The percentage of accidents caused by semi-trucks can be difficult to determine because multiple factors may cause accidents. Accidents involving semi-trucks have varying causal factors unrelated to the vehicle type, such as driver inexperience, road conditions, and driver error.
Semi-truck accidents may also be caused by the truck driver’s negligence if they engage in risky driving behaviors, such as speeding or driving while drowsy. The actions of other road users, vehicle design, the time of day, and many other factors may also cause or contribute to a truck accident.
That being said, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiles comprehensive crash data for vehicles of all types in the United States every year. According to the NHTSA’s 2018 report on vehicles involved in crashes:
- 4.4 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involved large trucks
- Of those accidents, 9.4 percent led to fatalities, and 3.2 percent led to injuries
- 4.9 percent of accidents involving large trucks only led to property damage
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), single truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer accounted for 55 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal accidents in 2018.
However, what might be more important than discussing the percentage of accidents caused by semi-trucks is understanding:
- The causes of truck accidents
- Fault and liability in truck accidents
- Evidence and insurance requirements for truck accidents
- How to quantify damages and file a claim for compensation
We discuss these important aspects below.
Several Causal Factors Might Lead to Semi-Truck Accidents
Common causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Drinking and driving
- Texting and driving
- Driving while drowsy
- Driver exhaustion
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Road damage
- Poor visibility
- Traffic control device issues
- Vehicle malfunctions
- Poor servicing or maintenance
- Blindspot issues
- Driver inexperience
- Unfamiliarity with the road
Semi-Truck Accident Injuries
Accidents involving large trucks often lead to catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Crushed, fractured, or broken bones
- Head, neck, brain, and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Eye, ear, or dental injuries
- Cuts, abrasions, or scarring
- Disfigurement or amputations
Maryland is an at-fault state. You may be able to file a claim or lawsuit for damages after a truck accident. If you suffered one or more of the injuries listed above, you may be able to get compensated for medical treatment costs and other damages related to your injuries.
For legal consultation, call (410)777-8960
You Must Determine Fault and Liability When Pursuing Compensation for a Semi-Truck Accident
Determining fault and liability for a truck accident may require you to prove that:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care
- The at-fault party somehow breached the duty of care
- The at-fault party’s breach of the duty of care led to an accident
- You suffered damages in the accident
In general, anyone driving on the road owes other road users a duty of care. If you can show that someone made dangerous driving errors or was guilty of some other form of negligence that led to an accident, you may be able to hold those parties liable for the accident. Being able to prove the other driver’s negligence may require you to gather evidence and understand the insurance policies related to your case.
A Lawyer Can Help You Gather Evidence and Understand the Relevant Insurance Policies
Evidence that can be used to support your claims for compensation in a semi-truck accident case include:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Vehicle tracking/GPS data
- Driver cell phone usage data
- Driver medication usage history
- Truck maintenance logs
- The truck driver’s driving history records
According to the Maryland Insurance Administration, vehicles are required to have:
- $30,000 in coverage for bodily injury per person
- $60,000 in coverage for bodily injury per accident
- $15,000 in property damage liability
You may seek compensation for damages based on these amounts. If the at-fault driver carries policies with higher limits, you might be able to pursue compensation beyond these insurance requirements. Some drivers also carry comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, which can be used to cover some of your accident-related costs and losses. You may also be able to pursue compensation through your personal health insurance policy, which may cover certain medical treatments.
The Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow Can Help You with Your Semi-Truck Accident Case
The percentage of accidents caused by semi-trucks might be lower than passenger vehicles. Large trucks were only involved in 4.4 percent of motor vehicle accidents, as reported by the NHTSA. For comparison, passenger vehicles were involved in 55.3 percent of all motor vehicle accidents.
Still, even if large truck accidents are rare, they are deadly. A fatality or a single long-term injury from a semi-truck accident can completely turn a person’s life around. A truck accident victim may require months or years of medical treatment and rehabilitation, and they might not be able to earn as much as they did before their accident.
Contact the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow today at (410) 777-8960 for legal assistance with your case. We can help you learn more about personal injury law, the kinds of evidence needed for filing a claim, and the timelines within which you must apply for compensation.