The FMCSA reports that 4,186 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2013, increasing two percent from the published statistics in 2012. No data has been published explaining why the increase in fatal truck crashes has occurred. However, several different factors can contribute to the increasing numbers, including the fact that truckers are becoming a flourishing group of motorists on the highways of Indiana as the years develop.
When a truck crash occurs, damages to a passenger vehicle and injuries to the driver in the passenger vehicle tend to be more serious than a regular accident, because trucks are taller, have greater ground clearance, and weigh 20 to 30 times more than most vehicles, packing more of a punch on vulnerable smaller passenger cars when a collision happens. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most of the fatalities that occur in large truck crashes are the occupants of the passenger vehicles.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
The IIHS states that a large percentage of trucking crashes are caused by many of the same issues that passenger car accidents are caused by. In some cases, the driver of the passenger car is at fault, while other times, the driver of the commercial truck is at fault. The common causes of commercial truck accidents include:
- Driving while impaired;
- Fatigued driving;
- Improper lane changes; and
- Reckless driving.
After a Truck Accident
When accidents occur with commercial trucks, you can expect to deal with more complex insurance claims, due to the fact that the vehicle is commercially owned. This means that you may need to deal with various companies, insurance agencies, and even government agencies, depending on who the truck is registered to. Whether you are pursuing a property damage, personal injury, or wrongful death claim, all licensing and regulatory agencies involved with the truck will play a role in the claim process.
Filing a claim and following through on it when there are many different people to contend with can become confusing, especially if you are dealing with a wrecked car and injuries or handling the death of a loved one who was killed in the truck accident. You are already emotionally involved in the situation, and emotions can get in the way of following through on lengthy forms and may even cause you to say the wrong thing when talking to an insurance adjuster. After all, it is an adjuster’s job to pay out only the least amount possible on claims and to make it hard on injured parties to get the compensation they truly deserve.
When injuries are serious or a death has occurred in a truck accident, it is vital to consult with an Indianapolis truck accident attorney, who knows how to finagle the commercial claims system. Having a lawyer on your side is a relief for everyone burdened with the circumstances after a truck accident and allows the injured parties to focus on healing while the compensation they deserve is being recovered by their attorney. Contact the truck accident team at Rowe & Hamilton today for a free case consultation.