Truck Merging Accidents
One of the more common causes of a truck accident is when a truck merges into an already occupied lane of traffic, or when a truck is attempting to reenter the highway after pulling off to the shoulder.
A truck’s weight can be more than 10 times that of an ordinary passenger vehicle, so even the slightest impact can easily cause a motorist to lose control, resulting in devastating consequences in some cases. A motorist can take some steps to avoid a truck merging accident including:
- Not making sudden lane changes
- Not merging in front of a truck until well past it
- Not driving in the truck’s blind spots or ‘no-zones”
- Not trying to out-run the truck at intersections or on the highway
- Not driving impaired
Truck drivers, though, often make errors in judgment or cause accidents from other factors. Drivers have strict regulations regarding the number of hours they can drive in one day but may fall behind in a transport schedule and attempt to make up the time by speeding or taking drugs to maintain alertness.
If not paying attention or from fatigue or a distraction, a truck driver may merge into a lane where a motorist is advancing. To avoid a collision, the trucker may make a sudden evasive maneuver and if the cargo is not secured, the load may loosen and fall to the road surface creating an extremely hazardous condition.
Proper Merging Technique from a Shoulder
In an emergency such as an equipment failure or tire blowout, a truck may need to pull off to the shoulder. Federal regulations require trucks to use their hazard lights or flashers when doing so and to place hazard devices behind the truck when it is parked on the shoulder.
Once the emergency has been remedied, the driver must take extra precautions when merging back onto the highways. After turning off the flashers, the proper technique is for the driver to activate the left turn signal and to remain in the shoulder area while accelerating to highway speed, or around 55 miles per hour. When there are no approaching vehicles or if they are far enough in the distance or in a further lane over, the truck can merge back onto the highway. It is the responsibility of the truck driver to use proper caution in these cases.
Airbag Deployment Malfunction and Accidents
Airbags are standard in all vehicles and save lives and serious injuries in head-on and side collisions. A violent collision from a merging truck could deploy a side airbag, though it is likely to worsen the situation. If no passenger is in the front seat, the airbag is supposed to be disabled.
There are situations where there is a truck accident and airbag failure. If a car is struck by a truck merging into the car’s lane, the motorist may lose control and veer into the opposite lane of traffic or headlong into a barrier. If there is airbag failure, the driver and passengers can suffer serious injuries or death. A no airbag accident or airbag failure is a case for an attorney experienced in product liability cases as well as truck accidents.
Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
If you were injured by the negligent or wrongful conduct of another person or that of a municipality or private company, you are entitled to compensation. Your damages depend on the nature and extent of your injuries, or severity, if you were disabled for a time or even permanently, and the effect your injuries have and will have in your life.
Your compensation is based on the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Possible exemplary or punitive damages
Your attorney will obtain the necessary documents and reports supporting liability as well as the seriousness of your injuries, prognosis and reasonable possibility of future treatments and surgeries. If you suffered a permanent injury or severed limb, your attorney can ensure that your health care provider prepares a detailed report of how your injuries and disability have affected your life.
Retain Burns & Jain–A Massachusetts Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents can involve many diverse issues. Having a knowledgeable and resourceful truck accident lawyer handling your claim can ensure that the responsible party or parties are held liable and that you receive the maximum compensation for your injury. Call Burns & Jain if you have any questions about a truck accident claim.