Traffic crashes involving large trucks cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths each year in the United States. On average in 2016, roughly 12 people per day were killed in large truck accidents nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80 percent of the large trucks that were involved in fatal traffic accidents were heavy large trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 26,000 pounds. With a vehicle this large and this heavy, it is no surprise that most of the victims of large truck accidents are individuals other than the truck driver.
The Ken Nunn Law Office represents truck accident victims and their families. We fight the trucking industry and insurance companies for just and fair compensation for accident victims. Call 1-800-CALL-KEN for your free consultation with an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer.
2016 Large Truck Accident Statistics
Sadly, fatalities in large truck accidents rose by 5.4 percent in 2016. Nationwide that year, 4,317 people lost their lives in traffic accidents involving large trucks. The people killed in truck accidents during 2016 were largely occupants of other vehicles or non-occupants. Seventy-two percent (72%) of the deaths were drivers and passengers of other vehicles. Eleven percent (11%) of the deaths were nonoccupants, such as bicyclists or pedestrians. From 2015 to 2016, the number of occupants of other vehicles killed rose by four percent (4%) and the deaths of nonoccupants killed rose by thirteen percent (13%).
Likewise, injuries in truck accidents rose four percent (4%) from 2014 to 2015. In 2015, approximately 116,000 people were injured in large truck accidents compared to 111,000 people in 2014. Just as we saw in fatal truck accidents, the majority of individuals injured in large truck accidents were drivers and passengers of other vehicles. Seventy-three (73%) of the injuries were people in other vehicles, and four percent (4%) were nonoccupants.
With so many people being injured and killed in traffic accidents involving large trucks, it is important to understand why crashes occur and what to do if you are injured in a large truck crash.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are avoidable factors, including driver error. The behaviors and choices of truck drivers are often a contributing factor in these types of accidents. Common causes of truck crashes include:
- Texting while driving and using cell phones while driving
- Other distractions while driving, including eating, reading, and watching videos
- Driving more than the legal number of safe driving hours, resulting in fatigued driving and drowsy driving
- Speeding, reckless driving, following too closely, and other traffic infractions
- Failing to check blind spots
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Inexperienced and inadequately trained truck drivers
Truck drivers are not the only cause of commercial truck accidents. Trucking companies that fail to maintain their trucks, hire and train competent drivers, and push drivers to exceed safe driving limits can also be liable for crashes involving trucks. In addition, the companies that load trucks, trucks and parts manufacturers, government entities, mechanics, and repair shops could also be liable in a truck crash.
Proving Liability in Truck Accident Cases
Crashes involving large trucks must be treated differently from crashes involving passenger vehicles only. Commercial trucks are subject to federal laws; therefore, an understanding of the laws and regulations governing the trucking industry is required to investigate a truck accident case properly.
Timing is another requirement. Investigations must be initiated quickly because the truck company could destroy evidence, such as the key evidence on the truck’s black box. In addition, industry experts may be required to investigate the cause of the crash to prove the driver or another party was responsible for causing the crash.
Therefore, you need an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer who has experience handling these complex traffic accident cases. Our attorneys are prepared to act quickly once we are retained to identify the responsible parties and secure key evidence to prove liability. Furthermore, we aggressively pursue large trucking companies and their insurance providers. We are determined to fight for our clients’ rights to recover full compensation for all damages.
Call an Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer for Help
The Ken Nunn Law Office is fully equipped to handle complex truck accident claims. You may contact our office 24/7 through Live Chat or by calling 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536 for a free legal consultation. We are here to help you. You do not need to fight the truck company and insurance company alone.