Blind Spot 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. However, 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. This puts semi truck drivers and others at risk of a collision. Of course, blind spots can cause all types of accidents, but the most common is probably sideswipe accidents. If you sustain injuries in a blind spot accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you get compensation.
How Common Are Blind Spot Truck Accidents?
Blind spots on semi trucks are so dangerous that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports nearly 840,000 of these accidents every year. In those crashes, nearly 300 people are killed. And, most of the victims are in vehicles other than the semi truck. The large size and weight of a semi in comparison to an average passenger vehicle means that those in the passenger car almost always have more serious injuries in 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” (see photo above). These are areas where drivers should not stay for extended periods of time. Instead, motorists should leave plenty of distance between themselves and a semi. Also, if passing, move safely and quickly around 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. This is 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 be careful and assume that a truck driver will be unable to see them in any of the traditional blind spots on 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. Therefore, it is not possible to say that one person or another is always at fault for the crash. However, it is a truck driver’s duty to check blind spots before changing lanes. Failing to do so usually 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. For that reason, some truckers may attempt to avoid liability at all costs when talking to police.
After a crash, a truck driver’s insurance company may also try to deny liability. They may do this even when it is clear that the truck driver was responsible and was the cause of the collision. Though not every blind spot collision is a truck driver’s fault, the majority are. Further, a blind spot truck crash attorney in Chicago 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. An attorney represents your interests in a claim, not the trucking insurance carrier. This is one of the major reasons that most 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:
- medical bills
- medical treatment costs
- lost wages
- pain and suffering
- therapy costs
- at-home medical care costs
- property damage
- any other damage the accident cost you
Medical bills are often a large component of personal injury claims. A recovery can be made for past medical bills as well as likely future medical bills. This may include surgery and additional treatment. Medical bills often encompass:
- An ambulance bill
- Hospital expenses
- Follow up appointments
- Physical and occupational therapy
Lost wages are something that many accident victims do not initially consider when they think about a claim following an accident. However, lost wages can amount to a significant hardship for an accident victim.
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. This reduces the money that person is able to bring in to support themselves or their family. If this is the case, a truck accident lawyer can make a claim for your lost wages.
What Should I do if Hurt in a Truck Accident?
- Exchange information with the truck driver
- Call law enforcement so they can make a police report
- Take photos, if you are not too injured to do so
- Gather independent witness information
- See any necessary medical treatment
- Speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn whether you have a case and can recover for your damages. Do this before talking to any auto or truck insurance company.
Chicago Blind Spot Truck Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we only represent accident victims. We have experience making successful recoveries on behalf of those hurt in truck accidents. We provide all accident victims with a free consultation 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (312) 924-7575. If you have been hurt in an accident, call us today or contact us online and let us help you understand your legal rights.