643 crashes, 11 resulting in death and 183 resulting in injuries.

Of course, the larger the company, the more trucks that will be on the road, increasing the chances of an accident. Commercial carriers such as FedEx and UPS experience a larger number of crashes compared to other types of trucking companies.

4. How many deaths and injuries are caused by large truck crashes?

Of the nearly half-a-million crashes reported by police in 2018, more than 4,400 (1%) were fatal and about 107,000 (21%) caused serious injuries. The majority of fatal truck crashes involved two vehicles and rural areas and highways. Truck accidents on interstate highways accounted for 26% of truck accident fatalities.

In 9 out of 10 fatal truck wrecks, there was only one fatality. The vast majority of these deaths were not occupants of the truck. About 67 percent were occupants of cars, and 15 percent were motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

In cases where the truck driver was killed, nearly half were not wearing their safety belts. Most of these large truck occupant deaths occurred when the crash involved another large truck.

5. What percentage of work-zone accidents involve large trucks?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 10% of work-zone injury crashes and 30% of fatal work-zone crashes involved a large truck.

6. What causes most truck accidents?

According to various truck accident statistics, a majority of crashes occur because of mechanical issues such as brake failure and tire issues. Popped tires on a truck or car, in particular, are a significant cause of truck wrecks. Other causes include driver fatigue, aggressive driving, and speeding. In rare cases, a truck driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

7. How long does it take for a truck to stop?

Trucks may weigh as much as 20-30 times more than passenger vehicles. At maximum capacity, a truck can weigh 40 tons (most passenger vehicles only weigh 2.5 tons). Combined with their greater height, loaded tractor-trailers require 20-40% more distance than cars to come to a complete stop. Stopping on wet pavement or during inclement weather may increase the distance needed to stop.

8. How can large truck accidents be prevented?

Defensive driving is a key way to prevent an accident involving a semi-truck from occurring. First, keep as much distance between you and the truck as possible. Driving too closely behind a truck puts you at risk of hitting the back of it and sliding underneath its trailer. Stay out of a truck’s blind spots as well. We created a handy graphic to show you where those are.

When passing a tractor-trailer, use your turn signal and make sure you can see the front of the truck in your rearview mirror. Never jerk or weave in front of a truck — traffic could suddenly come to a stop and the truck driver may not have time or room to avoid a collision.

Truck drivers work hard to haul the goods we need across the country. They deserve courtesy and respect from other drivers.

9. Who is liable in a truck accident?

There are so many factors that can affect liability in a large truck accident. As attorneys, we thoroughly review potential truck accident claims to understand who is at fault. With our firm, the investigation of the potential claim starts from the first moment the potential client calls us or comes in for their free consultation. We interview the client to find out as many details as possible about the wreck. We also review the police report and verify its accuracy based upon our client’s statement of what happened.

Read More: How an Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm Investigates Tractor-Trailer Accidents

10. Can I sue for being hit by a semi-truck?

Yes, but filing a lawsuit is typically a last resort and usually occurs when negotiations for fair compensation have failed. First, you must file a personal injury claim. This is best done by hiring a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer. Once all the medical bills have been gathered and facts from the accident investigation compiled, it’s time to negotiate a settlement. If neither party can agree on the settlement amount, a lawyer may recommend filing suit against the driver, trucking company, and/or insurance company.

Filing a claim or a lawsuit is incredibly complicated. Take advantage of our firm’s free consultation if you have questions.

11. Do semi-truck accidents go to trial?

Yes, semi-truck accident cases can go to trial if there is enough evidence to support a client’s case, especially if the potential financial compensation that results from a successful verdict outweighs the costs of going to court. Truck accident cases are lengthy affairs that take a great deal of investigation and work. We make sure clients understand each step of the trial process and the strategies we use to fight on their behalf.

Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys Are Here for You

With major interstates and roadways cutting through the city and rural areas, Georgia sees its share of tractor-trailer wrecks every week. We understand the devastating consequences such crashes can have on individuals and their families, from permanent injuries to loss of life. Our service is available to help you move forward and be rightfully compensated for your pain and suffering.


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