Steven A. Bagen | August 3, 2023 | Truck Accidents
Sharing the road with large commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks, requires an awareness and understanding of how these vehicles operate compared to smaller passenger cars.
A truck making a wide right turn can cause a collision because truck drivers sometimes need to swing into the left lane to execute the turn safely, presenting an unexpected hazard to other road users.
Post-accident scenarios are complex and demand an intricate knowledge of the laws related to trucking. That’s why a truck accident lawyer with experience in wide right-turn truck accidents helps you after such an incident.
What Are Wide Right-Turn Truck Accidents?
Wide right-turn truck accidents occur due to the unique driving patterns of large vehicles, such as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other commercial trucks. These vehicles have different operational requirements than your standard passenger car due to their size and length.
While many truck drivers drive safely on highways and roadways, accidents happen, and sometimes, drivers aren’t as aware as they should be. This can create unsafe conditions for other drivers and even cause life-threatening accidents.
A truck driver may need to swing wide or momentarily veer into the left lane to safely navigate a right turn without hopping the curb or colliding. This can create dangerous conditions for unsuspecting motorists while the truck occupies multiple lanes of traffic, confusing other drivers. This often catches road users off-guard or leaves them in a truck’s blind spot, leading to potential accidents.
How Do Wide Right-Turn Truck Accidents Occur?
These accidents primarily occur due to large trucks’ significant blind spots or a passenger vehicle attempting to pass on the right just as the truck is about to turn.
Wide right-turn truck accidents commonly occur when drivers fail to check their blind spots properly. They may also inaccurately judge the space needed to execute the turn safely or miscommunicate their turning intentions to other drivers. The fault may also lie with another driver who tries to pass the truck on the right as it begins its right turn. External factors, such as poor weather conditions or mechanical issues with the truck, can also contribute to accidents.
Federal and State Laws Governing Truck Operations
Understanding the legal framework governing truck operations is beneficial following a wide right-turn truck accident. Both federal and state laws regulate commercial trucking. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for example, sets national standards for operation, maintenance, and service hours.
State laws might govern truck size and weight limits, cargo types, and travel routes. Compliance with these laws is crucial to prevent accidents and ensure safe road use. Violations may carry significant weight when determining fault and liability in an accident.
The Anatomy of a Commercial Truck
Commercial trucks are larger and more complex than regular passenger vehicles. They have several components absent in smaller cars, including additional axles and a trailer for carrying heavy cargo.
One aspect of truck anatomy essential to understanding wide right-turn accidents is the issue of blind spots. Due to their size and shape, commercial trucks have extensive blind spots or no-zones—areas around the truck where the driver has limited or no visibility. These blind spots, particularly those on the right side, create a higher risk of severe accidents if the driver does not correctly consider them during maneuvers like wide right turns.
The Impact of Truck Accidents on Victims
Wide right-turn truck accidents can have profound physical, emotional, and financial implications for victims. Physical injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to serious, life-altering conditions, such as spinal cord injuries or brain damage.
Many victims experience devastating emotional impacts like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression. Financially, you may face high medical costs, lost earnings from time off work, and the potential cost of long-term care or therapy. The cumulative impact of these factors underlines the importance of securing proper compensation.
Legal Implications of Wide Right-Turn Truck Accidents
The many laws and regulations governing the operation of commercial trucks will determine liability for a wide right turn accident. An experienced truck accident lawyer understands these legalities.
The initial step is to determine fault who is legally responsible for the accident. You might hold the truck driver entirely at fault, or the truck driver and other involved parties may share responsibility. Determining fault requires a detailed understanding of federal and state regulations, trucking company policies, and the specifics of the incident. The consequences can range from penalties for the truck driver or trucking company to compensation for the accident victims.
Insurance Companies and Truck Accidents
Insurance companies play a vital role after truck accidents. They are generally responsible for compensating accident victims. They want to minimize payouts to preserve their bottom line.
They may dispute liability, downplay injuries, or offer quick, inadequate settlements. Knowing who to trust and who has your best interests in mind can be difficult.
Getting the information you need from the insurance company can also take a long time. Your particular case is never top of mind with any one person at the insurance company, so you can expect to spend hours on the phone or in appointments when you tackle this process yourself.
A truck accident lawyer can counter these tactics, ensuring you receive fair compensation.
What Is My Wide Right-Turn Truck Accident Worth?
The value of your wide right-turn truck accident claim depends on the specifics of your case. Some relevant factors include the severity of your injuries, your ability to work, and your long-term medical needs. A truck accident lawyer can evaluate the evidence, estimate the value of your claim, and accurately estimate your potential compensation.
Compensation is typically available for economic and non-economic damages, such as medical bills, lost earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Damages can also cover any long-term medical costs stemming from the accident. Calculating an appropriate value for your claim is complex, and an experienced professional should handle this task.
The Time Limit for Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
After a truck accident, be aware of the legal timeframe within which you must file a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations. This period varies by state but typically ranges from one to three years. If you fail to file within this period, you can lose your right to seek compensation. For this reason, it is important to act promptly and engage a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
The Process of a Truck Accident Lawsuit
A truck accident lawsuit generally involves several stages, starting with a thorough investigation of the accident. This includes collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and hiring experts for accident reconstruction or medical analysis. Once your lawyer has gathered the evidence, they can establish liability and calculate suitable damages.
Negotiations with the insurance company or at-fault party subsequently begin. If the parties cannot agree on a fair settlement, your case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury makes a final determination. Throughout this process, your lawyer will be your advocate, upholding your rights and ensuring you receive fair compensation.
A Lawyer Can Investigate Your Wide Right Turn Truck Accident
From conducting thorough investigations to understanding the intricacies of trucking regulations, your lawyer is indispensable in managing legal challenges.
They uncover the specifics of the incident, determine who is legally at fault, and identify whether multiple parties may be liable, such as the truck driver, the company they work for, or even the maker of faulty truck components if this was a factor in the accident. Your lawyer can navigate these complexities to safeguard your rights and ensure you get the compensation you need.
Your truck accident lawyer can systematically investigate your case to pinpoint your accident’s exact cause or causes. From obtaining and reviewing truck company records to examining vehicle damage and accident scene details, they leave no stone unturned.
They may also work with accident reconstruction experts and mechanical specialists to build a comprehensive understanding of the incident. These meticulous investigations can help establish fault and serve as a strong foundation for your case.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do to Build a Case?
After a wide right-turn truck accident, you face a challenging and often frightening situation. You don’t have to navigate this alone. A truck accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance and guide you through every step of this daunting process, armed with their understanding of trucking regulations, knowledge of investigation and evidence gathering, and adept negotiation skills with insurance companies.
Your lawyer can swiftly start gathering evidence, such as the truck driver’s logbook, the truck’s black box data, witness statements, and any available video footage. They can investigate the details of the accident, including the truck’s maintenance history, the driver’s qualifications, and any potential violations of trucking regulations. This information helps your lawyer determine legal liability for the accident.
Once they have established liability, your lawyer can use the evidence collected to advocate on your behalf, pursuing rightful compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. They negotiate tirelessly with insurance companies, which often try to minimize payouts, to ensure you receive fair representation that protects your rights.
How Quickly Should You Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. Evidence can quickly disappear or become difficult to obtain over time. Trucking companies also often have legal teams ready to defend their interests. Having a dedicated advocate from the outset can protect your rights and interests.
Get in Touch With a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Wide right-turn truck accidents are complex incidents with multifaceted legal, practical, and personal consequences. Navigating the aftermath of such an accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with personal injuries, emotional distress, and financial uncertainty.
Dealing with a wide right-turn truck accident is challenging, but hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in Gainesville, FL can significantly alleviate your burden. With their knowledge and unique abilities, they work to uphold your rights and robustly represent your interests so you are in the best position to receive the compensation you need to recover from your accident.