Kanawha County is strategically positioned in West Virginia around the confluence of three interstates. As a gateway to all four points of the compass, the area receives its fair share of commercial truck traffic. While truck drivers are generally well trained and must adhere to strict regulations, accidents involving passenger vehicles and large trucks do happen all too frequently.
Accidents in which the truck operator was found to be at fault usually involve one of the following factors:
- Distracted driving
- Unsafe vehicle
- Excessive speed
- Driver negligence
These are fairly common reasons for any type of driver to cause an accident, but because of the large size of most commercial trucks, the results are often catastrophic.
Fatality facts and figures for large truck accidents
In 2015, 3,852 people died in all types of large truck crashes across the United States. Of those victims, 84 percent were either in a passenger vehicle, on a bike or motorcycle, or on foot. Only 16 percent of the fatalities were truck drivers.
Typically, when a truck collides with a passenger vehicle, it is the latter and its occupants who suffer the most. Looking at crashes solely involving a large truck and at least one passenger vehicle, 97 percent of fatalities in 2015 occurred in the smaller vehicles. Alarmingly, the number of people killed in truck accidents has increased by 22 percent since 2009. In fact, 11 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred in large truck crashes last year.
Other risks associated with large truck accidents
Of course, not all accidents result in fatalities. In some cases, people are fortunate enough to walk away physically unscathed. Other times, injuries may be sustained, with some being extremely serious ones. Possible long-term injuries sustainable in a truck accident include, but are not limited to:
- Concussions and brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Damaged organs
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
All of the above conditions could require extended hospital stays and ongoing treatments. Costs like these may not always or fully be covered by insurance.
Legal and insurance aftermath of a truck accident
All truck operators and their employers carry insurance, and most large carriers retain lawyers. After an accident with a commercial truck, it may be difficult for a private citizen to receive fair compensation, especially if he or she is trying to focus on getting better.
It may be better to allow an experienced professional represent you after suffering an injury in a crash with a large truck. An attorney with years of experience dealing with insurance companies and corporations may be able to secure the monetary compensation you need to put your life back on track.