Injuries in Truck Accidents
Reno Truck Accident Injury Attorney
Large truck accidents, which include traffic collisions involving trucks with gross vehicle weights of 10,000 pounds or more, have the potential to cause serious injuries. The people at the highest risk of sustaining these injuries are not the drivers of the trucks but occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. When a typical passenger car, light truck or SUV is pitted against a semi-truck, tractor-trailer or tanker truck, the smaller vehicle is likely to sustain far more damage than the larger vehicle. This principle applies in pedestrian and bicycle accidents involving large trucks as well, with far more catastrophic consequences.
The high potential for injury or loss of life makes truck accidents some of the most destructive traffic collisions on America's roads. Recovering maximum financial compensation is crucial if you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a commercial truck. The financial losses, physical injuries and emotional trauma you have experienced will take a toll. Seeking justice and recovering compensation can help you rebuild. At Shook & Stone, we offer experienced legal representation to truck accident victims in Reno, Carson City and the surrounding areas in Nevada. If you were injured, call today for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
Why Large Trucks Pose a Serious Risk of Injury to Others
In analyzing truck accident statistics, it is apparent that truck drivers are at the lowest risk of injury. This may be attributed to a number of factors, but primarily the extreme disparity in size and weight between a large truck and smaller vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Truck occupants accounted for 17% of all fatalities in truck accidents in the U.S. in 2011. This number includes both single vehicle and multi-vehicle truck accidents. Truck occupants accounted for 26% of injuries in these collisions.
- Occupants of other vehicles accounted for 72% of fatalities and 72% of injuries.
- Non-occupants (pedestrians and bicyclists, etc.) accounted for 11% of fatalities and 2% of injuries.
These statistics paint a slightly different picture when you consider multi-vehicle truck accidents alone, excluding single-vehicle accidents:
- In multi-vehicle truck accidents in 2011, truck occupants accounted for 6.9% of fatalities and 18.5% of injuries.
- Occupants of other vehicles accounted for 80.3% of fatalities and 79% of injuries.
- Non-occupants accounted for 12.7% of fatalities and 2.5% of injuries.
A fully-loaded tractor-trailer or semi-truck may weigh up to 80,000 pounds – or possibly more with a special permit. These vehicles are also far larger than the automobiles with which they share the road. When large trucks are involved in collisions with smaller vehicles, they can cause substantial damage and sustain little damage themselves. The occupants of smaller vehicles are therefore at an increased risk of injury or death, while truck drivers are less likely to be injured or killed.
The type and severity of injuries sustained in a truck accident will vary widely from collision to collision, but the following are possible injuries a victim may experience:
- Spinal cord injury
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Amputation/loss of limb
- Facial and dental injuries
- Traumatic head injury
Hazardous Cargo and Truck Accident Injuries
Another issue that is exclusive to truck accidents pertains to the cargo they are carrying. If a truck is carrying hazardous cargo or objects that are very large and heavy, any victims involved in a collision with the truck may be injured by these. Trucks carrying gasoline, chemicals or gasses could explode and start fires. Trucks carrying lumber, construction equipment or other heavy items could literally crush smaller vehicles and their occupants. The type of cargo a truck is carrying could influence what injuries a victim experiences.
You can learn more about truck accidents and your rights as a victim of such a collision by contacting a Reno truck accident lawyer at our firm. Call today for your free case review and find out how we can help you.