Texas Commercial Truck Collisions
Semi-trucks are difficult vehicles to drive, and truck drivers have an enormous responsibility to ensure the safety of other vehicles on the road. Just one of the many challenges they face is coping with what is known in the industry as the “no-zone.” Our Houston truck accident attorneys explain that these large blind spots surround semi-trucks and pose a huge risk to vehicles driving next to a big rig. It’s important to know about this risk when on the road with trucks and what to do if you’ve been in an accident.
Where Are a Semi-Truck’s Blind Spots?
There are four primary blind spots on a semi-truck. These include:
- Immediately in front of the truck’s cab
- Below and behind the driver’s window
- The right side of the truck’s cab, extending backward diagonally
- Directly behind the truck’s trailer
The term “blind spot” simply means it’s all but impossible for the truck driver to view anything in these areas. While they are required by law to do their best to check blind spots prior to turning or changing lanes, it can still be very difficult for vehicles to be seen.
A large truck’s blind spots are much longer and wider than a standard vehicle due partially to their sheer size. They are also much taller, so when a driver is in the cab, it is difficult to see low-riding vehicles. Finally, semi-trucks don’t have rearview mirrors.
Causes and Injuries From Blind Spot Truck Accidents
Blind spots can contribute to truck crashes in several ways, including:
- Vehicles following too closely
- A truck driver driving aggressively
- A truck driver failing to check his or her blind spots prior to a lane change
- Cars traveling in the truck’s blind spots
In a crash with a semi-truck, the driver of the regular vehicle is almost always going to incur more serious injuries. The likelihood of fatalities is also much higher. Some injuries that result from such a collision include:
- Lacerations that may result in permanent scarring
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Crushed limbs that may result in amputation
Who Is Liable in a Blind Spot Accident?
Lawyers for the trucking company could argue that their driver is not liable because the victim’s car was in his blind spot. When you seek damages, you might hear the following claims:
- You were responsible because you drove in the truck’s blind spot.
- You should have adjusted your speed so you could have been seen by the truck driver.
- You should have been aware of the truck driver’s limited visibility.
Some counterclaims that could be made in your defense include:
- The truck driver owes a duty of care to other drivers.
- The truck driver worked too many hours and was overly tired.
- The truck driver did not have the necessary mirrors or other equipment to see the car.
- The truck driver does not have proper training or certifications.
- The truck driver did not keep an appropriate lookout before changing lanes.
Sound overwhelming? It certainly is. This is why it is important to contact an accident attorney as soon as possible. They are well-versed in the defenses the trucking company and their insurance adjusters will launch and can help defend you appropriately. In working with an experienced auto accident lawyer, you are not only protecting yourself but can also receive damages to help pay for your injuries both physically and emotionally.
Seeking Damages in a Blind Spot Crush
During a personal injury claim, you can seek damages related to the accident. This might include compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and emotional distress
- Damage to your car and the cost of replacing it
- Permanent disability or disfigurement