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Common Truck Accident Types

Jackknife truck accident

Jackknife Accidents

A jackknife accident can occur when a truck driver loses control of the trailer, causing the truck and trailer to move in different directions and form a “v” shape. These accidents can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage. If involved in this type of accident, it is important to contact an attorney to help assess losses and work through any legal obstacles.

Rollover truck accident

Rollover Truck Accidents

Trucks carrying large cargo loads, especially tractor-trailers, are at a higher risk of rolling over due to sudden weight transfers caused by cargo shifting. Improperly loaded cargo could lead to accidents and injured parties may seek help from an attorney to file a claim.

Rollover truck accident

Fatal Truck Accidents

Due to the commercial use of most tractor-trailers, claims arising from fatal truck accidents tend to be more complex. An experienced truck accident lawyer should be consulted to navigate the complexities of naming the defendant and dealing with insurance agencies.

Car accident damage

Side Impact Truck Accidents

A side-impact, or T-bone, collision can occur when a trucker fails to yield the right of way, typically when attempting to turn, causing serious damage to the vehicle hit on its side. These accidents are often caused by truckers failing to yield, blocking multiple lanes while waiting for others to clear.

Types of Truck Accidents

There are countless types of truck accidents, from jackknifes to rollovers to tire blowouts and squeeze-play collisions. Each type of big rig accident is distinct in its own way. They happen for different reasons and leave victims struggling with unique challenges.

With so many trucks traveling through Virginia, any of these types of truck accidents can potentially happen on the state’s roads and highways. 

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers are Virginia’s truck crash experts, with experience handling every type of accident. We understand the causes and effects of accidents involving large commercial trucks and tractor-trailers. Here’s a look at some of the types of semi-truck accidents we see most in the Commonwealth.

Underride Trucking Accidents

Underride truck accidents occur when a passenger vehicle crashes into a truck can slides underneath the larger vehicle.

There are two primary types of underride accidents – rear and side. These accidents most often happen when a passenger vehicle rear-ends a truck or sideswipes a tractor-trailer during a lane change.

Research suggests there are about 1,108 fatal underride truck accidents nationwide every year.

Squeeze-Play or Wide-Turn Accidents

There’s a reason many large trucks come with a warning to steer clear of their right side when they’re about to turn. Due to their lengths, many trucks—particularly tractor-trailers—have difficulty making right-hand turns. They must swing out wide to the left to make the turn safely. There’s very little room to spare to the right of the truck when executing this type of turn.

Squeeze-play accidents happen when a vehicle gets crushed between the truck and the curb or sidewalk during a right-hand turn.

Wide-turn truck accidents typically happen when motorists attempt to pass trucks on the right before they complete their turn.

Truck Tire Blowouts

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, tire problems contribute to about 33,000 auto accidents annually. Tire blowouts contribute to roughly 2,000 of these accidents.

Most tire blowouts occur because tires are underinflated or overinflated. Other times, tire blowouts happen when tires are old and worn down. Unfortunately, this means most tire blowouts can be avoided by simply checking tire pressure regularly and replacing them as needed, as state and federal truck regulations require.

Squeeze-play accidents happen when a vehicle gets crushed between the truck and the curb or sidewalk during a right-hand turn.

Wide-turn truck accidents typically happen when motorists attempt to pass trucks on the right before they complete their turn.

Blind Spot Truck Accidents

Even with several mirrors to increase visibility, there are still areas around a rig that truck drivers can’t see. These are known as blind spots. Trucks have four major blind spots – one directly in front of the vehicle, one directly behind, and two on either side. 

Driving in a truck’s blind spot significantly increases the risk of an accident. Drivers may not know that a vehicle is in its blind spot when it attempts to turn, change lanes, or make other maneuvers on the road. This is especially true when drivers are under pressure to deliver packages and rush to reach their destination.

How can you know if you’re in a truck’s blind spot? If you can’t see the driver or see the driver in their side view mirror, chances are they can’t see you.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions involving large trucks are incredibly dangerous, especially for occupants of smaller vehicles. Statistics show that about 14 percent of all fatal auto accidents annually are frontal collisions.

Driver negligence is often the leading cause of truck head-on collisions. Drivers who violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours of service regulations can become fatigued behind the wheel, fall asleep, and begin to drive the wrong way down Virginia roads and highways. This leaves little time or opportunity for oncoming motorists to veer out of harm’s way.

Other factors can include driver intoxication, distracted driving, and unfamiliarity with Virginia’s local roads and traffic patterns.

Semi-Truck Accidents

A semi-truck has two parts—a cab and one or more connected trailers. Semi-trucks are particularly dangerous due to their large size and weight, especially compared to smaller vehicles on the road.

Semi-truck accidents can happen when tractors and cabs get out of alignment, when tractors become disconnected from cabs, or when tractors are loaded improperly.

Many semi-truck accidents happen when a cab drives without its trailer attached and bobtails.

What Types of Truck Accidents Can Be Fatal?

In 2021, there were 170,223 commercial vehicle truck accidents reported nationwide. Of those big rig wrecks, 5,422 were fatal, and more than 79,946 people sustained crash-related injuries.

That year, trucks were involved in nine percent of all fatal auto accidents in the United States. That’s nearly one out of every 10 deadly motor vehicle accidents.

Given the size and weight of large commercial trucks, any accident with a big rig can be fatal. However, fatal truck accidents often involve head-on collisions, T-bone accidents, and underride collisions.

How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me After an Accident?

Truck accidents aren’t like other types of auto accidents. They tend to be much more complicated because of liability, the applicable law, and damages.

Trucking companies will go to great lengths to avoid liability after an accident involving one of its drivers. Insurance companies will search for any legitimate, or seemingly legitimate, reason to deny your claim or limit your financial settlement.

Hiring an attorney is the best way to protect yourself and level the playing field against these powerful adversaries. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can help you.

Our truck accident attorneys will handle all aspects of your fight for compensation, including:

  • An exhaustive investigation into your truck accident
  • Carefully reviewing truck black box data and transportation logs to find violations of FMCSA regulations
  • Analyze accident reports, vehicle maintenance records, driver records, hiring policies, dashcam footage, photographs, property damage, and other evidence related to your case
  • Working closely with qualified truck accident experts and specialists
  • Representing you during conversations with the trucking service, its insurance company, and other liable parties
  • Aggressively advocating for a top-dollar settlement during negotiations
  • Rejecting lowball offers and bringing your case to a jury for a better result

Your choice of attorney matters. After a truck accident, call the Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for help. We have the experience and financial resources you need to win and maximize your recovery. Reach out to our law office in Virginia Beach, VA, for a free case evaluation now.

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