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Truck Accident

Trucking accidents are collisions involving tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, big rigs, and other commercial vehicles that cause personal injury or property damage.

Commercial vehicles are often substantially larger than the car with which they collided, causing more serious damage to the other vehicle and its driver. Despite the fact that large vehicles are only responsible for a small fraction of highway accidents, their size increases the danger of injury or substantial damage

A truck collision might result in catastrophic injuries. Our firm knows the difficulties and financial constraints that a truck accident may cause, such as medical expenditures, missed wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and even fatal injuries.

If you have suffered a serious ordebilitating injury or have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence in a truck accident, contact our law firmtoday to schedule a free consultationto understand how we can fight for your legal rights.Our experienced Iowa truck accident attorneys in Des Moines, IA, are well-versed in personal injury law and can provide you with
the legal advice you need to have a successful case and gain fair compensation.

Why You Need a Truck Accident Attorney

It is vital to have an experienced lawyer on your side. A truck accident lawyer will be conversant with the rules governing truck accidents and will hold all responsibleparties liable.

In the aftermath of an accident, victims may be confused, terrified, and afraid. You have rights if you or a loved one has been
in a vehicleaccident involving a truck, large rig, or any other commercial vehicle, and help is available right away. After the collision, you’ll need an experienced and aggressive truck accident lawyer to fight for your rights.

Attorneys who have handled truck accident cases before can help plaintiffs recover economicand non-economicdamages for their serious injuries like broken bones, brain injuries, back and neck injuries. Following atruckaccident, you are entitled to more than just medical bills/medical expenses, especially when many parties are at blame, such as the truck manufactureror trucking company.

A truck accident lawyer may be able to prove that a violation of trucking laws, manufacturing difficulties, exhaustion, or trailer mismanagement caused the accident. Federal and state restrictions apply to large trucking companies, and an experienced truck accident lawyer will be knowledgeable with these regulations, allowing them to apply the law correctly and hold all responsible parties accountable.

Common Types of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are sometimes caused by other vehicles on the road rather than by the truck driver. The most common error made by car drivers involved in collisions with large trucks is a lack of knowledge of the truck’s speed, size, and stopping power.

The following are some instances of prevalent unsafe behaviors performed by drivers in the presence of large trucks that commonly result in truck accidents:

  • Driving in “No-Zones,” which are areas behind and beside a commercial truck where the driver’s eyesight is limited or non-existent, commonly referred to as a “blind-spot.”
  • Inadequately entering into traffic, which necessitates a truck’s quick maneuvering or braking.
  • Making a lane change in front of a truck without signaling and ensuringenough space.
  • Misjudging the speed of an approaching truck and turning left in front of it at an intersection.
  • Passing a truck on the right as it tries to make a right turn.
  • Passing a truck without taking into account the risk of being blown out of place by turbulence or crosswind.
  • Passing in a risky manner, especially when there is insufficient headway and the road is in poor condition.
  • When a truck begins to change lanes or combine lanes, it fails to slow down and instead accelerates.

Sometimes instances of truck accidents occur due to solely the fault of the truck driver. When a company is trying to employ drivers quickly, they can often forgo critical training, which leads to poor driving skills on the road and can cause motor vehicle accidents. Other companies will offer a higher reward or compensation for meeting specific deadlines and staying out on the road longer, which causes driver fatigue and excessive speeds and canlead to a higher rate of trucking accidents

Liability in a Truck Accident

A truck collision and the resulting damages are not necessarily the fault of the truck driver. Many parties may be held accountable in a truck accident lawsuit, and it is criticalto understand why each party may be included in the injury claim.

Commercial truck collisions differ from passenger car collisions in part because the truck driver involved is frequently employed by the trucking company. As the trucker’s employer, the trucking company/carriermay be held accountable for the actions of its drivers as well as the safety of the trucks it owns.

Other parties that can be held liable in a trucking accident (other than the driver and the carrier) include

  • Cargo loaders and shippers: Some carriers work for other companies as independent contractors, transporting their freight. Truck drivers will typically transport items that are sealed from the beginning to the end of the shipment process. Individual parties in such a transaction, such as the cargo originator, shipper, loader, and transporter, are each responsible for adhering to applicable federal regulations and Iowa state regulations and can be held liable if they are negligent. If a cargo shift or other cargo concerns creates a truck crash, all parties involved in the cargo, including the carrier, may be held legally liable for the accident.
  • Government entities and personnel: A local or state government in control of that portion of a truck route could be held accountable if a road hazard, such as inadequate shoulder space or damaged pavement, causes a truck crash.
  • Manufacturers: A trucking malfunction or one of its component pieces failing, such as tire blowouts, brake failures, or steering or coupling (kingpin) system issues, can cause a truck collision. This could be a maintenance issue, but if the malfunctioning item or system was defective from the start, the manufacturer and distributor could be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit for products liability.
  • Vendors: Outsourced work may be undertaken by a number of contractors, depending on the extent of a carrier’s operations. This category includes administrative tasks such as hiring drivers, conducting background checks, and administering alcohol and drug tests, as well as truck maintenance, repair, and dispatching jobs, and any other part of fleet operations. Several companies work with vendors to find cargo shipments for their trucks. A third-party seller may be held liable if their negligence contributes to a truck accident

During a truck accident case, it is imperative to understand which parties were involved in the trucking operation and how they can be held liable in the event of a motor vehicle collision. It is common for multiple parties to be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit after a truck accident.

Truck Accident Involving a Delivery Truck

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 2,675 total accidents involving a FEDEX truck in the United States during the most recent reporting period. There were 75 fatalities and 900 injuries reported from those collisions.

Date from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates that there were 2,821 total accidents involving a UPS vehicle in the United States during the most recent 24-month reporting period. There were 64 fatalities and 1,011 injuries in these accidents

Delivery companies like UPS and FedEx are hesitant to accept or admit wrongdoing. They try to avoid paying large sums of money on claims; thus, it is the victim’s responsibility to establish fault. Furthermore, an accident may include several parties, which means that there may be multiple options for receiving reimbursement for losses.

Employers are liable for their employees’ negligent behavior under Iowa law. UPS and FedEx employ their drivers directly (they are not independent contractors), so an accident is covered by the company’s insurance rather than the driver’s insurance.

The number one factor in selecting who to bring an injury claim against in a delivery truck accident is evaluating the cause and culpability (or even if there is a claim at all). This is why, as soon as possible after an accident, you should call an experienced truck accident lawyer to obtain legal advice. A lawyer can assist in gathering evidence and determining fault.

Top Six Types of Truck Accident in Iowa

Truck accidents can happen in a variety of ways. The causes and circumstances that contribute to a truck collision will be investigated under personal injury law in a lawsuit. However, this does not explain the specific type of accident that occurred, which is important and affects the amount of compensation that can be claimed for a truck accident claim.

The following are the six most common types of truck accidents in Iowa:

  • Head-On Accidents: a crash between two vehicles that are heading toward each other from opposite directions.
  • Jack-Knife Accidents: an accident that occurs when a trailer of a truck swings around and forces the cab/cabin to one side.
  • Rollover Accidents: a type of incident that involves one or multiple vehicles turningover on their side or back.
  • Spilled Cargo Accidents: this occurs when cargo may not be properly secured or the truck jostles too much and causes a spill.
  • T-Bone Accidents: a collision that happens when a front vehicle comes into impact with another vehicle from the side, creating a “t” shape.
  • Underride Accidents: this is more common than most people think, and it occurs when a smaller vehicle crashes into the side or back of a truck and gets pinned underneath the trailer.

After a truck collision, it is critical to check the entire scene and collect as much evidence as possible. The safety of all drivers and passengers is always a top priority. Photographs should be taken for proof after securing the situation and assuring everyone’s safety. Taking photos at the scene will help determine the type of accident it was and can help determine fault

Truck Accident Statistics Across the U.S. and Iowa

Thousands of people are killed each year in trucking and commercial vehicle incidents. In the most recently reported year, there were 5,237 semi-trucks and commercial vehicles involved in incidents that resulted in one or more fatalities, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA). In the same year, roughly 127,000 people were injured in crashes involving heavy trucks and commercial vehicles.

The majority of fatalities in semi-truck accidents are occupants in passenger vehicles. The main concern is the vulnerability of passengers in smaller vehicles. Trucks are often 20-30 times heavier than passenger cars and have higher ground clearance, allowing smaller vehicles to underride trucks in crashes.

Iowa is a mainly flat state and a common path for many trucks carrying goods across the United States. Due to this, Iowa has a higher rate of fatalities caused by semi-truck accidents. According to the NHTSA, Iowa is one of nine states that have a truck accident fatality rate of over 12%, with a fatality rate of 14.5%

Contact the Truck Accident Attorneys at Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling, PLLC

Trucking accidentscan occur in many different ways and involve various sizes and types of trucks. Additionally, most personal injury lawsuits for a truck accident will include more than one defendant—likely to be the driver and some other person or entity. For this reason,truck accident lawsuits can become complicated and involve long investigations into the facts

Trucking accidentscan occur in many different ways and involve various sizes and types of trucks. Additionally, most personal injury lawsuits for a truck accident will include more than one defendant—likely to be the driver and some other person or entity. For this reason,truck accident lawsuits can become complicated and involve long investigations into the facts

If you or your family members have been injured in a truck accident, you have the right to seek fair compensation for your injuries and damages, regardless of who you believe is atfault. The Des Moines personal injury attorneys at Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling, PLLC have the experience you need to develop a case against the responsible party or parties. Our attorneys are well-versed in personal injury law and can file a truck accident or wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf

Contact us today to discuss your case and obtain proper legal advice through a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. You can reach us onlineor by phone at (515) 444-4000. Our law firm is located in Des Moines, IA