​Types of Truck Accidents

​Types of Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks are large vehicles used to transport goods and materials. While they are crucial to our society and economy, these monstrous vehicles are also dangerous and often cause accidents. 

There are several types of truck collisions and many reasons why these crashes happen in the first place. Usually, the type of wreck determines the severity of injuries and property damage. 

If you’ve been in a truck collision, do not hesitate to discuss your situation with a qualified truck accident lawyer in your area. 

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Causes of Truck Collisions

Numerous factors play a role in truck accidents. Often, a specific cause will lead to a certain type of collision. Identifying the cause of your truck accident is necessary to uphold your legal rights as an injury victim, so knowing the common causes can help guide the legal process.

The following are some of the most common causes of semi-truck wrecks. To determine what caused your accident, allow a truck accident lawyer to evaluate your situation immediately. 

Distracted Driving

Operating a large semi-truck requires special skill and full attention on the road and the task at hand. When truck drivers become distracted, even for a split second, they can easily cause an accident.

Distractions typically fall into three categories: visual, manual, and cognitive.

Visual distractions take the truck driver’s eyes off the road, including changing the radio station, typing a text, or not looking straight ahead.

Manual distractions cause the truck driver to take one or both hands off the steering wheel. These distractions typically involve eating, holding a phone to their ear, or grooming.

Finally, cognitive distractions take the truck driver’s mind off of driving. Common cognitive distractions include daydreaming, talking on the phone, or sleepiness.

It is easy to become distracted while driving, especially because truck drivers spend countless hours on the road. 


Speeding is a common issue on the road, but especially for truck drivers. This is because drivers often work under pressure and timelines. Depending on what they’re transporting, their employers often give them strict and sometimes unrealistic deadlines to deliver their cargo.

When drivers fear not making it to their destination on time, they may drive faster than they should to get there quicker. 

Fatigued Driving

Tight deadlines also influence fatigued driving. Drivers must follow federal regulations that include time to sleep and rest. However, when a driver’s employer hounds them about their timeline, they may sacrifice rest to reach their destination faster.

Driving while tired or sleepy can have the same effects as driving while impaired.

Driving Under the Influence

It is nearly impossible for a truck driver to properly and safely operate their truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yet, unfortunately, impaired driving is a big issue among truck drivers

Driving while drunk or high can affect a driver’s ability to make sound decisions and react quickly enough. 

Improper Turns

Making turns is quite the task when driving a semi-truck. It requires certain training and good spatial skills. 

When a truck driver turns improperly, cars that are at a close distance to the truck are at risk of getting hit. 

Lack of Driver Training or Experience

Driving a semi-truck requires training, practice, and licensing. Accidents are bound to happen when a truck driver is inexperienced or doesn’t have the right kind of license. 

Improperly Loaded Cargo

Crews must carefully and appropriately load cargo onto a semi-truck trailer for transport. Not only does this protect the products or materials, but it also helps keep the truck driver and others on the road safe.

When they load cargo improperly, the cargo can shift within the trailer and cause the truck to swerve or tip over.

Insufficient Truck Maintenance

Companies and owners must keep trucks in good condition to drive thousands of miles daily. Therefore, truck maintenance is critical.

When a truck does not receive proper maintenance or no maintenance at all, the truck is bound to have issues on the road, which can result in dangerous events like loss of control, tire blowouts, and explosions. 

Malfunctioning or Defective Truck Part

There are many parts within a truck, all with their own purposes. When a truck part is defective or suddenly malfunctions, this can cause problems for the truck driver and result in serious injury to the driver and others on the road. 

Common Types of Truck Accidents

The resulting type of truck accident typically depends on the cause of the collision. There are many kinds of truck accidents, but the following are the most common. 

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions can be scary and traumatizing for a driver, especially if you don’t see it coming. When a truck rear-ends a vehicle, it hits the car from the back, which can cause severe injury to the driver, including head and neck injuries.

Front-End Accidents

A front-end, or head-on, collision often happens if a truck is driving in the wrong direction. When a large truck hits a car from the front, the strong impact can be deadly. 

Underride Collisions

Underride accidents are always a risk when smaller vehicles, including sedans and motorcycles, ride behind a semi-truck.

These accidents occur when a truck suddenly brakes without the rear vehicle having enough time or distance to make a safe stop. When this happens, the force of the impact can cause the car behind the truck to get stuck under the tractor-trailer. 

Underride accidents are among the most dangerous and deadly truck accidents. 


Lawyer for Truck Accident in Chicago

Large trucks are susceptible to rolling over due to their narrow wheelbases and high centers of gravity. Rollovers regularly occur when a truck driver loses control of the vehicle for some reason. The truck can begin to tip and slowly roll onto its side. This event is dangerous for vehicles in the general vicinity of the truck, as the truck can hit them or even land on top of them. 

Trucks can rollover for many reasons, including speeding, turning too fast, or overcorrecting after drifting into another lane. 

Jackknife Accidents

The jackknife collision gets its name because the truck folds into a 90-degree angle with the cab and trailer, looking like a folded jackknife. Usually, jackknife accidents happen when a truck driver tries to brake too quickly, and the truck’s trailer starts to sway to either side.

This can be dangerous for any drivers in the area as the trailer begins to drift into adjoining lanes. 

T-Bone Collisions

A t-bone accident involves one vehicle crashing head-on into the side of another vehicle, causing it to look like a T.

The most common cause of T-bone accidents is running a red light. When a truck is speeding and runs a red light, they regularly cause t-bone collisions. 

Side-Swipe Accidents

A side-swipe collision happens when a truck’s side collides with or swipes the side of a vehicle. This commonly occurs when a truck driver attempts to quickly or improperly change lanes when a vehicle is in the way. 

Wide Turn Collisions

Wide turn accidents are often the result of a turn gone wrong. When an 18-wheeler needs to make a turn, they usually need to swing slightly to the opposite side to have enough room to successfully make the turn. For example, if a truck needs to turn right, it’ll need to swing a bit to the left to have enough room to make its turn without hitting anyone or anything. 

If the truck driver makes a wrong maneuver, they can easily hit a vehicle while attempting to make their turn. 

Injuries that Often Result from Trucking Collisions

Collisions with trucks can produce some of the worst accident injuries. This is partly due to semi-truck size and weight, as they can cause extensive destruction in a wreck.

Some of the injuries truck accident victims are at risk of suffering include:

  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Internal injuries

It is not uncommon for truck collision victims to suffer severe injuries that forever impact their quality of life. Injury complications and other lasting health effects can get in the way of a victim living life as they once did.

Not only are the injuries physically and mentally overwhelming, but also the financial repercussions of getting medical treatment. Medical care is costly, and bills add up quickly.

After sustaining injuries in an accident, you shouldn’t have to fight your own legal battles. A skilled truck accident attorney can calculate the value of your case to aggressively pursue the monetary recovery you need and deserve for your injuries and losses. 

Liability for Semi-Truck Accidents

While liability is critical in a truck accident claim, it is also one of the details that makes these kinds of cases so difficult to handle. 

Liability is often clear in other types of accidents, like car accidents. In a collision involving two vehicles, there is typically one driver who caused the accident, and that’s that. In a truck accident case, it’s not always so linear. In fact, it’s quite common for multiple parties to share liability for a crash.

Some of the big players when it comes to truck accident liability can include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • The owner of the truck
  • The party responsible for loading the cargo onto the truck
  • The party responsible for truck maintenance
  • The manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer of the truck or truck parts

In some cases, other parties may also hold some responsibility - for example, the city or governmental entity if defective roads or construction were partly to blame. 

Pinpointing and naming every single party that can be responsible for your semi-truck collision is no easy task. Furthermore, you must also provide solid proof these named parties caused your accident and how. 

While this all seems overwhelming and impossible to take on, you don’t have to worry. A truck accident lawyer has the right tools and experience to handle liability and obtain the necessary evidence to irrefutably prove certain parties’ negligence caused your crash. 

Damages for Truck Collision Claims

Aside from pursuing justice for the wrong done unto you, the primary objective of a collision claim or personal injury lawsuit is obtaining financial recovery. Damages can compensate you for your injuries and all other monetary and non-monetary losses you suffered as a result of your collision. 

Damages you can recover include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Loss of income
  • Impacted or lost earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disability
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement

In cases where a defendant’s actions went beyond negligence, you might seek punitive damages. For punitive damages, you must prove the defendant acted maliciously, recklessly, or intentionally. These damages fundamentally serve to punish the defendant for their actions and deter anyone from acting in such a manner in the future.

Calculating your damages is on a truck accident lawyer’s list of case-related tasks. With their knowledge and experience, these attorneys have a special understanding of trucking collision cases, giving them the ability to accurately assign a monetary value to your case. 

Gary Annes, Truck accident attorney near Chicago, IL area
 Gary Annes Truck Accident Lawyer in Chicago

Having a truck accident lawyer working on your collision claim gives you peace of mind to focus on other important things, like your recovery and physical and mental health. You can trust your attorney to work diligently and provide fierce representation to obtain the best possible result and fairest compensation on your behalf. 

From thorough accident investigations and gathering pertinent evidence to communicating with the insurance company and negotiating a favorable settlement, a truck accident lawyer does it all. Hiring an attorney from a top rated personal injury law firm in Chicago to handle your claim for you gives you a better opportunity to receive the monetary recovery you deserve. Insurance companies respond better to lawyers as they realize attorneys don’t fall for the insurer’s minimizing tactics.

Save yourself the trouble and aggravation of handling your own truck collision claim. Legal representation is available for you when you need it most.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

Abels & Annes, P.C.

Address: 100 N LaSalle St #1710,
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (855) 529-2442

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