What is a Commercial Truck Accident?

Posted by: Jul 28, 2020Articles & Advice

Vermont Commercial Truck Accident Attorney Representing Injury Victims

Commercial truck accidents are among the deadliest kinds of motor vehicle crashes on American roads and highways. Indeed, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), many large truck accidents involving commercial vehicles result in severe and fatal injuries to occupants of smaller cars involved in those crashes. The IIHS explains that “large trucks often weight 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles,” meaning that they can cause substantially more damage when they collide with a smaller car. In addition, large trucks “are taller and have greater ground clearance than cars, which means that lower-reading vehicles can slide beneath truck trailers.

There are many different causes for commercial truck accidents, and a variety of parties may be liable for injuries. If you or someone you love was harmed in a commercial truck crash, it is extremely important to seek advice from an experienced Vermont commercial truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. An advocate at Sabbeth Law can speak with you today about your options for filing a claim.

Common Types of Vehicles Involved in Commercial Truck Accidents in Vermont

Many different types of trucks can be at fault in commercial trucking collisions, including but not limited to:

  • Semi-trucks, which are also known as 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers, and are typically the type of vehicle that is used in long-haul commercial goods transportation;
  • Dump trucks;
  • Cement mixing trucks;
  • Tanker trucks, which are often used to transport commercial liquids like fuel;
  • Garbage trucks;
  • Refrigerator trucks, which are often used by food distributors and supermarkets to transport goods from one location to another; and
  • Heavy haulers, which are a specific kind of large commercial truck that are designed to transport particularly heavy loads on interstate highways.

Commercial truck accidents can happen in many different ways when these commercial vehicles are involved, including head-on collisions, underride accidents (when a passenger vehicle is caused to collide with the trailer of the truck, which often sheers the top off of the passenger vehicle), side-swipe collisions, improper parking causing unnecessary blind spots for vehicles that result in collisions (most commonly consumer delivery trucks) and rear-end crashes.

Frequent Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents in Vermont

When you are learning about commercial truck accidents, it is also important to know how these collisions often occur. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provide data about causes of large truck accidents across the country. Causes of commercial vehicle accidents include but are not limited to:

  • Speeding;
  • Following too closely;
  • Intoxicated driving;
  • Distracted driving caused by a smartphone use;
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving;
  • Improper loading of a truck bed;
  • Creation of hazard by improper parking;
  • Poor maintenance of a truck; and/or
  • Defective truck part.

Who is At Fault for a Commercial Truck Crash in Vermont?

The FMCSA has hours-of-service requirements to ensure that commercial truck drivers are not on the road for a longer period of time than is safe without resting. These hours-of-service regulations are designed to prevent drowsy or fatigued driving collisions, which are a common source of large truck crashes. While truck drivers are often at fault for collisions that occur, it is important to know that a variety of parties may be liable for a commercial truck accident. Potential defendants may include:

  • Truck driver;
  • Truck company the driver works for;
  • Owner of the truck;
  • Loader of the truck;
  • Mechanic who works on the truck;

* Companies that call themselves “brokers” to shield themselves from liability, but are actually operating as trucking companies;

  • Designer of the truck or one of its parts; and/or
  • Manufacturer of the truck or one of its parts.

Filing a Vermont Commercial Truck Accident Claim

You will only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit if you need to do so in order to obtain compensation. Most personal injury cases filed by the injured person have a three-year statute of limitations under Vermont law, and the clock begins ticking on the date of the truck accident. Wrongful deaths claims after deadly commercial truck accidents have a two-year statute of limitations, and the clock starts ticking on the date of death.

Contact a Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer in Vermont

Commercial truck accidents often result in debilitating and fatal injuries, and it is essential for injury victims and their families to seek financial compensation from the responsible party. Our firm has specialization in trucking and commercial motor vehicle cases up top, including recognition in various associations such as the Association of Truck Accident Lawyers, AAJ Trucking Litigation Group, and most recently selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top Truck Accident Lawyers. We get on the scene of truck crashes as soon as possible, and we strive to ensure that, in significant crashes, the insurance company will, too. We use the best experts from throughout the nation, we have seven- and eight-figure results, and we are built for these types of cases. If you need us to, we will go to us.

Do not hesitate to get in touch with an experienced Vermont commercial trucking accident lawyer at our firm. Contact Sabbeth Law for more information about how we can help.