Truck Accidents In The US

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In the United States alone, thousands and thousands of people are injured in truck accidents each year, with many truck accidents resulting in fatalities. The federal government has passed several trucking laws and regulations, in a bid to reduce the instances of truck accidents in the U.S., but despite this there are an alarming number of truck accidents in the U.S. every year.

In 2004, according to the statistics released by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), there were over 4,000 deaths caused by truck accidents, with the number of injuries being significantly higher. Truck accidents represent a considerable percentage of traffic accidents in the United States.

Commercial trucks have numerous applications and are used by a majority of businesses and commercial establishments in the United States, not to mention being used by the U.S. government and emergency services as well.

Commercial truck accidents can be particularly dangerous, and even deadly, since often trucks carry freight which is hazardous or flammable. This increases the risk of secondary injuries due to burns or respiratory injuries for those involved in the truck accident, in addition to any injuries that may occur as a result of the accident itself.

Legal Aspects of Truck Accidents in the U.S.

A number of trucking laws have been passed in order to regulate the operations of trucks and trucking companies, in an attempt to ensure the safety of the truck drivers, other drivers and pedestrians. If anyone has been injured in a truck accident, then they may have a right to receive compensation for their injuries. The United States law is designed to protect victims of truck accidents in various ways.

Personal Injury Claims

If you have been in a vehicular accident involving a commercial truck, and have suffered injuries due to the truck accident, then you may have a legal claim to damages and personal injury compensation.

The primary legal theory of liability in commercial truck accident cases is "negligence." In order to have an actionable claim against a defendant, the plaintiff must prove that this defendant was negligent that they failed in their duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, and the plaintiff's injuries were a result of that failure.

If you can prove negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company, and can prove that they failed to provide a reasonable degree of care and caution, then you can hold those parties responsible for your injuries, and possibly recover damages.

If the truck driver's negligence or responsibility in the truck accident can be proved, you can file a legal claim against the truck driver as well as against the trucking company. Depending on your individual situation, you may be entitled to recover damages for personal injury, or worker's compensation.

Exceptions to the Negligence Rule

In certain situations regarding truck accidents, it can become difficult to prove negligence and fault of the truck driver. Some special considerations regarding truck accidents in the United States are:

Truck Accidents While Turning: Due to the considerable length and size of commercial trucks, they can be very difficult to turn. To be able to make a turn properly and not hit any parked vehicle or go on the sidewalk, commercial trucks generally require using two traffic lanes to make turns. Driving a commercial truck in the above mentioned way may be enough to prove a truck driver's fault, but may not be a cut-and-dried case of negligence, according to U.S. courts.

Jackknifing: Sudden turning or abrupt braking can cause commercial trucks to jackknife because of their size and dynamics. As per U.S. courts, just the fact that a commercial truck has jackknifed is not sufficient evidence of driver negligence. If the roads were very slippery, or if the driver braked or swerved suddenly to avoid hitting another vehicle or pedestrian, then the jackknifing could be ascertained to be unavoidable and non-negligent on the driver's part.

In the United States, there are time limits after any truck accident, within which an injured person has to file for any legal claims. To avoid such statutes of limitations from running out, consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you have been involved in any truck accident and have suffered any injuries due to it.


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