The presence of trucks on the road significantly increases the chances of getting into an accident with devastating consequences. In most cases, drivers tend to point an accusing finger at truck drivers as the cause of the accident.
But truck drivers are not always to blame for truck accidents. The most common cause of accidents between trucks and small cars is small-car driver error when driving around large trucks.
What The Statistics Show
According to NHTSA data, over 35,000 people die on American roads yearly. The last two years have been the deadliest, with over 42,900 people dying on the roads in 2021 alone, 10.5% higher than in 2020 and the highest since 2005.
Of these fatalities, approximately 5,600 involved a truck accounting for approximately 13% of the accidents. While the percentage may be significantly lower than that of other types of cars combined, the fatality rate is significantly higher, considering there are fewer trucks on the roads than other vehicles.
Based on these statistics, the fatality rates for truck accidents are 1.0 compared to accidents involving two cars, where the fatality rate is 0.6.
Who Causes These Accidents?
Truckers get a bad rap due to the severity of the accidents in which they are involved. As a result, most people tend to point at the truck driver as being responsible for an accident.
But statistics tend to point at the drivers of other cars as the main culprits in truck accidents. According to industry statistics, 70% of truck-related accidents are caused by cars, with 1,172 accidents involving cars striking trucks, compared to 16 percent where a truck hits a car.
10% of the time, both drivers are at fault, with the other four percent being other factors such as road conditions, faulty parts, and other third parties.
Who Is Liable For A Truck Accident?
Liability for truck accidents lies on the party responsible for causing the accident. If the fault is with the truck driver, they will be liable for the accident and have to pay damages to the accident victims. Similarly, the other car’s driver will be liable for damages suffered by all parties if they are responsible for the accident.
In some cases, both drivers can make errors resulting in an accident. Under such circumstances, the laws of the state where the accident occurs will determine if either party can recover damages.
In contributory negligence states, you cannot recover damages if the other party can prove that you were partially to blame for an accident. However, you can recover damages to the extent of your contribution to the injury if the accident occurred in comparative negligence states.
What To Do After A Truck Accident
The first thing should be getting medical attention even when the injuries may not be apparent. So, it’s best to call 911. This way, you can rule out injuries that may take time to present.
Also, getting medical attention at the accident scene and the ER sets the ground for filing a personal injury case because the medical records can help create a link between the accident and the injuries. The documents you obtain through the treatment procedure will also help calculate damages.
You should also document the accident scene by taking pictures and video footage of the scene.
Scene documentation will be helpful when your lawyer is building a case or determining liability. After documenting the scene, the next thing should be consulting a lawyer to determine if you have a case.
Often truck accident lawyers offer an initial free consultation which you can use to determine if your case is worth pursuing. Also, most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay until your lawyer wins your case. After getting the lawyer on your case, you can then focus on healing and leave the legal matters of your case to them.