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Thousands of lives are forever changed by multi-vehicle car accidents involving large trucks yearly. When these massive machines collide, the consequences can be devastating. If you are a victim of such a catastrophic event, you know all too well the emotional, physical, and financial turmoil that follows in its wake.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that in 2020 alone, large trucks were involved in over 415,000 accidents, resulting in nearly 4,500 fatalities and countless injuries. We understand how these multi-vehicle accident cases impact those injured and their loved ones. The disruption to your daily life, mounting doctor bills, and the emotional toll of the recovery process are all incredibly stressful.
At the law offices of Burg Simpson, our dedicated multi-vehicle accident lawyers are here to help you navigate this difficult time, armed with decades of experience to help you seek fair compensation for your suffering. Your journey to healing and justice begins here. Let us be your advocates and allies, helping you secure a brighter future after a multi-vehicle truck accident. Contact us for a free consultation.
Multi-vehicle truck accidents refer to collisions involving three or more vehicles, with at least one being a large truck. These accidents are hazardous and often result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the massive size and weight of trucks compared to smaller passenger vehicles, as well as the force involved with several vehicles crashing. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2020, there were 4,998 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes.
Multiple-vehicle car accidents can take various forms, each with a unique set of hazards and consequences. Common multi-vehicle accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks include:
Chain Reaction Car Accidents: When tractor-trailer trucks make a sudden stop or slow down suddenly in traffic, it can cause multiple vehicles to collide with one another. These chain reaction accidents can involve three or more automobiles.
T-Bone Crashes: In this multi-car accident, the large truck collides with the sides of other vehicles, causing massive destruction.
Rollover Accidents: In such situations, the driver of a large truck loses control, causing it to tip over. The crash may block lanes or spill hazardous materials onto the roadway, resulting in cars swerving around the scene only to collide with one another.
Rear-End Collisions: These accidents occur when a large truck hits the vehicle in front of it, often due to sudden braking, tailgating, or driver distraction.
Underride Accidents: This type of crash happens when a smaller vehicle slides underneath the trailer of a large truck, with multiple vehicles subsequently crashing into the initial crash, potentially resulting in severe damage and injuries.
Jackknife Accidents: When a truck's trailer swings out to one side and forms an angle with the tractor, it can cause a jackknife accident, which may involve multiple vehicles.
Blind Spot Accidents: Large trucks have significant blind spots, and if a driver fails to notice a vehicle in one of these areas, a collision may occur.
Wide-Turn Accidents: Trucks need at least two vehicles' width of space to make turns, and when a driver miscalculates the required distance or fails to signal, other vehicles may become involved in an accident.
Head-On Collisions: Though less common, head-on collisions involving large trucks can be extremely devastating, often involving three or more vehicles and resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
Multi-vehicle accidents can result in devastating injuries that have a long-lasting impact on the injured person's life. These impairments include:
Brain Damage: A traumatic brain injury occurs from head impacts or sudden motion, causing lasting brain damage. TBIs can lead to long-term disability or death. Symptoms may not be immediately evident and can worsen if untreated.
Spinal Injuries - The spinal cord, a nerve bundle connecting the brain and spine, controls bodily functions. Heavy truck collisions with smaller vehicles can cause significant spinal cord trauma.
Fractured Bones - Fractures may result from a victim's body striking objects like dashboards or doors in semi-truck accidents, causing severe damage to limbs and joints.
Internal Bodily Trauma - Internal injuries, which can be life-threatening and may lack immediate symptoms, are among the most severe consequences of multi-vehicle accidents. They encompass organ damage, internal bleeding, and other trauma.
Sprains and Strains - Soft tissue injuries like whiplash and strains often occur due to sudden impact in multi-vehicle crashes. These injuries, affecting muscles and ligaments, can be challenging to detect and may not appear on X-rays or diagnostic tests.
Mental Anguish - Multi-vehicle accidents can cause significant psychological trauma for those involved. Victims may face anxiety, depression, and PTSD, taking months or years to recover from the mental impact of the tractor-trailer truck crash.
If you suffered severe harm in a multi-vehicle crash, gathering evidence is crucial to help establish fault and recover compensation. Determining liability requires an examination of the following evidence:
Accidents involving semi-trucks and multiple vehicles can be catastrophic, causing severe injuries or even fatalities. Determining who is at fault for these accidents can be complex since several parties could be liable. Here are some of the most common liable parties that are seen in multi-vehicle accidents.
A tractor-trailer driver's negligence is a common contributor to multi-vehicle crashes. Their reckless actions, such as speeding, distracted driving, and fatigue, often lead to such incidents. For instance, improperly securing cargo can result in spillage, triggering a series of collisions.
Trucking companies can be responsible for accidents caused by their drivers if they don't provide sufficient training or vehicle maintenance. For instance, if a fatigued driver causes a multi-vehicle crash due to unreasonable work schedules, the company could be liable for negligence.
In multi-vehicle accidents, manufacturers can be liable if a faulty part caused the crash, leading to injuries or damages. For instance, if a truck's steering system malfunctions, causing the driver to collide with several cars, the trucking company and steering column manufacturer could be responsible.
In a multi-vehicle truck accident, more than two vehicle operators can be responsible. Liability can depend on the specific circumstances of each case, such as whether one driver was speeding or distracted. Here are two negligence rules some states apply to multi-vehicle accidents:
Contributory negligence is a legal concept that can impact the outcome of multi-vehicle crashes with more than one at-fault driver. In states that follow the contributory negligence rule, if a driver contributed to the accident in any way, they may be barred from recovering any compensation for their injuries or damages.
Example: If a car and a large truck collide, and the vehicle was speeding while the truck had faulty brakes, both drivers may be partially at fault. In some states that use the contributory negligence rule, the car driver may not be compensated because their speeding contributed to the accident.
However, in states that follow the comparative negligence rule, injured parties may still be able to recover damages even if they were partially at fault. The victim's damages may be reduced proportionally to their level of responsibility.
Example: If the accident above occurred in a state that follows the comparative negligence rule, the injured parties would still be able to recover damages, but their level of fault would reduce the amount they could recover. In other words, if the total damages amounted to $100,000, the semi-truck driver could be 70 percent at fault and the car driver 30 percent at fault. In this case, the car driver could recover $70,000.
After being injured in a multi-vehicle truck accident, you can seek compensation for damages. The financial relief you could recover includes:
Large truck accidents and multi-vehicle accidents can result in serious injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, and those injured may need hospitalization, surgeries, and ongoing care to recover. The cost of medical expenses after a multi-vehicle accident involving a large truck can be astronomical.
For example, a traumatic brain injury victim may need extensive rehabilitation and long-term care to recover fully. The TBI can result in medical bills totaling hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, depending on the severity of the injury.
The injured parties may also face additional costs, such as transportation to and from doctor's appointments or home modifications necessary for recovery. Multi-vehicle accident victims have the right to seek compensation for these expenses so they do not have to bear this financial burden alone.
One result of surviving a multi-vehicle accident with a large truck is missing work due to your injuries. The loss of wages adds to the stress of financial insecurity on top of physical pain. You may be entitled to compensation for these lost wages as part of your personal injury claim. That may also include future loss of wages if the injury is so severe it prevents you from going back to work after you have recovered the maximum amount you will be able to.
Many multi-vehicle truck and car accident victims deal with ongoing pain and suffering. The legal term “pain and suffering” refers to an accident victim's physical and emotional hardship, including ongoing physical pain, depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Multi-vehicle truck accident injuries can be severe and long-lasting. For example, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or spinal cord injuries can cause chronic pain that lasts years after an accident or for the rest of a person’s life. The psychological trauma caused by a serious multiple-vehicle accident may also lead to anxiety, fear of driving or riding in vehicles again, or other forms of emotional distress.
Large trucks can cause extensive damage to other vehicles and property due to their size and weight. The damage may be so severe that the car or cars are beyond repair.
In addition to the damage to your vehicle, you may also experience property damage to your personal belongings. These damages may include items inside your car, such as smartphones, laptops, or clothing. Recovering compensation for these damages can help alleviate the financial burdens of repairing or replacing your property.
Burg Simpson is a law firm that helps clients across the United States with various legal matters, including multi-vehicle truck accidents. With over 40 years of experience, we have recovered more than $2 billion for our clients. Our multi-vehicle accident attorneys are well-versed in the laws in multiple states across the nation regarding a wide range of personal injury situations.
We are passionate about results and will go above and beyond to achieve a successful outcome for your truck accident case. If you've been injured by a negligent tractor-trailer truck driver in a multi-vehicle accident, Burg Simpson can help you.