When accidents involve commercial vehicles, which can include large trucks, semis and even buses, and the operator of that commercial vehicle acted negligently or recklessly, which caused the accident, a number of different parties can be held liable for your injuries, property damage and losses. Some of the potentially liable parties can include:
- The driver of the truck, bus or commercial vehicle
- The trucking company or commercial entity who owns the truck or commercial (particularly if the company failed to properly train its driver)
- The government agency that failed to properly maintained the roadways where the accident occurred (if, for example, there wasn’t sufficient lighting or safety signage in the area)
- The commercial vehicle manufacturer (if the design of the vehicle was prone to causing accidents or defective equipment was used in assembling the vehicle)
- The company or technician who was responsible for maintaining the commercial vehicle or truck.
Truck and 18 Wheeler Accidents
In 2011 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), about 287,000 large trucks (i.e., trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds) were involved in traffic accidents on U.S. roadways, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While these accidents resulted in approximately 88,000 people sustaining mild to severe injuries, they also caused the deaths of 3,757 people. In these truck accidents, which include crashes involving semis and 18 wheelers, the drivers and occupants of the passenger vehicles involved were more than 4 times more likely to die in these accidents than the drivers and occupants of the truck, semi or 18 wheeler involved.
Some of the reasons that passenger vehicle occupants have such an increased risk of injury and death in the event of an accident with a large truck include that:
- Trucks weigh significantly more than passenger vehicles, and in some cases, fully loaded large trucks like 18 wheelers and semis can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
- Trucks’ cabs are typically higher than the line of vision of passenger vehicles, which means that, in the event of accidents, the passenger vehicle occupants are likely to impact the grill of trucks, while the occupants of truck cabs do not come into contact directly with parts of the passenger vehicle.
Bus accidents, including accidents that involve school buses, city buses or commercial buses, can be just devastating for the bus occupants as they can be for the occupants of other vehicles (particularly passenger vehicles) involved in the collisions. This is because, in many cases, buses do not have seat belts in place protect their occupants. Other elements that can intensify bus accidents include:
- Improperly trained drivers
- Drunk drivers
- Fatigued or distracted drivers
- Poorly maintained buses or vehicle equipment
At the law firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C., our experienced Mount Vernon accident lawyers have been providing client-centered representation to our Southern Illinois clients since 1950. Our trusted attorneys focus on our clients’ needs, and we do everything we can to help them get the maximum possible compensation for their injuries so they can focus on recovery and moving on with their life. If you or a loved one has sustained any type of injury due to a commercial vehicle accident, a truck accident or a bus accident, contact us by calling (800)-553-3125 for a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.