Types of Truck Accidents

March 13, 2024 | Steve Fields
Types of Truck Accidents
Types of Truck Accidents

Common types of truck accidents include rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, T-bone accidents, and sideswipe collisions. Single-vehicle accidents can also occur, as can collisions with pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. There is another category that many truck accidents fall into, and that is collisions that result in severe injury and death.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of a truck accident, your mind and energy should be on recovery. You can hire a truck accident attorney in Minnetonka to deal with insurers and file a lawsuit if necessary.

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How Trucks Collide with Other Vehicles

No two truck accidents are identical. The speed, angle, and result of each collision affect:

  • The extent of property damage to the truck and other vehicles involved in the accident
  • How many victims suffer injuries
  • The types of injuries victims suffer
  • The severity of victims’ injuries 
  • The ultimate cost of the truck accident

Even though each accident is unique, we categorize truck accidents based on the manner in which two vehicles collide. Some common classes of truck accidents are:

Head-On Collision

Trucks Collide with Other Vehicles

Head-on accidents are the most dangerous collision type, and they are even more dangerous when a multi-thousand-pound truck is involved. When the front of one vehicle strikes the front of another, there is a realistic possibility of:

  • Oil leaks
  • Fires and explosions
  • Flying debris from the high-impact collision
  • Occupants being ejected from the vehicle 
  • Severe injuries
  • Loss of life

The force endured by victims during head-on collisions may cause long-term injuries and related expenses. An attorney will demand fair compensation for all accident-related damages you have suffered.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are a type of accident that can result from:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Distracted driving
  • Brake defects
  • Tire defects
  • Other hazards

Those involved in rear-end accidents may suffer whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and other ailments with harmful, costly symptoms.

Sideswipe Accident

A sideswipe accident happens when a vehicle scrapes another in a near parallel manner. Rather than ramming directly into another vehicle, a sideswipe accident involves a more glancing contact.

Sideswipe accidents can still cause severe injuries and extensive property damage, even if they are not statistically as dangerous as certain other accident types.

Side-Impact Accident

Also known as a T-bone accident, a side-impact collision occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes another in its side. These accidents can occur when:

  • A truck driver runs a red light or stop sign, striking another vehicle that is crossing an intersection
  • A truck driver pulls dangerously into oncoming traffic, causing another vehicle to strike the truck
  • Defective or insufficient traffic signals require motorists to make their own judgments about the right of way

A truck accident lawyer will establish liability for any side-impact accident that caused harm to you or a loved one.

Underride Accident

Underride accidents are unique to trucks. These collisions occur when a smaller vehicle ends up beneath a truck’s trailer.

Truck underride accidents likely happen more often than data suggests, and they can result from negligence by a truck driver.

Jackknife Accidents

A jackknife accident happens when a truck’s cab and trailer become out of alignment, often after the truck driver makes a dangerous maneuver. A jackknifing truck may slide in a manner that causes a collision with another vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist.

This is a brief list of the many types of truck accidents that occur daily. While your accident may fit into one of these categories, your collision also has unique details that your lawyer needs to learn about as soon as possible.

Let a Truck Accident Lawyer Document Your Truck Accident

Hiring a truck accident lawyer should be a priority after your collision. Among other responsibilities, your attorney and their team will:

Visit the Accident Scene if Time Permits

When clients hire them in time, attorneys visit accident scenes to:

  • Protect their client
  • Take photographs and videos of the arrangement of vehicles
  • Document damage to vehicles
  • Secure video footage from bystanders, traffic cameras, security cameras, and other sources

Even if time has passed since your accident, an attorney will build as strong a case as possible.

Secure All Relevant Evidence

Accident Scene

Your lawyer will obtain all relevant evidence, whether they can visit your accident scene or not. In addition to video footage and photographs, your attorney will seek:

  • Eyewitness accounts of the collision
  • The police report detailing your truck accident
  • Opinions from experts who can speak to fault for the collision
  • Any cellular records relevant to your case

Your attorney may have one or more experts reconstruct the accident. Your law firm will obtain any evidence that helps establish who is responsible for your accident-related damages.

Identify Who Caused the Accident 

As they complete your investigation, your attorney will determine who caused the collision. Depending on the broader liability picture, the at-fault party may or may not be financially responsible for your damages.

Provide All Documentation to Liable Parties

Your attorney will want insurance companies and other liable parties to agree on the following:

  • How the truck accident happened
  • Why the truck accident happened
  • Who caused the accident
  • Who should pay for your accident-related damages

Your attorney may provide expert opinions, video footage, and other evidence to liable parties. Doing so may help convince liable parties to pay you fairly.

More Services Your Truck Accident Lawyer Will Perform for You

A lawyer’s role will not stop at documenting your accident. They will seek to secure a fair financial recovery for you, which may require them to:

Your attorney will want you to be solely focused on your health. They also want to protect you from insurance companies and other liable parties. By handling all case-related communications, your lawyer will achieve both aims.

Your lawyer will keep a running record of your accident-related damages as they build your claim or lawsuit. Proof of your damages may include:

  • Mental health experts testimony about symptoms of your pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • X-rays, CT scans, and other images of accident-related injuries
  • Doctors’ written records detailing your injuries
  • Evidence of lost income since the accident
  • Invoices for vehicle repairs

Every truck accident victim has unique losses that their lawyer must document. Your attorney will take advantage of all sources of proof showing the cost of your collision.

Arrive at a Settlement Target

Your lawyer and their experts will establish how much compensation you deserve. This figure will be the benchmark for settlement negotiations with liable parties, including insurance companies.

Negotiate on Your Behalf

After calculating a fair settlement target, your lawyer will enter negotiations. They will present all relevant evidence and information to liable parties and then demand the compensation you are entitled to.

Complete Pre-Trial Proceedings

If you and your lawyer decide to file a lawsuit, and settlement negotiations still do not produce an acceptable agreement; trial may be the next step. Before the trial begins, your attorney may:

  • Engage in a final attempt to negotiate a settlement with liable parties
  • Complete discovery, during which both parties exchange certain trial-related materials
  • Guide you through a deposition 
  • File any necessary objections or motions
  • Finalize the case for trial

Victims who hire truck accident lawyers should understand that a trial is a realistic possibility.

Complete a Trial 

If your attorney does not negotiate a deal during the pre-trial process, they will argue your case in front of a jury. They will present all relevant testimony, evidence, and information, and ask the jury to arrive at a fair decision.

Damages in Truck Accident Cases

Damages in Truck Accident

Damages are the centerpiece of every truck accident case, as they dictate how much the plaintiff is entitled to. Your attorney will create a detailed record of all your accident-related damages, which may include:

  • Healthcare expenses: Truck accident attorneys always consider the medical cost of clients’ injuries. These costs may grow larger if you spend a significant period in the hospital, need several doctors’ appointments, need surgery, or face long-term symptoms. 
  • Pain and suffering: Symptoms of pain and suffering after a truck accident can include physical pain, psychological distress, emotional anguish, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep problems, lost quality of life, and scarring and disfigurement. 
  • Professional damages: Lost income, diminished earning power, lost bonus and promotion opportunities, and lost benefits are among the professional damages a truck accident victim may suffer.
  • Property expenses: The property-specific cost of a truck accident may include repairing a vehicle, replacing a vehicle, and replacing damaged items (like clothing and phones) from the accident.
  • Other treatment costs: If you need rehabilitation services, mental health services, or any other care in addition to medical attention, your attorney will account for such treatment expenses. 

Truck accident lawyers also represent clients who lose loved ones because of truck accidents. These heartbreaking cases often involve:

  • Funeral and burial or cremation expenses
  • Any pain and suffering the decedent may have endured before passing away
  • Survivors’ pain and suffering, including grief
  • Grief counseling and other treatment for survivors
  • Loss of the decedent’s non-economic value (known as loss of consortium)
  • Loss of the decedent’s income and household contributions

Whether you are recovering from injuries, facing a lifelong disability, or coping with a loved one’s loss, a truck accident lawyer will work to secure fair compensation for your circumstances.

Top Reasons to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney 

There is a long list of reasons to hire a truck accident lawyer for your claim, which include:

  • Your claim may become a lawsuit: While your case may start with an insurance claim, you may need to sue a trucking company or other liable parties. You may be unfamiliar with filing or completing lawsuits, but a lawyer will not be.
  • An attorney lends valuable experience to your case: If one word summarizes why you should hire a truck accident lawyer, it is “experience.” Attorneys understand the paths they can take to financial recovery, and know the challenges that can arise during a truck accident case.
  • The law firm will pay case-related costs: Your attorney and their team will cover every case-related cost. This will ensure you don’t face added financial stress after being in an accident that is undoubtedly stressful. 
  • The law firm ties its fee to your case’s success: Not only does a truck accident lawyer require no upfront payment from you, but they will only receive a fee if you receive a settlement or verdict. This arrangement ensures the law firm will fight hard for the client’s financial recovery.
  • Your health requires your full attention: You may simply be unfit to handle your own case. Between psychological stress, emotional deficits, and physical injuries, handling a claim can be out of the question. Fortunately, you can find a capable truck accident lawyer to represent you.

You may hire a lawyer for several of these reasons, or you may have additional reasons to work with a truck accident attorney. You need to ask for help when pursuing something as important as a financial settlement.

Truck Accident Cases Are More Complicated Than Most

While any victim of negligence may benefit from hiring an attorney, truck accident victims face a particularly tall task because:

Trucking Is a Highly Regulated Industry

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other federal bodies regulate the trucking industry. An experienced lawyer can recognize any regulatory violations that contributed to your accident.

Trucks Are Complex Vehicles with Many Possible Defects

Understanding the many components in a truck can be critical to your case’s success. An attorney will work with trucking industry experts to investigate your accident and identify the cause of the collision.

Trucking Companies Often Withhold Important Evidence

Your attorney may need to take legal measures to secure fair compensation from liable parties. They will act quickly to do so.

Hire Your Truck Accident Lawyer Without Delay

There are filing deadlines for truck accident cases, so conduct your research and hire your truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Seeking your free consultation puts you on the path to financial recovery and a more secure future, so start today. You have nothing to lose.

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Steve Fields

Founder | CEO | Principal | Attorney

Steve Fields founded Fields Law in 2001 and quickly established a reputation with his Personal Injury clients for being a lawyer who truly cares. After more than 20 years, those clients continue to refer their friends and family whenever they have been injured or become disabled.

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