Bismarck Trucking Accident Lawyer
Protecting the rights of those injured in commercial trucking accidents throughout North Dakota
There are several factors such as the massive size differential between large commercial trucks and much smaller passenger vehicles which account for the fact that most deaths that occur with large truck traffic accidents involve the occupants of passenger vehicles. At the Larson Law Firm, we are here to protect your right to recover fair compensation after surviving the trauma of a truck accident. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your case with an experienced Bismarck truck accident lawyer.
Fatal truck accidents are on the rise
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), using NHTSA data reports that 4,102 people died in large truck crashes in 2017. Of those truck crash fatalities, 17% were truck occupants and 68% were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 14% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
The NHTSA reported that deaths from large truck crashes reached its highest level in 29 years in 2017 despite a decrease in overall traffic safety data. Some of these needless deaths, may be attributed to distracted driving.
In North Dakota, the oil and gas industry uses lots of large trucks which travel in often treacherous conditions between work sites thus exposing workers to an increased likelihood of getting involved in a truck accident. Large trucks have a much longer breaking distance than do passenger vehicles, and if the driver is impaired by drowsiness, alcohol, drugs, or if they are distracted, it takes 20-40 times more distance for a large truck to stop than a passenger vehicle which can sometimes stop on a dime depending on speed.
Trucking accidents in the oil and gas extraction industry
An article in Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN) reports that between January 2015 and February, 2017 oil and gas extraction industry workers were involved in 602 accidents, some resulting in multiple injuries, with 481 hospitalizations and 166 amputations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reports that transportation incidents remained the most frequent fatal event in 2017 with 2,077 (40%) of the total number of occupations fatalities.
Fatigued driving is a huge issue for oil and gas extraction industry workers. Oil and gas workers are required to drive long distances from their homes to work sites, in between work sites that are often located in remote areas. Rising early, driving for long periods every day, and feeling under pressure to meet deadlines contribute to the drowsy driving that causes many of the truck accidents in the oil and gas industry. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a report for employers and one for employees with tips for preventing fatigued driving.
What are some of the common causes for truck accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency with oversight for large commercial trucks and buses in the U.S. The FMCSA and the NHTSA conducted a Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) to determine the factors that contribute to truck accidents on our nation’s roadways. While there is rarely a single factor that contributes to a truck crash, the study sought to examine those factors that come together immediately prior to a crash. Some of the factors they found were:
Driver error such as:
- Alcohol impairment
- Inadequate surveillance
- Unfamiliar with the roadway
- Illegal maneuver
- Following too close
Vehicle issues including:
- Brake problems
- Tire problems
- Cargo shift
Additional factors which can contribute to causing truck accidents include:
- Defective parts
- Deferred maintenance
- Environmental conditions (such as bad weather, snow, ice, heavy rain)
Who can I sue after a trucking accident injury?
One of the things that makes pursuing a trucking accident injury claim so complicated is that unlike a collision with two passenger vehicles, a commercial truck is a business operation with several insurance policies and several options for liability. With a truck accident, the driver might be partially responsible, the driver’s employer might have some liability. If the accident was caused by defective or malfunctioning equipment, the manufacturer of the defective part or the maintenance vendor could also have some liability as well.
Knowing who to hold responsible and proving your injury case is the task of your experienced Bismarck truck accident lawyer from the Larson Law Firm. We are here to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Examples of truck accident injuries
Surviving a truck accident can leave you with serious injuries that can devastate your life. Because of the massive size difference between a large commercial truck and much smaller, lighter passenger vehicles, the occupants of the passenger vehicles are often the ones who suffer the most serious injuries which might include:
- Head injuries such as traumatic brain injury, which can occur even in closed head injuries, can cause catastrophic injuries although the symptoms might not be apparent immediately following the accident
- Back and neck injuries which are painful and often disabling
- Internal organ damage to the liver, kidneys, and spleen can cause internal bleeding and other health problems
- Bone fractures in the ribs, hips, legs, and feet from the impact of a large truck
- Spinal cord injury including paralysis which can be permanent
- Amputations/limb loss can occur in high speed impact crashes
- Burn injuries can occur when the impact of the crash ruptures a fuel tank which explodes and catches fire
- Airbag and seatbelt injuries to the face, head, shoulders, and back
- Cuts and lacerations from broken glass or road rash if the injured person has been ejected from the vehicle
- Wrongful death
How can a Bismarck truck accident lawyer help me?