“Backing is always dangerous” as indicated in the Commercial Drivers License manual. A driver is required to “Get Out and Look” (GOAL) before perform- ing a backing maneuver. Spotters are often required to help a driver perform a backing maneuver. A driver should signal when he or she is backing by honking the horn and putting on the four-way flashers.
ACTUAL CASE WE HANDLED
Semi-trucks can weigh up to 20,000 pounds and can take 2-3 times longer to stop than a passenger vehicle, making them very dangerous vehicles to be involved in an accident with.
If a driver is focusing on only one mirror, they aren’t doing their job correctly. This will create blind spots to the other side and rear of the semi-truck. The direct rear of a semi-truck is always hard to see for a driver, but watching both mirrors gives the driver a better view.
There are many reasons why backing a semi-truck is difficult:
Location: A driver backing in an area that typically has pedestrians or other cars might be easily distracted. Even in remote, industrial areas, a trucker may miss a pedestrian or another driver while going about their work day.
Hard to see: Semi-trucks do have backup alarms. Most people would recognize the distinctive “beep” of a reversing truck. This feature is great for pedestrians or other drivers, but some semi-truck drivers may rely on the alarm and fail to properly evaluate the area.
Low-light or harsh weather: Darkness makes pedestrians hard to see, especially if they’re wearing dark clothing. The same goes for other drivers in hard rain and strong winds.
What makes semi-truck accidents so dangerous in Kentucky? When fully loaded with cargo, a 50-plus foot long semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Semi-trucks carrying so much weight can quickly become more difficult to control if a driver isn’t aware and alert at all times. A semi-truck may be unable to stop if trucking companies fail to properly maintain the truck or if a trucker or third-party overloads the trailer, thus placing a strain on the truck itself.
Semi-truck accident injuries can be devastating, requiring long-term hospitalization and resulting in steep medical bills and an inability to return to work. When such a large vehicle crashes into a 5,000-pound passenger vehicle, it’s common for accident victims to sustain catastrophic head and spinal cord injuries, broken bones and fractures and other serious injuries. A loved one may even suffer a wrongful death as a result of accident-related injuries.
The following are some of the most common injuries sustained in truck accidents:
- Traumatic brain injury: Sudden, violent movement of the head can lead to injuries ranging from a mild concussion to permanent brain damage. These cases can be difficult to diagnose without the help of experienced medical professionals and a Wichita truck accident lawyer.
- Spinal cord damage: Injuries to the back and spinal cord can result in paralysis or loss of use of certain arms or legs. Somebody who sustains paralyzing injuries may not be able to work or function normally for the rest of their lives or require a wheelchair and other special accommodations after a crash.
- Broken bones: The impact of a truck crash can result in broken bones and fractures. Such injuries may seem minor. But the effects can often be more serious than you think. Medical expenses add up fast and your injuries may require months of physical therapy.
- Internal injuries: The force and trauma of a truck crash may lead to broken ribs, internal bleeding and damage to the spleen, kidneys, liver, stomach and other internal organs. These injuries can be hard to detect immediately after an accident. That’s why seeking medical attention immediately after a crash is so important.
- Injuries to fingers, toes, arms and legs may result in catastrophic damage that requires the amputation of a limb. In serious cases an accident victim’s injuries – such as when he or she suffers burns or crushing injuries – may result in the loss of multiple limbs.
- Injuries that lead to death: Truck accidents can be fatal. If you lost a loved one, we can help you pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver and/or the trucking company. At Warner Law Offices, we take every trucking accident case seriously and fight aggressively for our clients’ rights.
NATIONAL TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY & FATALITY STATISTICS
- In 2014 there were 3,903 people killed in crashes involving semi-trucks/big-rigs/large trucks.
- In 2014 there was a 17 percent increase in the number of people injured in crashes involving big trucks. An estimated 111,000 people were injured in crashes involving semi-trucks/big-rigs/large trucks in 2014.
- In 2014 seventy-three percent of people killed in large-truck crashes were occupants of the other vehicles.
- Two percent of the truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 or higher.
- Large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 had the highest percentage (14.9%) of previously recorded crashes compared to drivers of other vehicle types (motorcycles, 13.6%; passenger cars, 12.6%; and light trucks, 12.0%).
Determining fault in a truck accident can be complex. In a commercial vehicle accident, the driver might be liable, but other parties may share some of the responsibility. In some instances, a trucking company may have contributed to the accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regu- lates the commercial trucking industry. But that doesn’t mean trucking companies are willing to adhere to safety and maintenance standards.
Trucking companies are required to keep many different types of records. They must be able to prove that their fleet of vehicles is properly maintained and free of potentially hazardous safety issues, such as defective brakes or tires. Furthermore, trucking companies are required to hire skilled, trained drivers and ensure they follow important rules such as the FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations that limit the amount of hours a trucker can spend on the road each week.
Stay clear of a big wheeler backing up on the road! The truck driver is risking the lives of other with this dangerous activity. Injury lawyer Flora Templeton Stuart has represented hundreds injured by big trucks. The law firm of Flora Templeton Stuart will travel to the scene and to clients injured by big trucks. Call our law firm at 888-782-9090 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
TALK TO A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER NOW
If you or a loved one has been injured, don’t wait. Contact an experienced trucking accident lawyer immediately. When we receive a call from a client who has been injured, we go to work immediately to protect their rights to full and fair compensation.
Our law firm goes the extra mile, using our 40-plus years of experience to right the wrongs and make our clients whole again. If you’ve been injured, contact us now. Call Flora Templeton Stuart at (888) 782-9090 or contact us online today.
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If you have been injured in a trucking accident and can’t come to us, we will meet you at your home, in the hospital, or another location that is convenient for you. We have offices in Glasgow and Bowling Green, Kentucky, but we travel throughout Kentucky and Tennessee to meet with our injured clients. If you have been injured in a big-rig collision, call semi-truck wreck lawyer Flora Templeton Stuart at (888) 782-9090twenty-four hours a day/seven days a week.
In Kentucky, there should be coverage on the vehicle you were in during the accident called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This insurance pays for the first $10,000 of your medical bills and lost wages. At our law firm, we reserve PIP to be used by our clients’ treating physicians. We recommend increasing PIP from $10,000 to $50,000 for better coverage in case of a catastrophic accident. If your accident-related expenses exceed that amount – as they frequently do in semi-truck wreck cases – you need an experienced personal injury attorney to find all the policies that may apply to your claim so you can focus on your recovery.