Types of Truck Accidents
No matter where you live, it is virtually impossible to drive your personal
car, truck, or motorcycle without encountering a commercial truck of some
type. It is also likely that, given the number of such commercial trucks
on our streets and highways, that accidents involving such vehicles will
occur. If you, or a family member, were injured in a commercial truck
accident, the truck accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm reminds you that
you have the right to be compensated for your injuries by the truck’s owner.
Since there are so many potential types of commercial trucking accidents,
many of which are explained in the links provided in the sidebars accompanying
this article, the truck accident lawyer at the
Doan Law Firm feels that these accidents are best explained by looking at the types
of freight being picked up or delivered by a commercial truck. He will
then explain the legal options that may be available to those who suffered
an injury or property loss in such accidents.
Types of commercial trucks and commercial vehicles
As mentioned earlier, the type of commercial truck/vehicle and its freight
type are the most useful ways to understand accidents involving such vehicles.
As you might imagine, there is considerable overlap in these statistics
and the following descriptions must be taken in the context of the specific
accident involving one of the following general types of commercial vehicles.
Percentage-wise, commercial parcel delivery account for the majority of
commercial vehicles on city streets. In addition to the major “door
to door” delivery operators such as FedEx and UPS, this category
includes intra-city couriers and light-freight delivery by business to
their customers. Vehicles in this category are those that are under 10,000
pounds in Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). Despite their greater number, parcel
delivery vehicles are involved in fewer personal injury accidents than
are the other types of commercial vehicles.
Less Than Truckload (LTL) Carrier
LTL carriers operate in the area between parcel delivery (above) and truckload
carriers (below). These carriers specialize in “palletized”
freight, which is freight that is loaded onto wooden or lightweight metal
pallets. LTL freight delivery typically involves vehicles that make deliveries
to more than one recipient, or make pickups from more than one shipper,
over the course of the day. Although the rate of injury accidents is higher
than that of parcel delivery vehicles, it is proportionally lower than
that of “over the road” (OTR) truckload carriers.
Truckload Freight Carrier
If you mention “truck accident,” most people will assume that
you mean OTR freight carriers. These “big rig” or “semis”
are frequently encountered on Interstate Highways or in the vicinity of
manufacturing plants and include both “tanker trucks” that
may carry up to 8,000 gallons of substances ranging from gasoline to orange
juice and refrigerated “refer” trucks that transport food
from processing plants to distribution centers. These trucks have the
highest ratios of injury accidents per miles driven in the trucking industry.
Container freight is freight that is loaded into shipping containers that
are the same length as a regular freight trailer. These containers are
usually loaded at some distance from their destination, often at an overseas
location, and then shipped to an American port. At the port, the containers
are often loaded onto railroad cars and shipped to central trucking company
facilities where they are loaded onto a trailer undercarriage and then
Since container freight is often loaded a great distance from its final
delivery point, and beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. safety officials,
load shifting as a cause of motor vehicle accidents is more common in
this type of freight delivery. Otherwise, the accident causes are roughly
the same as for OTR trucking accidents.
Your legal rights following a commercial truck accident
If you, or a family member, were injured in a commercial trucking accident
you may have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the truck’s
owner to recover the costs of treating your injuries as well as to be
compensated for other factors related to your accident. The right to sue,
as well as the types of damages that you may expect to recover, are explained
in detail on other pages of this website. We encourage you to visit these
pages, which can be found in the links presented in the sidebar of this page.
Contacting a truck accident lawyer
If you have experienced an injury or some other loss in a commercial trucking
accident, you will probably be contacted by an adjuster from the truck
owner’s insurance company within a few days of the accident. In
many cases the adjuster will ask what seem to be innocent questions regarding
who was injured and the extent of any injuries. The adjuster will usually
offer you a “quick settlement,” but only if you agree to settle quickly.
If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster following a trucking accident,
DO NOT make any statement or volunteer any accident-related information
until you have spoken with a truck accident lawyer. One such experienced
personal injury accident lawyer is the truck accident lawyer at the
Doan Law Firm, a nationwide commercial truck accident and personal injury law practice.
contact our truck accident lawyer, your initial consultation with our firm is always free of any cost to
you and does not obligate you to hire us as your representative in a future
truck accident lawsuit. If you decide that our firm should act as your
legal counsel in your trucking accident lawsuit, we are willing to assume
full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in
exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we
will win for you. In other words, “If we don’t win your case,
you don’t pay!”