Compared with a car crash, a collision involving a large truck is much more complex due to an assortment of factors. They range from responsibility for the collision — because so many candidates may be to blame — to the assortment of laws that govern the trucking industry.
But the most important thing is the much more serious, life-changing and, sometimes, fatal injuries that confront victims – a vast majority of whom were non-occupants of the large trucks. Of the nearly 5,000 people who died in U.S. crashes involving large trucks in 2020, a total of 71% were occupants of other vehicles and 13% were pedestrians and bicyclists, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Many injuries, many parties to blame
Here are some of reasons that large truck crashes prove to be complicated:
- The abundance of injuries and damages: Weighing several tons, a large truck can wreak havoc in a road collision, injuring and killing people and causing untold damage to vehicles, the roadway and surrounding area. The life-changing injuries may include paralysis, concussions and the loss of limbs.
- The greater number of vehicles involved: Incidents in which a large truck overturns or smashes into the rear of a car can cause a chain reaction of events, leading to a number of vehicles affected by the crash. Several cars mean several injured people. Such situations may prove challenging for investigators attempting to determine fault.
- Negligence may spread to an assortment of players: Whose caused the crash? The list is long and may include the truck driver, the trucking company, vehicle manufacturer, the maintenance company as well as the company that loaded the freight.
- The lengthy list of laws governing the trucking industry: Many regulations exist regarding loading of the truck, the length of time a person may drive, the driver’s qualifications and laws related to maintenance and vehicle inspections.
Such factors contribute to the complications related to large truck crashes, which killed 178 people on Illinois roads in 2020, according to the NHTSA. Illinois recorded the fifth-most large truck-related fatalities after Texas (643), California (398), Florida (344) and Georgia (234).
Find a good legal advocate
Layers of complexities surface in large truck crashes. Investigations may be time-consuming and so can a victim’s recovery from injuries. Keeping these factors in mind, it is a good idea to contact a legal advocate, prepared to guide you at every step.