Approximately 138,000 people were injured and 716 people were killed in large truck or bus accidents in the United States during 2015, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available. People who are hurt in truck crashes and their loved ones may all experience physical pain, emotional suffering, and inconvenience. However, just as their injuries are unique, so too are the accidents that caused their injuries.
Nine Types of Truck Wrecks That Could Result in Injury or Death
Any time a truck and a passenger vehicle collide or a truck forces a passenger vehicle off the road a serious accident and injuries can result. Some of the common types of crashes that are seen around the country and here in Wisconsin include:
- T-bone crashes. Side-impact crashes can result in serious injuries. Trucks are not currently required to have side underride guards to prevent smaller vehicles from going underneath them. The injuries that a T-bone crash victim suffers will depend on the angle of impact, the force of impact, and how far underneath the truck the passenger vehicle travels.
- Rear-end wrecks. There are two different types of rear-end truck crashes that could result in injury. First, you may be hurt if a trucker crashes into you from behind. Second, you may be hurt if you hit a truck that is in front of you and that truck does not have adequate underride guards to prevent your vehicle from going underneath it.
- Head-on collisions. Head-on accidents result in more fatalities for people in passenger vehicles than any other type of truck wreck. The force of the impact can also result in serious injuries. Many head-on collisions are caused by truck driver error.
- Rollover accidents. Trucks have a higher center of gravity than passenger vehicles, and they are more susceptible to rollover crashes when truckers take tight turns, drive at excessive speeds, are distracted, drive on slippery roads, are driving poorly maintained trucks, or drive trucks with unsecured or unbalanced cargos. When a truck rolls over near a car or another vehicle, then the occupants of that vehicle may also be hurt in the crash.
- Left turn accidents. Left turn crashes are the most common type of truck wreck at intersections. Left turn accidents are often caused by driver error. For example, a crash could happen if a driver is distracted, drunk, or drowsy. The injuries that result depend on the point of impact and the force of the collision.
- Jackknife crashes. When the trailer of a truck swings away from the cab, a jackknife crash can occur. Jackknife accidents typically happen when a driver is speeding, when a driver is traveling too fast for weather conditions, when there is improper braking, or when there is unbalanced cargo that causes the truck to be unstable. While some jackknife crashes are single-vehicle wrecks that involve only the truck, other jackknife accidents involve other vehicles that were traveling near the truck at the time the jackknife occurred.
- Crashes involving box trucks or smaller commercial vehicles. Delivery trucks, moving trucks, and other commercial vehicles that are smaller than semi-trucks can be involved in serious accidents. Smaller vehicles may still have negligent drivers, blind spots, or potential mechanical problems that cause serious truck wrecks to occur.
- Crashes involving trucks carrying hazardous cargo. Any of the crashes described above could happen with a truck that is carrying hazardous cargo. Hazardous cargo may include flammable solids, radioactive materials, gas, oil, or poisonous materials, for example. These types of cargo can create additional risks of injury when a truck crash occurs.
- Crashes with government trucks. Any of the accidents described above could happen with a government vehicle. While federal, state, and local governments typically have immunity from being sued, specific federal and Wisconsin state laws allow people who are injured in accidents such as truck crashes to recover damages. However, special rules about providing notice and limitations on damages may apply.
Serious injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, broken bones, and even death can result from any of these types of crashes.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in Any Kind of Wisconsin Truck Accident
If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin truck wreck, then the time to take action is now. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim to recover legal damages. Our Wisconsin truck accident lawyers can investigate the cause of the crash that left you hurt, make sure that your rights are protected, and advocate for your full and fair recovery.
Please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 today to learn more about your rights and to schedule a free consultation at your convenience.