Truck Accidents

Portland, ME Truck Accident Lawyers

Trucks are a common sight on I-95, I-295, Route 77, and 22, and on the city streets, busy delivering goods to the local community. While we rely on trucking firms to keep the community supplied with food and goods, these large commercial trucks pose a serious risk to others sharing the streets and roadways. A semi-truck that has gone out of control can be a disaster, with innocent drivers and passengers seriously or fatally injured.

Truck Accident Statistics – The Facts Tell the Story.

As reported by Maine DOT, over a four year period, 9,641 truck accidents occurred in the state of Maine, with 83 fatalities and 1,825 injuries. The highest percentage of these deadly collisions occur during the winter months December, January, and February, but take place at any time of year. The agency reports on the truck driver actions that resulted in the crash, which include:

  • Truck ran off roadway
  • Failed to yield right-of-way
  • Ran red light
  • Ran stop sign
  • Disregarded traffic signs
  • Exceeded posted speed limit
  • Improper turns
  • Improper backing
  • Improper passing
  • Following too closely
  • Failed to stay in proper lane
  • Operated truck in an erratic, reckless, careless, negligent, or aggressive manner
  • Swerved

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Portland, ME

Truck drivers must professionally and safely control a massive vehicle, weighing up to 80,000 lbs., in all types of weather. They are under extreme pressure to deliver cargo on time and required to adhere to strict state and federal regulations. The types of truck driver behavior that can lead to a disastrous truck accident include:

  • Driving while fatigued
  • Lack of driver training and experience
  • Driving too fast for road conditions
  • Exceeding speed limits
  • Distracted driving (texting, eating, phone calls, etc.)
  • Alcohol impaired
  • Drug impaired
  • Exceeding a safe speed for weather conditions

Who is Liable?

In a trucking accident, determining the liable party(ies) requires a thorough investigation. The truck may have lost control due to a faulty safety system, such as brakes, tires, or steering, or the truck driver may have operated the vehicle in an unsafe manner. The liable parties named in a claim could include:

  • Trucking firm
  • Truck driver
  • Parts manufacturer
  • Truck manufacturer
  • Cargo loading firm

Types of Truck Accidents

Operating a large commercial truck requires a great deal of skill. The weight and size of these trucks makes them difficult to maneuver, whether changing lanes, turning, or merging. An error operating the vehicle, no matter how small, can lead to a very serious accident. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:

  • Jackknife accident: A jackknife accident can be triggered by an uneven load, the inability to bring the truck to a stop, or a sudden turn. As the truck trailer moves sideways, the driver is completely unable to control motion, with the truck trailer often sweeping aside vehicles in the adjoining lanes or opposing lanes.
  • Side-swipe accident: A driver who fails to keep the truck safely within the lane can impact another vehicle in the adjoining lane. Drivers who are tired, distracted, or reckless may be less vigilant about ensuring the truck remains within the right line, causing serious or fatal injuries to innocent people.
  • Underride accident: When a truck brakes suddenly, or turns unsafely, another vehicle, whether car, truck, van, SUV, or motorcycle may be forced under the body of the truck, with disastrous consequences.
  • Truck rollover: An out-of-control semi-truck can roll over. This can be the result of speeding, turning too fast, a collision with an item on the road or a curb, or the driver who over-corrects steering.
  • Wide turn accidents: A turn at an intersection requires the driver carefully negotiating the turn, and carefully ensuring no cars are at risk of being hit.
  • Blind spot accidents: Trucks have large blind spots, and a trucker that fails to ensure no other vehicle is hidden within the blind spot may make a deadly error, colliding with a driver in the adjoining lane.
  • Rear-end accidents: A big rig driver must leave a larger distance between their vehicle and those ahead, as it requires far longer to bring a heavy truck to a full stop. When the driver fails to leave a safe distance, or the brakes fail, the truck may crash into the vehicle ahead.

Why Choose Horn Wright, LLP?

A truck accident injury or wrongful death case requires a high level of experience and legal skill. The legal team at Horn Wright, LLP is client-focused, dedicated, and experienced serving as counsel in challenging injury cases.

Contact Horn Wright, LLP at (207) 994-2001 to speak with us about a serious truck accident injury case, or wrongful death claim.

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