Hundreds of thousands of commercial vehicle accidents happen every year on U.S. roadways. These may involve small delivery vans or massive 18-wheelers. Any accident can be devastating, but commercial vehicles often have a power and size advantage over most cars, SUVs, and motorcycles. This difference can result in massive injuries and financial harm for a victim involved in a commercial vehicle accident.
Your accident may involve:
- Hazardous materials trucks
- Commercial vans or delivery vehicles
- Commercial buses
- Any other commercial vehicle
The Dallas personal injury attorneys at Dunn|Sheehan LLP understand what a commercial vehicle accident can mean for you. We collaborate with our injured clients to achieve the best possible results in their cases. We know that you have suffered and may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Get in touch with us today to learn more.
6 Common Types of Commercial Vehicle Accidents and Their Causes
While there are many types of these accidents, these six reflect some of the most common reasons why commercial vehicle accidents occur.
1. Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions can cause devastating damage. These accidents occur when a commercial driver fails to stop in time and strikes your vehicle from behind. Rear-end accidents often happen because a driver fails to stop in time, causing serious accidents and injuries. The reasons a driver may be unable to stop in time include:
- Problems with the commercial vehicle's brakes
- Following too closely
- Traveling too fast for the weather conditions
- Fatigued drivers
- Failure to account for heavy traffic
- Improper maintenance of the commercial vehicle
Rear-end accidents often severe serious injuries. These commonly include whiplash and neck injuries because of the sudden impact associated with the rear-end collision.
Accidents to the rear of your vehicle are usually the other party's fault. In fact, many of these accidents violate Texas traffic laws and can be considered negligence per se. Negligence per se may make it easier for you and your attorney to win financial compensation for your rear-end accident injuries.
2. Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions are some of the most serious motor vehicle accidents that can happen. This is true of accidents with smaller vehicles but is especially devastating when it involves a commercial vehicle. The massive size and weight of many of these vehicles means that these particular accidents can cause catastrophic injuries.
Head-on collisions — also called front-end accidents — occur when two vehicles travelling in opposite directions impact one another directly. The combined force of the two vehicles hitting simultaneously creates a substantial and often deadly force. This type of accident can cause life-altering injuries or rob you of a beloved family member.
Head-on collisions typically share many of the same causes as rear-end accidents, but also include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting, watching videos, or talking on a cell phone
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Driving under the influence
Rollovers happen when a person's vehicle rolls over onto its side, back, or goes through multiple rotations. These accidents usually occur when a negligent driver strikes your vehicle, sending it tumbling. Rollover accidents commonly occur because your vehicle was hit by a much larger vehicle. They may also occur because you were hit by a side impact and your car was flipped. Or they could happen when you swerve to avoid colliding with a negligent driver who entered your right of way.
Whatever the cause of the accident, rollovers commonly result in serious injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), paralysis, and more. When this happens to you, a dedicated Dallas civil trial attorney is here to represent you after your commercial vehicle accident.
A jackknife accident is associated with semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. These large commercial trucks are composed of a cab and separate trailer. They can operate independently of one another, but this independent operation can create a dangerous situation called "jackknifing."
A jackknife accident occurs when the cab folds in on the trailer, much like a knife blade closing into itself. This kind of truck accident can cause the truck to take over multiple lanes of traffic, and the driver will lose all control of their vehicle.
Jackknife accidents are usually caused by:
- Driver negligence behind the wheel
- Taking turns or curvy roads too quickly
- Empty or unbalanced trailers
- Mechanical defects between the cab and trailer
- Sudden direction changes by the driver
Commercial vehicles are often very large. In many cases, they struggle to maintain their lane and can hit the side of your vehicle. Sideswiping happens when a commercial vehicle's side brushes against your vehicle's side. Sideswiping may be minor, causing only property damage to your car. It can also be extremely forceful and push you off the road or into other traffic.
Sideswiping is another common reason for rollover accidents, as the side impact may unbalance your vehicle and send it flying. These large vehicles can do substantial damage even when they barely hit your vehicle. Especially at high speeds, sideswipe accidents may cause you to lose control of your vehicle and crash. When you are hurt in a sideswiping collision, you deserve to seek compensation for your injuries.
A T-boning accident occurs when a commercial vehicle is heading in the direction of your vehicle and strikes it on the side. Unlike a sideswipe, this is a direct impact on your vehicle. The impact creates a "T" shape as the vehicle hits yours on the side, hence the name.
While cars offer some protection from the side, it is often not enough to prevent serious injuries to you and your passengers. These accidents are often the result of a commercial driver's negligence, and you may be owed substantial compensation through a commercial vehicle personal injury lawsuit.
Our Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers Are on Standby
Commercial vehicle accidents often involve many parties and complex legal issues. On top of this, you are dealing with high financial costs, painful injuries, or even grieving the death of a loved one. A commercial vehicle accident attorney knows how to help you in these difficult times.