Truck Wide Turn Accident Lawyer
Most people think of head-on collisions and highway pile-ups when picturing trucking accidents. However, many large commercial truck accidents occur at slow speeds and on smaller roads.
Large trucks do not make turns the same way regular cars do. Truck drivers need a wide turning radius to maneuver their large vehicles safely, starting from the second lane to the left instead of the right lane. In other cases, large trucks need to occupy an additional lane of traffic to turn.
These factors make turning inherently risky for large truck drivers and other motorists. A driver that turns carelessly puts other drivers in danger, increasing the risk of a catastrophic accident.
Were you involved in a wide turn truck accident while driving? Did you lose a loved one in an accident involving a commercial truck? If so, you have the legal right to hold at-fault parties responsible for their negligence.
The truck accident attorneys at Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, can serve as your compassionate legal advocates in pursuing justice for you and your family. Contact our law team today for a free consultation about your case.
How Do Truck Drivers Make Wide Turns?
Large commercial trucks have a high center of gravity, meaning they must swing wide to avoid tipping. Furthermore, the size and length of a large truck make wide turning necessary to avoid driving over a curb or hitting a car in an opposite lane.
Truck drivers often move to an adjacent lane before and after a turning movement. A truck attempting to turn right will occupy the left lane first to make a turn wide enough to avoid hitting the sidewalk. On the other hand, a truck trying to turn left will start from the right lane before turning.
How a Truck Driver Must Make a Wide Turn
Truck drivers require specialized training to acquire a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This training includes proper techniques to avoid wide turn accidents.
When turning right, the CDL manual states that commercial drivers must:
- Turn slowly
- Keep the rear of the vehicle close to the curb
- Turn wide as you complete the turn
- Do not turn wide to the left as you begin the turn
- When you must cross into an oncoming lane, watch out for oncoming vehicles and give them room to stop or pass
- Do not back up
For left turns, the CDL manual states that drivers must:
- Reach the center of the intersection before starting the left turn
- When there are two turning lanes, use the right-hand lane
What Are Wide Turn Truck Accidents?
Wide truck accidents occur when:
- A truck driver turns carelessly or is unaware of adjacent vehicles
- A trucker does not alert other motorists before turning
- A truck driver turns too quickly
- A motorist attempts to pass a truck while it is turning right from the left-most lane
- A car driver is unaware of or tries to pass a truck trying to turn left from the right lane
- A passenger vehicle driver fails to stop when a truck makes a wide turn into an opposing lane of traffic
Types of Wide Turn Truck Accidents
There are three main types of wide turn accidents:
- Head-on Collisions: These accidents occur when a truck makes a wide turn into an opposing lane of traffic, hitting an approaching vehicle. A head-on collision may also occur when a car stops in time but crowds the intersection, not leaving enough space for the truck to turn.
- Squeeze-Play Accidents: A squeeze-play accident occurs when a truck leaves too much space between the vehicle and the curb, allowing another car to pass. When the truck turns, it squeezes the car between the truck and the curb.
- Rollover Accidents: These accidents are rare, but they can be extremely dangerous. Rollover accidents typically occur when a large semi-truck turns too fast. Its high center of gravity causes it to tip or roll, potentially crushing cars or pedestrians beneath it. A rollover accident can also occur when a truck does not swing wide enough and goes off-road, causing it to tip over.
Causes of Wide Turn Truck Accidents
In most cases, truck accidents are caused by a truck driver’s poor driving techniques, such as:
- Not using turn signals
- Not checking blind spots
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Failing to properly manage space
- Making a right turn with the rear of the trailer too far from the curb
- Leaving an opening for vehicles when turning right
- Entering a turn lane too quickly
- Backing up to complete a turning movement
Other common causes of wide turn accidents include:
- Faulty turn signals
- Lack of mirrors
- Inadequate truck driver training and experience
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Speeding or aggressive driving
- Unfamiliarity with new routes
- Negligence of other passenger vehicles
- Defective truck parts
Common Wide Turn Truck Accident Injuries
Due to the size and length of large commercial trucks, turn truck accidents typically result in serious injuries for everyone involved. Common injuries in truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord trauma
- Cuts, bruises, burns
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
What to Do if You Get into a Wide Turn Truck Accident
Getting into a car accident is jarring, even more so if you collide with a massive vehicle like a semi-truck. However, your following actions are vital.
Follow these steps if you ever find yourself in an accident involving a big rig:
- Get Somewhere Safe: Exit the vehicle and go somewhere safe unless doing so is dangerous. Pull off to the side of the road out of oncoming traffic to avoid further accidents or injuries, if possible.
- Call the Authorities: Call 911 immediately. Ask for multiple ambulances if there is more than one person with serious injuries. If there is no need for emergency services, call the police to document the scene.
- Apply First Aid: Use first aid on yourself and other injured persons. Do not move an unresponsive individual unless keeping them in the same position is more dangerous. Wait for emergency responders to arrive.
- Document the Scene: Take pictures of the accident scene if you can. Note the time, date, and location of where the accident occurred. Unless the truck driver is severely injured, try to obtain their information.
- Seek Medical Attention: Go to the hospital and have a doctor assess your injuries, even if they seem minor. Getting a check-up also gives you a medical record of your injuries, which you can use for your claim later.
- Monitor Your Condition: Some injuries take days or even weeks to manifest in physical signs. Call your doctor when you notice signs or symptoms related to your accident. Keep a journal to record your pain, ongoing emotional trauma, and other intangible effects of the incident.
- Document Your Losses: Write down your accident-related expenses and losses, including medical costs and repair bills.
- Contact a Lawyer: Filing a claim or lawsuit against a negligent driver or trucking company is often challenging without legal help. Contact a well-versed lawyer handling turn accidents to ensure your case is in good hands.
Who is Liable For a Wide Turn Truck Accident?
There may be multiple parties at fault in accidents involving trucks making wide turns, including:
- Negligent Truck Drivers: The truck driver responsible for the wide-turn accident could be the primary defendant in your case.
- Commercial Truck Operators: The employer of the negligent truck driver may also be liable if they have somehow contributed to your accident, such as failing to train their drivers properly or hiring inexperienced drivers.
- Other Drivers: In rare cases, trucking accidents are caused by other vehicles. You may hold another driver liable if their negligence led to your accident.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Trucking companies and truck drivers may be liable for accidents resulting from negligence. If you were involved in an accident caused by a truck driver’s carelessness, you could hold them responsible by filing a personal injury claim.
However, you must prove that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to you
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- The breach led to your accident
- The accident directly caused your injuries and damages
All drivers are legally required to exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring others. Hence, a truck driver that breaches this legal duty and causes a turn accident may be held liable for your medical bills, trauma, financial losses, and other damages.
Proving liability in a personal injury case requires substantial evidence. Your truck accident lawyer will help you obtain relevant forms of proof, such as:
- Photos of injuries sustained
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Photos of the accident scene
- Surveillance footage if available
- Witness accounts from other drivers and pedestrians
- Expert testimony
- Photos of property damage
Your truck accident attorney will tell you what documents you need to collect during your free initial consultation.
Car drivers involved in turn accidents may be entitled to compensation for the following accident-related expenses:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for medical costs, including hospitalization, surgery, therapy, medication, future anticipated medical bills, etc.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related expenses (e.g., mobility aids, rehabilitation, loss of future earning potential) if the injured party becomes permanently disabled.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental trauma, etc.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for quality of life lost due to the turn accident.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for wages lost while recovering from one’s injuries or caring for an injured loved one.
- Scarring or Disfigurement: Compensation if the turn accident results in severe injuries that permanently scar or disfigure the victim.
- Property Damage: Compensation for personal property lost or damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if the victim dies in the accident, including funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical treatment, grief, etc.
Your wide turn accident lawyer will estimate the potential value of your settlement during your initial consultation. This estimation will help ensure that you recover fair compensation.
After filing a legal claim against the driver or trucking company, their insurance company may offer you a settlement. You can accept the payment outright, but doing so will make you unable to sue for additional damages.
You may not realize all your losses immediately after the accident, so avoid accepting compensation too quickly. Better yet, have an experienced truck accident attorney handle the claim process with the insurance firm. Your lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf and prove why you deserve that amount.
Other Legal Options
Unfortunately, not all truck accident cases settle out of court. You may need to pursue other legal options if:
- The defendant refuses to take responsibility for your trucking accident
- Negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company are unsuccessful
Your lawyer can help you recover compensation in other ways, such as through a personal injury lawsuit. If your case goes to civil court, a judge or jury will hear evidence from both parties and determine a verdict.
To avoid litigation, your attorney can help you pursue alternative dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration or mediation. These alternatives are often less expensive, informal, and less time-consuming than a trial.
During your free case evaluation, your lawyer will walk you through your legal options depending on your case’s circumstances.
The Role of Your Lawyer
Proper legal counsel is necessary in any personal injury case. To ensure you recover compensation for your damages, your lawyer will:
- Conduct an in-depth investigation on how and why the accident happened
- Determine liability according to personal injury law
- Estimate the potential value of your settlement
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- File your claim within the statute of limitations
- Negotiate your settlement with responsible parties
- File a lawsuit in civil court, if necessary
How to Avoid Wide Turn Accidents
When driving a passenger car near a big rig, keep these safety tips in mind to avoid getting into a truck accident:
- Watch out for the truck’s turn signal to anticipate what the driver intends to do
- Avoid driving too close to a semi-truck or other large vehicle
- Slow down to a stop when a truck is attempting to merge into a turn lane
- Never pass a truck on the right side
- Give a truck enough room to turn; stay back at least one car’s length when stopping behind a truck
- Do not crowd an intersection
- Be wary of your blind spots
- Wait for a truck to merge into your lane when approaching or stopping at an intersection; the truck’s turn signal may not be working
- Follow general tips to avoid car accidents, such as not driving drunk, using your turn signals, and buckling up
Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer to Resolve Your Case
Due to their size, trucks and tractor trailers are inherently dangerous on the road. Hence, truck drivers and their employers must ensure proper safety precautions to avoid vehicle accidents.
Unfortunately, some truck drivers are negligent. Furthermore, not all truck companies employ adequate road safety precautions or maintain their fleet correctly.
Wide turn truck accidents can result in life-changing injuries and immense property damage. If you were injured in an accident involving a turning truck, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your damages.
Let the skilled wide-turn accident lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team handle your case. Our attorneys have years of experience resolving turn truck accidents and recovering compensation for countless victims injured by other people’s negligence.
Contact us today for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our truck accident lawyers handle all accepted turn accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.