The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there are nearly 840,000 blind spot accidents each year in the United States. Blind-spot wrecks can cause serious harm, but blind-spot wrecks involving large trucks can be even more dangerous or even fatal.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a blind spot accident involving a negligent truck driver, our South Carolina truck accident attorney team is here to help you hold the negligent party both legally and financially responsible for the harm they caused. If you would like to discuss your case and get answers to your questions, please call our firm for a free consultation at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) and 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC).
Where are the Blind Spots in a Semi Truck?
Large trucks are more susceptible to blind spots because of the size of the trucks and because semi trucks do not have rearview mirrors. It is a truck driver’s responsibility to remain aware of where their blind spots are at all times.
- Right side: This is the largest blind spot on a semi-truck. It starts at the front of the cab, and extends past the rear of the trailer. The right-side blind spot extends across two lanes of traffic, and gets wider as it goes toward the back of the truck.
- Left side: The blind spot on the left side of the truck begins just behind where the trucker sits and extends halfway down the trailer. The blind spot on this side extends over one lane of traffic.
- Front: Since truckers sit much higher above the road than do other drivers, they are not able to see what is directly in front of them on the road. This blind spot extends about 20 feet.
- Back: It’s nearly impossible for truckers to see vehicles that are directly behind them, and this blind spot in the back is about 30 feet long.
Causes of Blind Spot Truck Wrecks
Because their trucks are so large and can cause so much damage, truck drivers must take every step necessary to make sure the path is clear before they move on our roadways.
However, our personal injury lawyer adds, sometimes truck drivers fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes, turning, or passing other vehicles, which can cause devastating car accidents. Some of the common causes of blind spot crashes are:
- Following too closely: If you are in a smaller vehicle and a big truck is tailgating you, they may not be able to see you due to the blind spot in the front of the truck. Therefore, if you need to stop or brake suddenly, you may be rear ended by the semi truck.
- Driver fatigue: Fatigue from long hours of driving, truck drivers may make careless mistakes, such as not adequately assessing their blind spots for other drivers. The impaired judgment from fatigue may cause blind spot crashes.
- Sudden lane changes: When large trucks change lanes, they cannot see drivers at the side of the lane that the truck is entering, even with side mirrors. Without truck drivers exercising extreme caution, a lane change can result in serious accidents.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers who use their phones or are distracted in other ways may fail to fully check their blind spots and make sure there are no other vehicles.
- Backing up or taking turns: Because trucks have blind spots directly behind their trailers, the driver cannot see vehicles or pedestrians who are behind them. Without backup cameras and without carefully checking the back blind spot, when backing up, semis may hit anything that could be behind the truck.
Common Types of Blind Spot Crashes
Truck drivers failing to fully check their blind spots can cause many different types of accidents, like:
- Side-to-side collisions
- Rear-end wrecks
- Rollover crashes
- Underride wrecks
- Cyclist and pedestrian collisions
Who Can Be Held Responsible in a Blind Spot Crash with a Truck?
If the driver of the truck that hit you was driving while impaired or distracted, or if he did not exercise the necessary caution before maneuvering his truck, you can hold him liable for your damages.
In South Carolina, the trucking company that employed the negligent driver can also be held accountable for the driver’s actions. The trucking company is also responsible for actions they have taken separate from the accident. For example, if the company failed to have proper mirrors for the driver to check their blind spots, the company is accountable. Additionally, if the trucking company did not run an adequate background check on the driver, they can be held responsible for letting an unsafe driver with a history of accidents on the road.
If the trucking company and its driver had additional equipment installed on the truck to reduce blind spot accidents and those systems failed, the manufacturer responsible for installing that equipment may be responsible for any resulting accident.
When to Hire a South Carolina Truck Wreck Attorney
An experienced truck wreck attorney can help you seek justice after a crash with a commercial truck. Accidents involving semi trucks are fiercely protected by insurance companies, who will want to avoid paying out large amounts of money after a wreck. If you or a loved one were involved in a semi truck accident, our experienced legal team can help you seek a full, fair settlement to help pay for medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. If the insurance company refuses to adequately compensate you for your harm, we are prepared to take your case to trial and present it to a jury.
Compensation After a Semi Truck Crash
If you were injured in the wreck with a semi and have medical bills that need to be paid, lost wages from missed days of work, or a need for ongoing treatment or physical therapy, our team is here to help you seek compensation to cover all your losses. There are three types of compensation you can receive after a truck crash:
Economic Damages are verifiable monetary losses you may have incurred after a wreck. These can include:
- Medical bills,
- Vehicle repairs, and
- Loss of income (either past or future)
Noneconomic Damages are different from monetary losses stemming from a crash, but they are no less important. Some examples of noneconomic damages are:
- Emotional anguish, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Punitive Damages are used to ensure that the negligent truck driver and other responsible parties are held accountable for their reckless actions. Punitive damages are not used to compensate for any kind of loss, but rather to punish the company for its wrongdoing and ensure that the responsible parties’ negligent actions do not happen again.
Contact our Truck Crash Legal Team for a Free Consultation
At the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, our team is dedicated to making sure each and every one of our clients is treated fairly throughout the legal process. We understand how devastating these wrecks can be and how difficult it can be to get the compensation you deserve. Our firm always treats our clients with the respect and empathy we would want for our own loved ones, while also working diligently to ensure the insurance company and their insured understand the full impact this crash has had on your life. Let us focus on the legal side of your case, so you and your loved ones can focus on what matters most: healing and getting back to life as normal.
We are very sorry for the harm you experienced and the ongoing issues you are having to deal with us. We are to help you. Contact us for a free consultation at (803) 790-2800 (Columbia, SC) or (843) 427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC).