When Poor Safety Standards Lead to Truck Accidents and Injury

Date: May 6, 2014

Three large truck manufacturers issued recalls on 18,000 trucks earlier this year. Mack, Navistar, and Caterpillar are recalling several truck models for issues with brakes, exhaust pipes, and problems with one model’s Electronic Power Distribution Module, leading to increased fire risks. Some of these trucks have been on the road for more than four years. These are serious problems that may have threatened the safety of numerous truck drivers and motorists.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports an estimated 125,000 truck accidents annually in the United States. This leads to nearly 60,000 injuries and 5,000 resulting deaths every year. In 2011, approximately 12% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities involved large trucks.  Though statistics provided by the various U.S. Department of Transportation agencies and other sources vary, the consensus reflects an increase in the number of truck accidents each year, and an alarming number of fatalities.

Unsafe Trucks Have Alarming Consequences

The DOT has reported that more than half of large truck accidents reflect no driver error, and between 7% and 10% are directly caused by vehicle failure.  A large, fully loaded commercial truck typically weighs almost 30 times more than the average car. In a truck versus car collision, the resulting injuries are usually far more severe than those incurred from passenger car crashes. Truck accident fatalities also carry a steep price tag of more than $3 million per incident. Even crashes that lead to injury, but not death, incur an average cost of more than $60,000. This data demonstrates the severe impact that unsafe trucks traveling the roads and highways regularly can have. When you consider that it often takes more than a year or two for the truck manufacturers to recognize the defects and issue recalls, it’s apparent that this is a serious problem with alarming consequences.

Large tractor-trailer truck accidents lead to sizable personal injury claims. Passengers in cars involved in a collision with a large truck often suffer catastrophic injuries, including neuropsychological injury and paralysis. These injuries often require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Victims may face years of physical therapy, a lifelong dependence on pain medication, and an adverse impact on their livelihood and enjoyment of life overall.

Protect Your Rights

As demonstrated with the available data, a large number of these horrific injuries are the result of defective vehicles and manufacturer error. Victims of these catastrophic injuries have legal recourse. If you or someone you love has suffered this terrible experience, a truck accident personal injury claim could help you pay your medical bills and rehabilitation expenses, as well as compensate you for a number of other related losses and damages. An aggressive, experienced truck accident attorney can investigate your claim and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Paul Oven
Paul started as a Law Clerk with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, L.L.P. while attending the University of Scranton in 1990. After completing law school in 1995, he started as an Associate in the Scranton/Moosic office immediately and became a Partner in 2000.