Safety features in passenger cars have been getting steadily better over the years, and inventions such as airbags have saved countless lives. However, there’s only so much an airbag or a seatbelt can do when a car collides with a much larger and heavier vehicle. That is why trucking accidents are so dangerous. A collision that might have led to minor injuries if it were between two cars can easily lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries if one of the vehicles involved is a tractor-trailer truck or a large bus.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in accidents in 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That number represented a 9% increase over the year before. The number of these crashes that was fatal rose by 8%.
Because truck accidents lead to such serious injuries, the damages suffered by victims and their families can be extreme. They suffer enormous medical costs, and may suffer permanent loss of income.
As with other cases in personal injury law, if a truck driver caused the accident through negligence, the victims and their family can seek compensation for their damages. However, trucking accident cases can be more legally complicated than other motor vehicle accident cases.
While a negligent truck driver can be held liable for damages, other parties may be held liable as well. Depending on the circumstances, the victims and their family may also seek compensation from the truck driver’s employer, a company that owned and maintained the truck, or other parties as well.
These cases are difficult in many ways, but they can be important ways to hold negligent parties accountable, to promote greater safety on our roads, and to help victims and their families cope with the long aftermath of a terrible accident. A lawyer with experience in trucking accidents can help advise families on their options.