Truck accidents are terrifying events that leave the occupants of the other vehicles involved at far greater risk than that experienced by the truck drivers themselves. Yet truck accidents are often caused by negligence on the part of truckers, which comes in far too many dangerous varieties. If a truck driver’s negligence leaves you or someone you love injured, don’t delay consulting with an experienced South Carolina truck accident attorney.
Carriage underride accidents refer to when a car actually travels under a semi’s trailer – either from the back or side. Trucks ride so much higher off the road than passenger vehicles do that there is enough space for these smaller vehicles to wedge under them (typically shearing off the top of the under-riding vehicle). While truck manufacturers are required to affix what are known as Mansfield bars at the rear of semis to help prevent these life-threatening accidents, they are not required to do so on their sides (despite the fact that such bars are available). Ultimately, Mansfield bars help prevent rear underrides, but they still happen, and lowriding vehicles and those with overall lower profiles are most at risk. Driving under the carriage of a semi is exactly as dangerous as it sounds.
When a big rig rolls over on the road, it directly affects everyone traveling anywhere in the vicinity, and the results are often tragic. Because 18-wheelers ride so high and are generally quite tall and narrow, they are far more susceptible to rolling over in high winds and in response to accidents generally. Factors that often contribute to rollovers include:
- Driving too fast for the road’s condition or the weather’s effects on the road
- Driving too fast for the maneuver being performed
- Braking too suddenly
- Overcorrecting for a driving error
- Hauling an unevenly distributed load
Driver distraction and fatigue can both contribute to life-threatening rollover accidents.
Semi-trucks are composed of two parts – tractors that are hinged to their trailers by massive hitches that allow the two parts to maneuver separately (and more safely) when these massive vehicles take curves and exits. Sometimes, however, a truck’s tractor and trailer will fold in on themselves in much the same way that a jackknife snaps shut. Jackknife accidents are typically caused when a trucker engages in any of the following dangerous practices:
- Taking curves or exits too quickly
- Failing to account for the effects of bad weather generally
- Failing to allow enough distance on the road to react safely to any dangers ahead
When an 80,000-pound semi-truck closes in on itself on the road, it puts everyone with whom it shares that road at immense risk.
Truck drivers experience considerable blind spots all the way around their rigs. If you find yourself driving in one of these blind spots, it puts you at increased risk if the truck’s driver isn’t keenly aware of their blind spots and doesn’t take the necessary precautions when leaving their lane. While giving tractor-trailers a wide berth is always well advised, doing so doesn’t alter the fact that truck drivers are responsible for driving safely, which includes carefully accounting for their blind spots as they travel.
Trucks are so immense that, whenever they make a right turn, it is – by necessity – very wide. The turn takes place, again, where the hitch that hinges the tractor to the trailer comes in. When truckers fail to safely account for the radius their turns require or when they attempt to travel on roads in which 18-wheelers aren’t permitted, dangerous accidents are often the result.
Semis pull huge loads, and the effect of losing one on the road can be catastrophic. Truck companies are responsible for maintaining their rigs in safe working order, which includes ensuring that their trucks’ hitches are well maintained and that every load is safely secured – on every run. Truck drivers are also responsible for conducting regular safety and maintenance checks while on the road.
Every truck accident is a serious truck accident that should be taken exceptionally seriously.
If you have been injured by a truck driver’s negligence, the losses – or legal damages – you suffer are likely to be immense.
The medical bills associated with a truck accident can include all the following:
- Emergency care and emergency transportation
- Surgical care
- Hospital stays
- Pain management
- Medical treatments, procedures, and tests
- Care from doctors and medical specialists
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Prescription medications
- Home health care
- Adaptive physical devices and adaptions to home and vehicle
- Assistance with the activities of daily living
Serious injuries go hand in hand with lost hours on the job, which lead to attendant losses in income. If your injuries are very serious, your career could come to an abrupt halt, which can be as emotionally devastating as it is financially.
It’s important not to lose sight of the emotional and physical pain and suffering that you are also forced to endure when injured by a trucker’s negligence. Common psychological symptoms include:
- Increased anxiety, which can include anxiety attacks
- Severe mood swings
- Sleep disturbances that can include insomnia or nightmares
- Terrifying accident flashbacks
- Fear of getting back behind the wheel
- Difficulty concentrating and overall lack of focus
- Depressive episodes
- A tendency to lash out and push others away
- Increased irritability
Sadly, these emotional consequences can push your support system away just when you could use their help the most.
If a truck driver’s negligence causes you or someone you love to be injured, the formidable South Carolina truck accident attorneys at McCravy Law dedicate their impressive practice to guiding claims like yours toward favorable resolutions that support our clients’ legal rights and best interests. To learn more about how we can also help you, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 today.