Thousands of people share the road with big rig trucks in and around Nashville daily, and most people get by just fine. However, when accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks do occur, the consequences can be fatal. According to the Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there are around 2058 large truck crashes in Nashville, which led to 146,930 injuries and 4,965 fatalities. Below, we take a look at why these types of accidents are so dangerous.
Vehicle Weight and Size
Big rig trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, according to Federal legislation – and they can come in at even more if there’s a special permit in place. To put this into perspective, the average passenger vehicle costs anywhere from 3,000-4,000 pounds; the lighter vehicle in a collision will always come off worse.
Being involved in an accident with a big rig can lead to catastrophic injuries including spinal cord injuries and lasting brain damage. These consequences will leave you under financial strain and may change your quality of life forever. To help alleviate some of the pressure, you can rely on our expert lawyers to successfully claim compensation. Our reach is far, with offices in 31 locations across 18 states including Nashville, Tennessee; Phoenix, Arizona; and Tampa, Florida; so don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation.
Large trucks with a trailer are often transporting enormous amounts of cargo, which should be properly fixed in place according to federal regulations. However, accidents happen, and cargo can come loose and fly into the road. The stray cargo can crash into other vehicles and cause devastating accidents. Alternatively, if a truck is carrying hazardous materials like toxic chemicals, it can cause serious environmental and medical issues.
Override and Underride Collisions
We’ve already established that big rigs are much heavier and larger than the average vehicle, but this poses more of a risk than just damage from impact. For example, another vehicle can get lodged underneath the truck in an override or underride collision.
Override collisions occur when the big rig hurls into the back of another vehicle, leaving the cabin and trailer hanging over the top. In underride collisions, a smaller vehicle hits the back of the lorry and becomes wedged underneath the trailer.
Both of these collisions can lead to horrific injuries or fatalities. Passengers are most at risk during override accidents, as the rear of the car is crushed under the force and weight of the lorry. Underride accidents can be especially gruesome, with some cases leading to decapitation and other fatal injuries.
Pileups and Multi-Vehicle Crashes
The weight and length of a truck mean an accident can cause more damage to those immediately involved. Given how a cabin and trailer move, the truck could end up blocking multiple lanes of traffic, which can lead to multi-vehicle accidents and pileups reaching into the hundreds. Alternatively, if the trailer of a big rig jackknifes, it can swing like a wrecking ball and take out other unsuspecting vehicles.
Common Big Rig Accident Injuries
Large truck accidents lead to catastrophic injuries that clean be permanent. For example, spinal injuries would leave a victim paralyzed, and they will require medical support for life. Other injuries include:
- Head trauma & brain injuries
What to Do Following a Nashville Truck Accident
Depending on the severity of the crash, your first priority is getting to safety and calling the police. While you’re waiting for them to arrive, take pictures of the scene from every angle – if you’re able to do so. Additionally, you should collect the details of any potential witnesses.
Once the police arrive, tell them as much as you can about the collision and collect an incident number. When they say it’s safe for you to leave, head straight to the emergency room and have a thorough medical assessment. Again, collect records and keep them safe as you will need them for claiming compensation.
You must tell your insurance company about the collision but handle it without telling them any details. Anything you say can be used and twisted in an attempt to wriggle out of paying.
This is where you call our law firm for a free consultation. After being accepted, we will handle everything from communicating with insurance companies to conducting thorough investigations. At this point, we will put together a reasonable compensation claim, which should be settled outside of the courtroom.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a big rig accident in Nashville, please call now on 800-421-0174 or visit one of our offices.