Who's At Fault in Wide-Turn Accidents?
Truck drivers have the challenging job of operating large commercial vehicles as big as 18-wheelers. They are critical for transportation around the country, so drivers of passenger vehicles must take special precautions when they, inevitably, see one on the road.
A turning truck requires more space due to its long and narrow body. Nevertheless, right-turn truck accidents are common.
Continue reading to learn about wide-turn accidents, what causes them, and who is usually responsible. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can explain who's at fault in jackknife accidents too.
What Is a Wide-Turn Truck Accident?
A truck accident can take place when other drivers are not prepared for wide turns. A commercial truck has a bigger body than smaller cars. Therefore, if a driver turns too quickly or sharply, the vehicles could topple over.
Wide right-turn accidents are more common than left-turn accidents since they require a more significant turning radius, naturally. This is true for all vehicles - not just trucks.
When drivers first hit the road, they learn about the special practices that truck operators must maintain to keep themselves and their cargo safe.
New drivers must understand that wide turns go hand in hand with commercial trucks, and that they must be aware of blind spots.
If all parties on the road - both the truck driver and other car drivers - do not take the necessary safety measures, they could cause a wide-turn truck accident, spurring plenty of damage and even severe injuries.
Types of Wide-Turn Truck Accidents
Understanding the different causes of wide-turn truck accidents can help keep all occupants of the road safer.
There are three main types of turning truck accidents of which to be aware. All involve right turns, as these are more dangerous than left turns.
Right Turn onto a Two-Lane Road
A wide-right turn accident can occur when a semi-truck takes a right onto a two-lane road. Since the vehicle needs more space to avoid a rollover, the truck driver must safely occupy room in the lane for oncoming traffic.
The drivers of the oncoming vehicles should be prepared to leave an opening for these trucks. However, when someone does not consider the safety precautions, they can cause a wide-turn accident.
Right Turn on a Multi-Lane Road
It is not uncommon for a right-turn truck accident to take place when a semi-truck attempts to pivot from a multi-lane road.
Drivers may operate in the lane furthest to the right. When attempting to turn right, they veer into the left lane to avoid head-on collisions with the oncoming traffic on the new street they are heading toward.
When truck drivers do not check their blind spots, they can cause a wide-turn accident. Additionally, if a passenger vehicle is speeding in the left lane and tries to pass the truck making this turn, it can cause a crash.
A wide right-turn accident can still occur if a driver tries to avoid one. When operators of large commercial vehicles do not provide enough room for the turn, they can topple over.
Trucks have a larger center of gravity. When a driver turns too sharply or too quickly, they can cause a rollover.
Common Causes of Wide-Turn Truck Accidents
There are several reasons right-turn truck accidents occur, and not all of them place the blame on truck drivers.
However, operators of cars should be aware of the actions of commercial trucks that could cause an accident.
Failure to Take Safety Precautions
Due to a truck's turning radius, these vehicles can operate outside of the posted lines on the road. There are safety measures drivers must take - such as being diligent about using a turn signal - as other people on the road function their vehicles differently.
Failing to do any of the following can lead to a wide right-turn accident:
Use a turn signal
Use windows and mirrors to check blind spots
Slow down when turning
Maintain as little space as possible between the trailer and the curb when turning
Additionally, drivers should never reverse their vehicle to complete a turn. Other motor vehicle operators may not be expecting this, thereby causing a truck accident.
Defects and Negligence
A right-turn truck accident can take place if the vehicle is not working properly. Any of the following defects could cause a crash for its lack of functionality:
Mirrors and windows
What's more, a trucking company hires people with the expectation that they practice all necessary safety precautions to keep themselves and other drivers safe.
However, a distracted or negligent truck driver could cause a wide right-turn accident if they are not prepared.
Other common causes of an accident include:
Lack of qualifications and experience
Lack of training
Unfamiliarity with a route
A truck driver's negligence or failure to practice safe wide turns can cause wide right-turn accidents. It is their responsibility to avoid crashes and keep everyone secure while turning.
However, that does not mean the truck driver is liable for another driver's negligence.
Are Truck Drivers Typically the At-Fault Party?
The truck driver involved in a right-turn accident is typically the responsible party. However, after a crash, attorneys and insurance providers examine the evidence of the case to determine liability.
Overall, it is not always the truck driver's fault.
If the driver is found responsible for the accident, there are more parties involved that could take some blame, including:
The trucking company
The owner of the truck
The manufacturer of the truck's parts
The truck's mechanics
The people who load the cargo
Tennessee upholds a comparative fault rule that determines liability. If a party is found more than 50 percent responsible for a right-turn truck accident, they cannot recover compensation for the injuries or damage.
Furthermore, comparative fault helps determine how much compensation each party involved should recover. A driver who is found 30 percent responsible for an accident may only receive compensation for 70 percent of the resulting damage.
Rules a Truck Driver Must Follow When Turning
To operate commercial trucks, drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). Learning how to make wide turns in these large vehicles is a critical part of training.
When making wide turns, drivers must do the following to avoid a right-turn truck accident:
Turn widely while completing the turn
Do not turn left initially
Ensure the rear of the truck is close to the curb
Allow space for oncoming vehicles to stop or pass
Do not back up
Truck drivers must consider these steps to keep all other drivers safe. In addition, if operators of passenger vehicles understood these precautions and were more aware of the rules of the road, they could keep themselves safe too.
Receiving Compensation for a Wide-Turn Accident
If accident victims sustained severe injuries or property damage, they have the right to file a personal injury insurance claim.
Truck accident attorneys can assist with an in-depth investigation to better understand the case while providing legal guidance for the best way to pursue compensation.
Some of the expenses that a claim can cover include:
Pain and suffering
Reduced quality of life
Victims can speak with an attorney to discuss any other expenses that may be covered and if the guilty party is liable to compensate them.
When to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer
Some accident victims may think legal representation is not necessary when recovering financial compensation. However, an experienced truck accident attorney can be more beneficial than many may believe.
Oftentimes, the insurance company of the at-fault party tries to deflect as much money as possible, so they do not have to pay. Insurance agents can negotiate and argue their client is not responsible.
This process can lead to victims recovering less compensation than they deserve. However, a legal professional can speak for clients on their behalf to receive as much remuneration as possible for the accident.
Obtaining compensation requires proving fault. Therefore, the victim must provide evidence that confirms the guilty party is responsible for the damages. An attorney can help them gather all the necessary documents that would build their case for a more streamlined effort for compensation. Some critical forms of evidence include:
Pictures of the accident damage
Overall, a Nashville semi truck accident lawyer helps victims through the legal process of obtaining compensation, including speaking with insurance companies.
If someone is involved in a wide-turn truck accident, they should contact a trusted lawyer soon after. Their legal advice can guide clients before speaking with an insurance company, which could build a case against them.
Contact War for You
Victims cannot just pick anyone to represent them. They need an experienced truck accident lawyer who understands the ins and outs of these cases, providing the best expertise. They can also give insight on who's at fault in underride accidents.
Contact the legal team of War for You in Nashville, Tennessee. The trusted attorneys of the firm can guide accident victims on their road to recovering compensation.
We go to war for you!