Truck accidents always have the potential to be catastrophic, but it does not take an extraordinary event—such as high speeds, heavy traffic, or inclement weather—to cause a truck wreck. While these are common causes of collisions, ordinary circumstances and simple mistakes can also cause devastating crashes. One potential “ordinary” cause of a semi-truck crash is a wide right turn.
Although most truck drivers have enough experience to make right turns safely, others might take a corner recklessly or without checking for other motorists—putting not only their cargo but everyone around them at risk.
The Dangers of Wide Right Turns
Large commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks, cannot maneuver as easily as smaller vehicles. After all: a tractor-trailer can be over 60 feet long, requiring nearly as much space to make a simple right turn.
Since semi-trucks require additional space to make simple maneuvers, they do not always initiate right turns from the same position as other vehicles. Here in Missouri, it is not uncommon to see truck drivers enter a right turn from the left lane. Accidents can happen if:
- The truck driver does not use their turn signal before turning.
- The truck driver did not receive adequate training and does not know how to safely negotiate a wide right turn.
- The truck driver initiated the turn without checking their blind spot.
- The truck driver entered the turn without enough clearance and then backed up without looking for other vehicles.
Wide right turn accidents can have other causes, too, including:
- Defective or poorly maintained equipment
- Driver distraction
- Driver impairment
No matter the reason, when truck drivers make mistakes, the consequences can be disastrous.
Potential Injuries After a Wide Turn Accident
When a semi-truck and a private automobile collide, the semi-truck almost always wins: a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh over 80,000 pounds, nearly 20 times the weight of a consumer pick-up truck. So, after a semi-truck accident, anything is possible. Even at low speeds, leaving the crash site in an ambulance can seem like a positive outcome.
If you were hit by a semi-truck that negligently took a wide right turn, your vehicle could be forced off the road or trapped underneath the trailer. This could lead to life-altering injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Severe lacerations, including appendage amputation(s)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
The Cost of Truck Accident Injuries
If you were hurt by a wide turn gone wrong, you might have to spend days, weeks, or even months recovering in the hospital. In that time, you might:
- Accrue massive medical expenses
- Undergo surgery
- Enter physical rehabilitation
- Be recommended to various medical specialists
While you are trying to recover, you may have to take substantial time away from work—losing the income you need to not only pay your medical bills but keep a roof over your head.
In the meantime, you might struggle to make sense of your accident. You might feel traumatized and isolated. If your injuries resulted in the loss of a limb, scarring, or severe burns, you might worry that your life will never go back to normal.
How an Attorney Can Help You Get Justice
Although nobody can undo the damage, an experienced Missouri truck accident attorney can help secure compensation for your losses. A lawyer could:
- Investigate the accident site to find out its cause and prove you were not at fault.
- Gather, collect, and analyze evidence of the other driver’s negligence as well as your injuries.
- Determine who should be held liable for your damages. This could include the truck driver, the trucking company, a parts manufacturer, or some combination thereof.
- Calculate the value of your damages, which could include medical expenses, long-term care, lost income, reduced earning potential, and emotional pain and suffering.
Missouri does not cap the damages you can recover after a truck accident—meaning that your attorney can help you get the compensation you need to not only clear your existing expenses but any money you may need for future care.
However, Missouri will not let you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit if you wait too long after your accident to take action.