A large percentage of motor vehicle accidents are rear-end collisions. These types of crashes are particularly dangerous when the trailing vehicle is larger than the lead vehicle, such as when the rear vehicle is a commercial truck, and the lead vehicle is a passenger car, truck or SUV.
The difference in size can lead to catastrophic injuries for passenger vehicle occupants. Passenger vehicles are not built to withstand the impact of a commercial vehicle.
Below, our experienced Windsor auto accident lawyers discuss why rear-end crashes happen, who may be liable, and why victims should hire a lawyer to help them seek compensation. Greg Monforton and Partners has been a trusted advocate for the injured in Windsor and throughout Ontario for decades.
Zero upfront costs. Free legal consultation. Call today: (866) 320-4770.
Why do Rear-End Commercial Truck Crashes Happen?
Rear-end commercial truck accidents happen for many of the same reasons as rear-end crashes that only involve two passenger vehicles. For example, the commercial truck driver may have been following you too closely and been unable to stop in time to prevent a crash. Tailgating is particularly dangerous in a commercial truck because it takes these vehicles much more time and distance and stop.
Often, tailgating goes hand in hand with speeding. Many drivers face intense pressure to meet tight deadlines, which often leads to speeding and other reckless driving behaviours that could increase the risk of a collision, such as making unsafe lane changes or continuing to drive with malfunctioning brakes or worn-down tires.
Rear-end commercial truck accidents also happen because of:
- Texting and driving
- Distracted driving
- Traveling too fast for weather conditions, especially ice and snow
- Impaired driving
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy, including falling asleep at the wheel
- And more
Common Injuries From Rear-End Crashes
When a commercial truck crashes into the bumper of a passenger vehicle, the force of impact can cause life-changing injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries, which could occur as a result of whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Neck injuries
- Severe fractures
These collisions can jostle your body around violently, and your body is not built to withstand such impact. Even if your body does not hit something inside the vehicle, you could suffer a brain injury or another internal organ injury.
If there is another vehicle in front of yours, your car could get compacted between the commercial truck and the lead vehicle. This has the potential to cause crush injuries, as the dashboard and engine compartment could get pushed into you.
Who Can be Held Liable for Damages From a Truck Crash?
As you may have guessed, commercial truck drivers are often the ones held liable for rear-end collisions. Many of these accidents are preventable, especially if drivers would leave enough room in front of their cars, avoid speeding, and get off the road if their brakes are not going to work as they should. Truck drivers should also slow down in bad weather – in some cases it may be safer to get off the road, as the risk from snow or ice is too great to operate their vehicles safely.
However, commercial truck drivers often share fault for accidents with other parties. For example, the trucking company may be vicariously liable for the actions of their employee, the truck driver.
The trucking company or the third party charged with maintaining the truck may have done a poor job maintaining the brakes. The brakes may have needed fixing or even to be replaced.
Sometimes rear-end truck crashes are caused by drivers with a history of reckless driving. The trucking company could be liable for not keeping the driver off the road, or for hiring the driver in the first place.
Why Victims of Rear-End Commercial Truck Collisions Should Hire a Lawyer
You may think that the legal process after a commercial truck crash should be simple. The crash was not your fault, so you should receive compensation for your damages.
Unfortunately, trucking companies and their insurers do not see it that way. They want to find some way to settle the case for as little as possible, so they can save themselves money.
This is one of the main reasons why you need an experienced lawyer fighting for your interests every step of the way. Another reason you need a lawyer is because he or she will know how to preserve and gather evidence to prove your case, such as records from the trucking company about the truck and/or its driver.
Hiring a lawyer can also get the insurance company to avoid stalling your claim in hopes of getting you to accept a lowball offer.
A lawyer can advise you throughout the legal process, helping to prevent you from making mistakes that could harm your case, such as:
- Telling the insurance company too much about your injuries
- Signing broad medical authorizations that allow them to gain access to more medical documents than they need
- Misrepresenting the terms of the insurance policy that applies to the accident
- And more
Contact Greg Monforton and Partners Today to Discuss Legal Options
Truck accidents often result in devastating injuries that may affect victims for the rest of their lives. Victims are going to need a lot of medical care right after the accident and for the foreseeable future. Their injuries can also affect their ability to continue working to earn money to pay their bills.
Victims should seriously consider hiring an experienced lawyer to help them explore legal options. You may be able to secure compensation to cover the cost of medical care and many other damages.
Greg Monforton and Partners represents crash victims at no upfront cost.
Call us today at (866) 320-4770.