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    Truck Accidents

    Throughout the United States, there are tens of millions of motor vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of these vehicles may be on the road at any one time. Trucks and other large vehicles make up only a fraction of the number of vehicles on the road. Trucks and other large vehicles, however, pose a significant danger to other vehicles on the road if the trucks and other large vehicles are not operated and matinees properly.

    According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2012, 3,802 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes across the United States. This marked a five percent increase from the previous year. What is more, large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles increased by 3 percent, from 0.137 in 2011 to 0.141 in 2012. In Tennessee, there were 108 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2012. In 2012, Tennessee had a higher rate of large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled compared to the national average. The rate of fatalities was .17 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

    Different Types of Truck Accidents

    Trucks and large vehicles pose unique threats on the road because of their size and structure. Trucks are particularly susceptible to certain types of accidents. In particular, common types of

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    accidents involving trucks include:

    • Tire blowouts;
    • Rollovers;
    • Jackknifing;
    • Overloaded trucks and trailers;
    • Lost loads;
    • T-bone;
    • Blind spot accidents; and
    • Rear- and front-end accidents.

    Common Causes of Truck Accidents

    Truck accidents are caused by many of the same factors that cause car and motorcycle accidents. Common causes of truck accidents include:

    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
    • Fatigue;
    • Driving too fast for conditions;
    • Distracted driving, including talking on cell phone or adjusting radio
    • Inclement weather conditions, including rain, snow, ice, and sleet;
    • Improperly maintaining truck, including tire and brake problems;
    • Illegal maneuvers , including failing to yield the right of way or improperly trying to pass another driver;
    • Following too closely to other vehicles;
    • Unfamiliarity with roadway; and
    • Improperly maintained roads.

    Establishing Liability in a Truck Accident

    The FMCSA has adopted numbers regulations that apply to certain commercial motor vehicles, e.g., vehicles designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers or vehicles above a certain weight. These regulations are designed to make the roads safer for all drivers and reduce the number of crashes. Despite all of these regulations, drivers of large trucks too often fail to abide by these regulations, which can result in truck accidents. If you are involved in an accident with a truck, you may be able to recover compensation against the truck driver and the truck driver’s employer. Generally, in order to establish liability and obtain compensation, an injured party must prove that:

    • The truck driver owed the injured party a duty of care to operate the truck safely;
    • The truck driver failed to use reasonable care in operating the truck, such as speeding or failing to pay attention to the road; and
    • The truck driver’s actions caused someone else to suffer injuries or property damage.

    If an injured party can establish that another truck driver acted negligently then the injured party may be able to recover compensation for one’s injuries. Example of recoverable damages include compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, and property damage.

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