How Are Truck Accidents Different From Other Auto Accidents?

Traffic accidents happen every day in America, and the numbers have increased during the last year. The statistics hold for all vehicles, including large trucks. Accidents involving large trucks tend to cause more severe injuries than other types of accidents, but why exactly is that? How are truck accidents any different from motorcycle or car accidents? Read on to learn more.

Differences Between Truck Accidents and Car Accidents

There are many reasons truck accidents tend to cause more damage and injuries than other types of accidents.

First, trucks are large vehicles. The average tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, be over 70 feet long, and reach over 13 feet high. Compared to a passenger vehicle weighing around 4,000 pounds, a large truck is almost a rolling building.

truck vs car accident

Trucks require longer distances to accelerate, brake, and maneuver in traffic. Their outward visibility is also significantly less than a passenger car. They are surrounded by no-zones, areas where the driver cannot see, and if your vehicle is inside a no-zone when a truck needs to change lanes or maneuver, the chances of an accident increase substantially.

All these factors mean truck accidents can happen quickly. Not only that, but injuries in truck accidents are almost always more severe for the occupants of other vehicles. Between 1975 and 2019, up to 75% of deaths in large truck crashes were occupants of passenger cars.

Injuries in Truck Crashes

The large size and weight of trucks also mean more frequent and severe injuries in truck crashes. Even at low speeds, the inertia of an 80,000-pound vehicle striking a passenger car can cause severe damage to the vehicle’s structure and safety equipment. The truck driver may only experience a jostling or may not feel anything at all when hitting a passenger vehicle or motorcycle.

Some injuries common to truck accidents include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Paralysis
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Crushing injuries
  • Dismemberment
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Coma

Truck Drivers Aren’t the Only Responsible Parties

Determining who is responsible for a truck accident is more complex than in car accidents because truck drivers aren’t the only ones responsible for the truck and its contents. Liability can often be spread across several different parties depending on the circumstances. The following entities may be held liable in a truck accident:

  • Truck drivertruck accident liability
  • Trucking company
  • Truck owner
  • Freight company
  • Freight loading company
  • Truck maintenance company
  • Truck manufacturer
  • Road construction contractors

Liability could shift depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, if you’re injured in a truck accident due to faulty brakes on the truck, the maintenance company may be responsible. If you’re hit in a low-speed accident by a truck trying to maneuver in tight spaces, the trucking company may be held accountable for not training their drivers properly. Suppose you’re injured by a truck due to a defect in the design. In that case, the manufacturer may be liable, or if the truck driver causes an accident due to fatigue from driving more hours than allowed by federal law, they may be responsible.

Freight Accidents

Tractor-trailers are made to haul thousands of pounds of cargo. This cargo can be anything from plumbing fixtures to petroleum, from toys to live cattle. This freight must be properly loaded and secured before the truck begins its journey. If it isn’t, lost load or other freight accidents can occur.

A lost-load accident occurs when a truck’s cargo is not loaded or balanced properly and spills out on the roadway, leaving a trail of debris or fluid that can cause accidents and injuries as other motorists collide with it or swerve to avoid it. Even properly secured loads can work loose over the course of a long road journey if not checked frequently.

Some of these loads can be hazardous, such as industrial chemicals or gasoline, increasing the danger even more. Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to have specific licensing and certifications to handle hazardous cargo, and not keeping these licenses current may be considered negligence.

Speak to a Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If a truck accident ended in severe injury for you or a loved one, you should consider speaking to the truck accdient attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC. We may be able to help you get compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, or property. Call us today at (312) 346-8620 for a free consultation, and let us help you get the compensation you deserve after a truck accident.


What Is a Truck Driver’s Travel Log?

Auto accidents happen in a split second. All it takes is one drowsy blink, one change of the radio, one look at the view, or one text to send, and lives could be changed forever. And that’s just car accidents. Accidents with trucks are different – because they are big! Trucking Accident EDLA fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s more than 20 times the weight of a normal car. Truck accidents result in big injuries, big financial issues, and big life disruptions.

After a truck accident, you might be scratching your head wondering, “how did it happen?” What you need now is someone in your corner to help you through the next steps. If you’ve been in an accident with a truck in the Chicago area, give the attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC a call. We are here to help you navigate the legal intricacies of an accident with a commercial truck and to get you back on your financial feet in no time.

Laws and Regulations that Govern Truck Drivers

Many of the specific regulations that truck drivers must follow have to do with their Hours of Service (HOS). HOS regulations dictate how long a truck driver may operate their vehicle and be considered safe. Hours of Service are created, regulated, and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Why does the FMCSA care so much about the HOS of truck drivers? Simply put, a drowsy truck driver can end a life. Sleepy drivers have slow reaction times and therefore are not able to make the split-second, life-saving decisions that could be necessary on the highway.

Here are some of the rules that the FMCSA has in place for truck drivers. If not in compliance, truck drivers could be fined or worse.

  • 11 Hour Driving Limit — After resting for ten consecutive hours, truck drivers can drive for a maximum of 11 hours.
  • 14 Hour Limit — After said ten hours of rest, drivers may not drive beyond 14 consecutive hours.
  • 30-Minute Break — After driving for eight hours consecutively, drivers are required to take a 30-minute break. This break can be satisfied by being ‘off duty,’ being a passenger, sleeping, or a combination of these.
  • 60/70 Hour Limit — If driving seven or eight consecutive days, truck drivers’ HOS cannot exceed 60 or 70 hours.
  • Adverse Driving Conditions — When adverse driving conditions are expected, truck drivers are allowed to operate longer to account for slower progress on the road.

What’s a Travel Log?

In years past, truck drivers logged their HOS on paper sheets. These logs included the date and time of departure, the time driven, the locations of all stops, and the mileage of the vehicle. Drivers would regularly mail these to their employer, who would keep them on file for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to reference.

Electronic Driving LogThese days, almost every commercial truck is required to be outfitted with an ELD, or Electronic Logging Device. ELDs are how truck drivers, their companies, and the DOT keep track of compliance with HOS laws and regulations. ELD’s are synchronized with the truck’s engine and record the time, date, and location of all stops, as well as the engine’s run time. ELDs will even warn drivers that their HOS are about to end — or that they must take a break.

Electronic Logging Devices contain valuable information about what happened in the moments before, during, and after a crash. If a truck driver was in violation of their HOS and then caused an accident, the ELD can help prove that they are liable.

The problem is this. If a trucking company suspects their driver is at fault for an accident, they won’t want to hand over ELD records. This is where the attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC can help.

Our experienced attorneys are here to go to bat for you against multi-million dollar trucking companies. We can help you find, collect, and present proof that a reckless truck driver caused your pain and suffering.

Call Us Today

Before you sat behind the wheel of a car for the first time, you knew to follow the posted speed limit, come to a full stop at all stop signs, use your blinker, and never drive tired. To avoid accidents, truck drivers have to follow the same rules and more. But, sometimes, truck drivers break the law and cause lasting pain for innocent people.

If you have been injured in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, contact Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC at (312) 346-8620 to speak with a truck accident attorney today. We can help guide you through the legal process and work on getting the compensation you need to cover your accident-related losses.


Phil Fowler to speak at National Business Institute

Chicago personal injury attorney Phillip J. Fowler of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC will be speaking at a CLE event hosted by the National Business Institute.

The seminar, Personal Injury 101, is on Friday, February 24th, beginning at 9:00 am. It will provide general information about personal injury law procedures.

You can learn more about the seminar and register to attend at http://www.nbi-sems.com/Details.aspx/R-74507ER


Two badly hurt in Illinois semi truck crash

At least two people are in critical condition in Skokie, Illinois after a recent collision between a semi-truck and an SUV took place, an article for Chicago 5 reported on November 17.

Information coming from the Skokie police revealed that at 3:51 a.m., a two-vehicle accident happened in the 4200 block of Golf Road. The semi truck reportedly fell on its side in the course of the incident, police also said. The names of the persons involved in the crash were not released by authorities, but they did confirm that two critically injured people were transported to Evanston Hospital. Both lanes of Golf Road were closed for several hours as authorities investigated the cause of the crash. People who might have a knowledge of the crash are encouraged to coordinate with Skokie authorities.

In the case that a loved one has suffered critical injuries in a collision involving a semi truck, working with a skilled legal team is important for you to possibly get compensations you need to cover costly hospitalizations. Discuss your situation with the Chicago legal team of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC today at (312) 346-8620 to learn more about your options.


Over $100K fine imposed on nursing home facility

Penalties amounting to over $100,000 were imposed upon a Chicago nursing home facility after five elderly residents overdosed on heroin early this year, a report of Chicago Tribune stated on November 13.

According to reports, a fine totaling $101,000 was imposed on the “Continental Nursing & Rehabilitation Center” in connection to a February incident where five residents inside the facility were hospitalized due to a heroin overdose. One of the patients who underwent hospitalization reportedly returned to the facility and overdosed again. Previous reports also revealed there were 60 battery incidents that took place inside Continental that Chicago police have responded to from 2011 until last year. One family of a resident filed a medical malpractice claim against the facility for their negligence.

The attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC represent Chicago families whose loved ones were injured while inside nursing home facilities. We strongly believe facility owners should fairly compensate residents who are harmed under their care. If you believe this happens to a loved one, call us today at (312) 346-8620 to pursue damage claims against negligent parties.


Millions of possibly defective washers recalled

Samsung Electronics is recalling approximately 2.8 million units of washing machines sold in the U.S. due to a defect that could cause personal injuries to consumers, an article of cpsc.gov reported on November 4.

The recall mainly affects Samsung’s “top-load washing machines” that have components on the upper portion that could potentially fly off and injure those close to the machine while in use. Samsung revealed that nearly 34 models of their washing machines were affected. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has been notified of 733 incidents of malfunctioning units, including nine personal injuries linked to the washing machines. Consumers who own any of the recalled washers are advised to have their units repaired by Samsung.

If you or a loved one has been injured by any of the defective Samsung washing machines in Chicago, the attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC may be able to help. Contact us today by calling (312) 346-8620.


Thousands suffer injuries during Halloween

Recent federal consumer safety data revealed that approximately 4,400 persons suffered injuries while celebrating Halloween last year. As a result, the CPSC suggested several tips for people to avoid causing harm to themselves or to others, an October 26 article of cpsc.gov reported.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, many of the incidents were caused by carving pumpkins and putting up decorations. 40 percent sustained laceration injuries while carving pumpkins. Last year’s data showed there were two fatalities and two fires that occurred while celebrating Halloween. Consumers were highly advised to let adults do the carving of pumpkins and exercise great care when decorating. Kids should not be allowed to hold sharp objects and should wear costumes that fit properly.

Suffering injuries while celebrating Halloween can be frustrating, especially if you need prolonged treatment for recovery. However, if this happens to you in Chicago, the personal injury lawyers at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC can help. Call us today at (312) 346-8620 to begin taking your legal action against negligent parties.


7 hurt in Chicago vehicular accident

A car accident in southern Chicago resulted in seven injuries, including one incurred by a child who is now in critical condition. 

The Chicago Fire Department revealed that an SUV struck a porch near South Vincennes Avenue and West 80th Street intersection, hitting a 12-year-old girl who was on her way to a candy tent. Reports revealed that the SUV struck two other vehicles before it struck the girl, causing three additional injuries. The driver that caused the collision received treatment and was then taken into custody. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you with the legal matters associated with your case. Discuss your situation with a lawyer at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC in Chicago by calling (312) 346-8620 to learn more about your legal options.


Written by Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Last Updated : May 21, 2019
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