You’re stopped at a red light when all of a sudden you see a massive semi-truck coming straight for your car from behind. You awake in a hospital to sheer pain and your car totaled. The strength of commercial trucks is no joke — so when they cause an accident, it’s not uncommon to hear of severe injuries and fatalities. Since trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times as much as cars, getting rear-ended by a large truck can be a traumatizing experience. You may be left in a world of confusion, suffering, and financial stress after a truck accident.
With almost 39 million registered trucks in the nation, it’s no wonder that over 4,000 people are killed in truck accidents each year. The majority of these fatalities, however, per the IIHS, are people in passenger cars, making up 97% of those killed in two-vehicle accidents. In 2019, 114,000 people were injured in truck accidents. No number except for zero will ever be acceptable for these types of statistics, but it is truly concerning that the number of people who have died in large truck crashes was 28% higher in 2020 than in 2009.
What kinds of injuries happen in rear-end truck accidents?
Being hit from behind by a large commercial truck can lead to many different types of injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, occur when there is a strong blow or jolt to the head, causing your brain to move back and forth or side to side against the skull. It can result in internal bruising, bleeding, and torn brain tissues. A TBI can cause serious problems down the line, such as memory issues, coma, loss of coordination, slurred speech, profound confusion, and so much more.
Spinal or neck injuries can be very dangerous, as well. A spinal cord injury can often cause permanent changes in your strength and sensation. You may lose the ability to control some of your limbs. You may experience spasms, chronic pain from the damage to your nerve fibers, and loss of bladder control. Other injuries that a victim can sustain from a truck accident are bone fractures, lacerations, road rash, bruising, scars and disfigurement, burns, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Being rear-ended by a large truck can also lead to fatal injuries.
Common causes of Chattanooga truck accidents
Speeding, distraction, and impairment are the three most common factors for truck accidents. According to the Tennessee Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) manual, there are various ways in which truck drivers can lose their CDL and get into big problems with the law:
- Driving 15 mph over the speed limit
- Tailgating or following much too closely behind the person in front of them
- Reckless and negligent driving
- Maneuvering dangerously when changing lanes
- Operating the commercial truck without a valid and appropriate CDL
What to do if you’ve been hit by a truck
If you are hit by a truck from behind and can call 911, do so first. If you can, get out of harm’s way to do this. Ensure that you seek any medical attention necessary on the spot. Even if an ambulance is not needed, you should go to your nearest emergency department or urgent clinic as soon as possible. There may be injuries that you may have not noticed during the accident. Some injuries may not cause any physical pain right away, but they are there. Others may be delayed or an indirect result of another injury. Plus, seeing a medical professional right away creates medical records that can be used later in court.
Report your side of what happened to the police and your insurance company. Stick to the facts as much as possible and tell them all the details that you can remember. Try to not speculate as to how the events leading up to the accident happened. Do not blame yourself or others when speaking to the police or the insurance company. Once this is done, make sure you exchange information with everyone involved. Obtain their names, numbers, addresses, license plates, and names of insurance carriers. Finally, contact an experienced truck accident attorney right away. Make sure you provide all details surrounding the accident and the steps you have taken thus far to your attorney.
How a Chattanooga truck accident attorney can help you
Usually, being rear-ended means that the other driver is almost always liable. Nevertheless, it does not mean that the case will be an easy one. That is why your experienced attorney will conduct a deep investigation in order to build your case with sufficient proof. Trucking companies are known to make these types of cases very challenging, and they will try to harass the victim into accepting a low settlement – no matter the severity of the injury they’ve sustained. Your attorney will provide valuable advice as you both proceed with the case. For example, do not take any calls from the trucking company or accept any kind of offer outside of the courtroom.
Your attorney will also collect evidence directly from the scene and from other sources that are usually not readily available to everyone. The trucking company may even try to destroy some of that important evidence, but your lawyer can help catch the necessary proof on time. They will fight for you to receive fair compensation for your injuries, which includes compensation for your medical expenses and long-term suffering. While your attorney covers the legal part of this situation, you can focus on getting the rest you need.
Whether it’s a commercial truck, a utility truck, or even a pickup truck, getting rear-ended by a bigger vehicle can be serious. If you’ve been injured because a truck crashed into your car from behind, contact one of our experienced attorneys as soon as possible. We have teams ready to help you across Chattanooga, Cleveland, and North Georgia. They will help build you the strongest case possible and will assist in clearing up any doubts or concerns you may have. Contact Wagner & Wagner today to schedule a free consultation.
Wagner & Wagner is one of the longest-established law firms in Chattanooga. With more than seven decades of proven legal experience, our law practice has steadily grown through repeat business, valuable referrals and a tradition of client satisfaction. Learn More