What Makes Sideswipe Truck Collisions So Dangerous?
Commercial trucks are at a higher risk of causing or being involved in sideswipe accidents because of blind spots on the side, front, and back of the vehicle. Truck drivers can’t always see what’s around them, making it dangerous and difficult to change lanes or turn.
It’s crucial to hire a successful commercial truck accident attorney as soon as possible so that they can move fast to recover information from the truck’s EDR (event data recorder.) The EDR contains critical data regarding speed and braking which can help build a strong claim and may increase the compensation amount.
Truck Sideswipe Accidents Can Result in Catastrophic Injuries and Wrongful Death
Sideswipe accidents often involve glancing blows and grazing between vehicles. Unfortunately, things are different when an accident occurs between mismatched vehicles. Depending on the circumstances and the vehicles involved, sideswipe crashes can result in severe injuries and even death of the victims.
These are a few conditions that make truck sideswipe accidents particularly dangerous:
- Mismatched vehicle size: When a truck or an 18-wheeler collides with a small car, it results in significant damage. Occupants of the passenger car or the smaller vehicle sustain serious injuries. This is owing to the mismatch in the size of the vehicles which causes the reinforced metal sides or bumper of the truck to connect with the car’s lesser reinforced upper areas or the side glass.
- Sliding accidents: Sideswipe accidents can push a smaller vehicle under the tractor-trailer rig. The vehicle can easily slip under a side underride when the bottom edge of the truck is higher up. Underride accidents usually cause damage to the upper portions of a vehicle. It may also result in passenger compartment intrusion, causing serious injury to the vehicle occupants.
- Complete side engagement: An oncoming truck may try to avoid a front-end crash by swerving. This can still cause a sideswipe accident that begins at the front side of the vehicle and causes extensive damage all the way until the end. The larger area of impact causes the occupants of the struck car to be at a higher risk of direct trauma.
- Speeding: Speeding was found to be the chief factor in 29% of traffic fatalities in 2020 as per NSC Injury Facts. Speeding vehicles cause more injuries and damage during sideswipe crashes. Speeding trucks have a more forceful impact as compared to a vehicle traveling at slower speeds.
You should consult with a skilled truck accident attorney to recover adequate compensation following a sideswipe truck collision.
Typical Injuries in a West Virginia Sideswipe Truck Crash
The injury potential of a sideswipe truck collision depends on the unique circumstances and type of vehicles involved in the crash. Science Direct published a study in September 2004 documenting the relationship between the extent of the injury and heavier vehicles. As per the study, sideswipe accidents can cause extensive injuries to the head and upper thorax.
Severe head trauma usually results in traumatic brain injuries, which require lifelong rehabilitation and treatment. It can also leave victims with permanent impairments, family and lifestyle changes, and lost income opportunities. Upper thoracic trauma also causes damage to internal organs and the skeletal system.
These are serious injuries, which may cause partial or full paralysis. Victims often lose bodily functions and sensations in areas below or at the point where the damage occurs on the spine. Other types of injuries in a truck sideswipe collision include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Shoulder injury
- Back and neck injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Upper extremity injury
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck sideswipe accident, you should work with a competent truck accident attorney in West Virginia who can gather the necessary evidence to help you obtain maximum compensation.
Common Causes of Sideswipe Truck Accidents
Sideswipe accidents or blind spot crashes occur when a vehicle swipes or collides with the side of another. Tractor-trailer sideswipe accidents usually occur when a truck changes lanes or merges with oncoming traffic. The results of a sideswipe accident between a truck and a passenger car can be catastrophic.
Blind spot accidents are different from other types of accidents. With a sideswipe accident, the vehicles involved may have glancing contact, but it may still cause serious injury. In many cases, the sheer weight of the truck pushes the passenger car off the road or overturns it.
Common causes of sideswipe truck collisions include:
- Driver inattention
- Blind spots
- Failure to stay in lane
- Not anticipating merges
- Improperly adjusted mirrors
- Unfamiliar route
- Not signaling lane changes
Trucks engaging in risky driving behavior, such as distracted driving, unsafe lane changes, or speeding are at a greater risk of causing sideswipe accidents.
Legal Help is Here from Top-Rated Commercial Truck Accident Attorneys in West Virginia
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a sideswipe truck collision, you are entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The dedicated attorneys at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., have the necessary experience to help WV truck accident victims claim the damages and justice they are entitled to.
Our seasoned personal injury attorneys will determine the liability of not just the negligent driver but also the trucking company and potential third parties involved to make sure that you get the maximum compensation you deserve for the sideswipe collision. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 800-497-0234 or fill out this online contact form.