Rear-End Truck Accident Attorney
When a commercial truck driver is negligent and fails to brake in time, the results can be catastrophic. Victims can suffer from whiplash, back and neck injuries, and even death. Truck drivers can be liable for their negligence, and if the truck company is implicated, they may be responsible for damages.
Are you the victim of a rear-end truck accident, or did you lose a loved one in a fatal crash? The personal injury lawyers at Injury Lawyer Team are legal advocates for injured victims and surviving family members and work to hold those responsible financially accountable.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Rear End Truck Accident Statistics in the US
In the United States, rear-end truck accidents are common on the roads. These accidents result in severe injuries, catastrophic injuries, personal injury, and injuries to drivers and passengers involved.
In many cases, the truck is to blame for the accident, often because the driver was not paying attention or was driving too fast.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2020, there were 3,921 people killed in large truck crashes. Of those fatalities, 71% were the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash.
In addition, nearly one-third (30%) of all injury crashes involving large trucks occurred when the truck rear-ended another vehicle. These accidents are often severe and can cause catastrophic injuries to drivers and passengers.
NHTSA Data on Truck Accidents involving Passenger Vehicles
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data reveals that most accidents involving a large truck and another vehicle occur when the truck rear-ends the other vehicle, including:
- About 24% of all truck accidents in the United States in 2020 involved rear-end collisions with cars, motorcycles, and other trucks
- Nearly 6.1% of large truck accidents involved a car or SUV as the striking vehicle in 2020
- In 2020, there were approximately 500 fatal rear-end collisions involving large commercial vehicles
- Approximately 18% of all accidents involve semi-tractor-trailers in multi-vehicle collisions (three or more vehicles)
Injuries From Rear End Truck Crashes
While any type of car accident can be devastating, rear-end collisions involving commercial vehicles are often especially catastrophic due to the size and weight of the truck. Additionally, semi-trucks take up significantly more space on the roadway than the average passenger vehicle.
Victims of rear-end truck accidents often suffer severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment and can lead to lost wages and other damages.
There are many reasons why rear-end collisions with big trucks occur, but some of the most common causes include:
- Distracted driving: One of the leading causes of accidents, and this includes accidents involving large trucks. When a driver is distracted, they are not paying attention to the road and can easily miss a stop sign or red light, leading to a rear-end collision.
- Speeding: Travelling faster than the posted speed limit or too fast for road conditions are also factors in rear-end semi-truck accidents. When a truck goes too fast, it takes longer to stop, leading to an accident if it rear-ends another vehicle.
- Fatigue: Driving drowsy is another common cause of rear-end wrecks involving large commercial trucks. Truckers often work long hours and may not get enough rest, making them more likely to fall asleep at the wheel or make mistakes while driving.
- Improper maintenance: Trucking companies must ensure that all vehicles operate safely. Improperly maintained trucks can also be more likely to cause accidents. If a truck’s brakes are not properly maintained, the truck may not be able to stop in time to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Illegal lane changes: Making an illegal lane change maneuver while driving a fully loaded semi-tractor-trailer often leads to sideswiping another vehicle or cutting off another driver, which can lead to a rear-end collision.
- Driving while intoxicated or drugged: Operating a large motor vehicle, including a semi-tractor-trailer, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be catastrophic. In many cases, drunk driving leads to rear-end wrecks.
- Adverse weather conditions: Slippery roads, icy conditions, fog, and other bad weather create traffic hazards, making it more challenging for the truck driver to stop in time to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Road construction zones: Roadways under construction and maintenance often create lane closures, traffic delays, and other hazards. These conditions can lead to rear-end crashes if the trucker is not paying attention or if they are driving too fast for the conditions.
Causes of Rear-End Truck Accidents
Rear truck/passenger car crashes can be some of the most catastrophic traffic accidents on the road. When a car is hit from behind, the occupants of the car are immediately thrust forward.
A rear-end semi-truck collision can cause serious injuries, especially if the occupants are not wearing their seat belts. In addition to the risk of injury to passengers, drivers may also be injured if they hit their heads on the windshield or steering wheel.
The consequences can be even more severe if a truck is involved in a rear-end collision. Trucks are much larger and heavier than cars, so when they collide with a smaller vehicle, the impact is correspondingly more significant. The result is often serious injury or death to the smaller vehicle’s occupants.
Rear-end semi-truck crashes often result in painful injuries, including:
- Head injuries: Some of the most common injuries in rear-end truck collisions. These injuries range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Neck and back injuries: Whiplash is common in rear-end crashes, but these rear-end accidents can also cause more severe neck and back injuries, such as herniated discs.
- Broken bones: Truck crashes can cause broken bones, including fractures and shattered bones.
- Soft tissue injuries: Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries are also common in rear-end accidents.
- Internal injuries: Rear-end truck accidents can cause internal bleeding, organ damage, and other severe internal injuries.
- Spinal cord damage: Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries resulting from a rear-end truck collision. These injuries can cause paralysis, and in some cases, they can be fatal.
- Deadly burns: These accidents can sometimes cause fires or explosions when the truck rear end a passenger vehicle, which lead to fatal burns.
Truckers Involved in Rear-End Collisions
Truck drivers operating semi-tractor-trailers involved in collisions, accidents, and crashes can pursue compensation through the workers’ compensation program. The trucker’s employer (trucking company) must maintain an accident policy through an approved insurance company for every employee should they be harmed on the job.
These benefits are available even when the injured truck drivers admit fault for causing the crash. The program ensures that accident victims are compensated fairly and receive adequate funds to pay for their work-related damages, including:
- Hospital expenses and medical bills
- Lost wages from time away from work
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits, including lost future earnings
- The cost of rehabilitation, therapy, or surgery
- Non-economic damages including pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
- Funeral and burial expenses (in wrongful death cases)
- Punitive damages when the responsible person’s actions were egregious
Surviving family members who lost a loved one in a rear-end accident are also entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if the decedent was working at the time of the crash. Those who qualify typically include the deceased’s spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, sibling, or relative.
Protecting Legal Rights Following a Rear-End Trucking Accident
When you are injured in a rear-end accident, it is crucial to understand the laws that protect your legal rights. Both federal and state laws can help you seek compensation for your injuries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Adminstration (FMCSA) govern the trucking industry. These regulations include rules on driver fatigue, hours of service, and vehicle maintenance.
Truck Driver and Trucking Company Responsibilities
State laws also provide protections for accident victims. For example, Illinois Revised Statute ( ILCS) 625.5/11-1401 requires commercial truck drivers to maintain a certain distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. If a truck driver fails to do this and causes a rear-end truck collision, they can be liable for the accident.
In addition to the driver, the trucking company can also be responsible for a rear-end trucking accident. Trucking companies must perform background checks on their drivers and ensure they are adequately trained.
They are also responsible for maintaining the vehicles and ensuring they operate safely. If a trucking company fails to do these things and an accident occurs, the company can be held liable.
Proving a Rear-End Truck Collision Case
Resolving an accident case can be challenging. Civil tort law requires the injured party that filed the claim to prove that the defendant (alleged responsible party) caused the crash and is liable for accident damages.
Typically, the injured party (plaintiff) will hire a truck accident attorney specializing in the legal battles involved in a rear-end truck collision claim. Their attorney will:
- Review the case
- Identify any issues with the statute of limitations (the time to file from the accident date)
- Establish fault and identify who caused the accident
- Obtain the police report
- Visit the crash scene to best understand how the accident happened.
- Calculate the client’s damages based on previous settlement values
- Review the defendant’s insurance company coverage
- File a demand letter sent to the defendant and their insurance company
- Conduct negotiating meetings to settle the case
- Prepare to take the case to trial if negotiations are unsuccessful
- Present evidence before a judge and jury
Hiring a Rear-End Truck Crash Lawyer to Resolve a Personal Injury Liability Claim
Are you the victim of a rear-end semi-truck crash, or did you lose a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence? Our personal injury lawyers represent victims of rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks, commercial vans, and other vehicles.
Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation. We can provide immediate legal representation and numerous options for winning your case by determining liability, gathering evidence, and holding the truck driver, the truck company, and the insurance company financially accountable.
We accept all heavy truck accidents on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees are required until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.