You may notice commercial trucks all over the road. You seldom see them on residential streets, but if you get out on the highway, you’ll notice them everywhere. These huge vehicles carry freight from state to state and sometimes coast to coast.
These trucks help America run, but sometimes, the drivers don’t follow every traffic law. They may also act recklessly, even if they don’t technically break any laws.
Sudden stop truck accidents create some interesting legal cases. We’ll discuss them right now.
What Does a Sudden Stop Accident Mean?
We will discuss the consequences of sudden stop commercial truck accidents, but first, you should know what we mean when we use this phrase. Sudden stop accidents occur when you have a commercial truck ahead of you. The truck driver slams on the brakes suddenly.
They usually do this if something happens on the road ahead that makes them step down hard on the
brakes. They might see a deer or some other animal run across the highway.
They may stop suddenly because a car ahead of them stops abruptly as well. In these cases, the commercial truck was right behind the vehicle ahead, riding its bumper.
If the commercial truck ahead of you stops suddenly, and you’re close behind, you might hit the truck’s rear. That’s one way these accidents occur.
You might also have a situation where you’re driving the car up ahead, and you stop suddenly for one of the reasons we mentioned. The commercial truck behind you hits your vehicle’s rear bumper.
This type of accident can cause a lot of damage since a commercial truck weighs much more than the average vehicle. Who caused the accidents in the situations we described, though?
Let’s run through what the police and the court system usually think about these collisions.
When You Hit a Commercial Truck that Stops in Front of You
First, let’s run through the scenario of what happens if you hit a commercial truck that stops in front of you. In this situation, for the most part, the police and the court system will say that you’re at fault.
That’s because, when you’re driving on the highway, or anywhere else, for that matter, you should keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.
In driving school, you learn that you should keep one vehicle length between yourself and a car or other vehicles ahead of you. If you drive behind the vehicle any closer than that, you might hit them if you stop suddenly, which is precisely what we’re discussing here.
With commercial trucks, though, you should keep an even longer distance. That’s because these trucks can seriously damage your vehicle if one swerves or makes a sudden move when it’s near you.
You should know to stay well back from a large commercial truck whenever you can. If you drive up close behind one, and then it stops suddenly, the police will blame you, and so will a judge in traffic court if the police give you a ticket.
When a Commercial Truck Driving Behind You Hits You from Behind
In the other scenario, you have a commercial truck driving behind you. You stop suddenly, and the commercial truck hits you from behind.
In most cases, the police and the court system will say that the truck caused the accident. Much like the situation where you hit the truck from behind, the truck driver should know to maintain a safe distance. They didn’t do that, and they hit you.
Also, truck drivers should know better than most that they must keep a safe distance. That’s because commercial trucks have huge blind spots of which drivers need to be aware.
The driver can’t see right in front of the truck. Because of this, they should know to keep a large space between their truck and the back of your car.
What Happens After a Sudden Stop Accident?
Whether you hit a commercial truck in the way we’ve described or the truck hit you, you must exchange insurance information after the collision. You must also determine whether you sustained any injuries or not.
If you did, then you should call 911 so an ambulance can take you to the hospital. Even if you don’t think the accident hurt you, you should still call 911. When you do, the police can come and take your statement and the truck driver’s statement.
Never flee the accident scene. If you do, that’s an additional criminal charge, and that’s the last thing you want.
You Should Hire a Lawyer
You should also probably hire a lawyer after a commercial truck accident, whether you hit the truck or the truck hit you. Commercial truck accidents have an additional dimension. They’re not exactly like regular car accidents.
With commercial truck accidents, you might deal with not just the trucker driver but also their company. If you determine that you must bring a lawsuit to recover damages, then you might sue the trucking company and not the driver. You might also sue them both.
A lawyer who does these accident cases can help you out in this area. When you explain what happened, they can tell you your options. If you don’t hire a lawyer, you might not know what steps you can take.
These situations can confuse and upset you, and the trucking company probably won’t help you. They might take an antagonistic approach, whether you caused the wreck or not.
Once you have a lawyer, they can start investigating the crash. They can help you through the steps you must take.
At the same time, you must take any actions that will help your recovery. If you’re laid up with whiplash or some other injury following the accident, you must do whatever the doctors told you to recover.
Sudden stop commercial truck accidents are no fun, but an experienced attorney can assist you through the days that follow.