Blindspot Accidents involving Semi Trucks
A blind spot is an area surrounding a car, truck, or van that is not visible by use of the vehicle’s mirrors. All vehicles have blind spots but some are bigger than others and some are more difficult to manage while driving. Among the most common vehicles on the roads, semi trucks have the largest blind spots which puts semi truck drivers and others at risk of a collision. Of course, blindspots can causes all types of accidents, but the most common is probably sideswipe accidents. If a blindspot accident caused you or your loved on to be injured, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you get compensation.
Blindspot Accidents involving Semi Trucks
Blind spots on semi trucks are so dangerous that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports nearly 840,000 blind spot accidents every year. In those crashes, nearly 300 people are killed, most of them in vehicles other than the semi truck involved. The large size and weight of a semi when compared to an average passenger vehicle means that those in the passenger car almost always bear the brunt of the impact in the event of a semi truck vs car collision.
During the last twenty years, a public service campaign has encouraged drivers to be aware of the dangers associated with truck blind spots by referring to the areas as “no-zones” or areas where drivers should not stay for extended periods of time. Instead, motorists are encouraged to leave plenty of distance between themselves and a semi, and if passing, to move safely and quickly past the truck, staying in the blind spot for the least amount of time possible.
Where are a Semi Truck’s Blind Spots?
Each semi truck may have varying blind spots but generally, a truck driver has a blind spot on each side of his or her vehicle and directly behind a trailer. Also, many truck drivers have a blind spot to the immediate right side of their cab due to the large width of the cab and the driver’s elevated location on the left side.
The type of side mirrors used in a truck can make a significant difference in terms of the size and location of a blind spot. However, other drivers should err on the side of caution and assume that a truck driver will be unable to see them in any of the traditional blind spots that exist in the majority of commercial trucks. Though drivers of cars should attempt to avoid truck blind spots as much as possible, it remains the duty of each truck driver to ensure traffic is clear before changing lanes or making turns.
Who is At-Fault for a Blind Spot Collision?
The circumstances surrounding each blind spot collision are different and therefore it is not possible to say that one person or another is always at fault for the crash. However, as it is a truck driver’s duty to check blind spots before changing lanes, failing to do so often makes a truck driver liable for any collision that results.
Often, truck drivers attempt to blame other motorists for a collision even if it was the truck driver’s fault. It can be a serious matter to receive a traffic ticket as a truck driver so some may attempt to avoid liability when questioned by the police. After a crash, a truck driver’s insurance company may also try to deny liability even when it is clear that the truck driver was responsible and caused the collision to occur. Though not every blind spot collision is a truck driver’s fault, the majority are, and a personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights following an accident.
After a collision, it may be a “he said” “she said” situation where each driver blames the other but what matters is what the facts show and whether one or more drivers were negligent in causing a crash. It can be invaluable to have an advocate on your side, fighting for your right to a recovery and representing your interests in a claim which is one major reason that many accident victims choose to speak with a personal injury attorney following a collision.
What Damages are Recoverable after an Accident?
Illinois law allows drivers to recover damages they incurred following a crash. This can include:
- property damage
- medical bills
- medical treatment costs
- lost wages
- pain and suffering
- therapy costs
- at-home medical car costs
- any other damage the accident cost you
Medical bills are often a large component of personal injury claims and a recovery can be made for past medical bills incurred as well as future medical bills believed to be incurred at a later date, including surgery and additional treatment. Medical bills often encompass an ambulance bill, hospital expenses, follow up appointments, and physical and occupational therapy, depending on the actual treatment received by a victim.
Lost wages are something that many accident victims do not initial consider when they think about a claim following an accident, yet lost wages can amount to a significant hardship experienced by these individuals.
Some injuries may be so severe that a victim may be unable to work or may be limited in what he or she is able to do, reducing the money that person is able to bring in to support themselves or their family. If this is the case, a claim may be able to be made for the money you would have earned had you not been hurt in an automobile accident and been unable to perform your normal job duties.
What to Do if You Have Been Hurt in a Car Accident
Following an accident with a semi truck or another vehicle, it is always a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn whether you have a case and can recover for your damages.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we only represent accident victims and we have experience making successful recoveries on behalf of those hurt in truck accidents. We provide all accident victims with a free telephone consultation 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO. If you have been hurt in an accident, call us today and let us help you understand your legal rights.
*image attribution: “no zone” image from NC Vision Zero from Flickr.com