When Big Rig Accidents Are Catastrophic
Large commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks, sometimes referred to as “Big Rigs,” do not function in the same ways that light passenger vehicles do. When most light passenger vehicles need to stop instantaneously, they are equipped to make such a sudden shift. However, large trucks take significantly longer to come to a complete stop than cars, SUVs, vans, and light trucks do. Similarly, large vehicles have wider turning radiuses, which makes them harder to navigate. Truck drivers also have far larger blind spots than average motorists do. Finally, large trucks often weigh more than 10 times what smaller vehicles weigh.
As a result of all of these disparities and more, when large trucks crash, the damage tends to be catastrophic. This isn’t to say that two-vehicle car crashes and even single-car crashes don’t have the potential to be catastrophic. But when large commercial trucks crash, extensive damage, and serious injury tend to be the rules, not the exceptions.
Fault, Causation, Compensation
As an experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer can confirm, it isn’t always easy to know at a glance what causes a truck accident and who should be responsible for the harm that a wreck inspires. All too often, it is assumed that the truck driver involved is automatically at fault. In reality, any number of parties, from any or all drivers involved to the trucking company that employs the big rig driver to the government agency in charge of maintaining state highways could be to blame.
As a result, it is important to avoid making assumptions about causation and fault in a truck accident until a lawyer has had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the crash. Once an investigation is complete, liability can be better determined and an injury victim can decide whether it makes sense to file a personal injury lawsuit against others whose negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful actions contributed to the causes of their injuries.
If a truck accident lawsuit is successful, the plaintiff may be entitled to significant damage awards from one or more responsible parties. These damages could include compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses. Depending upon the extent of the damage caused and the nature of a victim’s injuries, the personal injury award in any given catastrophic truck accident case could amount to millions of dollars.