The magnified dangers of a commercial vehicle accident

Few people who have survived an accident involving a tractor-trailer can forget the horror of the moment. Commercial vehicle accidents are known to shut down major highways for hours and leave families stunned and grieving.

If you are among those who are struggling to recover following a harrowing interaction with a big rig, you are not alone. Increasing traffic, faster speeds and more distractions affect operators of trucks just as they do other drivers. However, the driver may not be the only person upon whom you can pin liability for your accident and the suffering it caused.

Terror on the highways

Automobile accidents can be tragic, and there are many examples of this fact. However, the sight of a behemoth 18-wheeler barreling up behind you on an Illinois highway is never comforting. Your mind may go a thousand places as you try to figure out the best way to avoid a terrible collision.

Some reasons why trucking accidents can be far more devastating than an accident involving two personal-use vehicles include the following:

  • A commercial vehicle may weigh 25 times the weight of your family vehicle.
  • A truck often requires far more road to come to a sudden stop.
  • A jackknifed tractor-trailer can result in much more damage to more travelers than a smaller vehicle that loses control.
  • Drivers of big rigs often cross into the opposite lane when making right turns.
  • Blind spots in a commercial vehicle are considerably larger than in personal-use vehicles.

Commercial vehicles may also carry cargo that is hazardous, flammable or otherwise dangerous to other drivers in the event of an accident. The way the freight is packed may create an unbalanced load that prevents the driver from controlling the rig, especially if the road or weather conditions are adverse.

Who is to blame?

It is not always easy to determine who is most liable for the damages and injuries you and your loved ones suffer in an accident with a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle. While it may be easy to blame the driver, there are often other players and factors involved that contribute to the circumstances leading up to the accident. Trucking companies, mechanics, driver contractors, shippers and employers may have a share in the blame.

Since each entity carries its own insurance, you may find it necessary to include as many as possible in any claim for compensation. That compensation may include coverage of all medical bills related to the accident, lost time from work, funeral costs for loved ones who were fatally injured and recompense for the emotional distress the accident caused you.

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