People who drive a semi-truck, tractor trailer, dump truck or other commercial vehicle face a lot of challenges behind the wheel. The size alone makes these vehicles harder to maneuver, especially when turning sharp corners or reversing. It also takes more time and distance to stop such a large and heavy vehicle. Truck backing-up crashes are just one way these vehicles cause severe or fatal injuries, even when not on a highway.
At Jay Trucks, we strongly recommend seeking legal help from a qualified attorney after any crash that causes you serious harm. Our truck accident lawyers in Grand Rapids are ready to listen and help, and there are no upfront costs to pay.
Call 989-244-0356 24/7 for Your FREE Case Review
How Do Truck Backing-Up Crashes Happen?
The size, weight and lack of visibility of a large truck increases the risk of a crash while reversing. Commercial vehicles are harder to steer, and many trucks still do not have back-up cameras. Semi-trucks, utility vehicles and dump trucks also cause crashes while backing-up into multiple lanes of traffic.
Other risk factors for a truck backing-up crash include:
- Inexperienced drivers
- Negligent drivers backing up too quickly
- Experienced drivers becoming complacent
- The time of day – dawn or dusk
- Bad weather conditions
- Bright sunlight or dark shadows
Why Truck Backing-Up Crashes Are So Dangerous
Trucks backing-up are dangerous because these vehicles are large and heavy. Pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles that end up in a truck’s path when the truck reverses are likely to be severely injured. Even when victims survive these often-fatal crashes, their injuries may be life-altering. The cost of medical care after a catastrophic injury is devastating to most families, especially if the victim is the primary breadwinner.
Common injuries sustained in truck backing-up crashes may include:
- Broken bones or compound fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Severe Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Loss of limbs
- Wrongful death
Who May Be Liable for Injuries Due to a Truck Backing-Up?
In Michigan, regardless of liability, injured victims can seek compensation for their injuries and other losses through a no-fault benefits claim. However, in a truck backing-up crash, victims may often sustain catastrophic injuries. Their medical costs may be severe enough to exceed the limits of their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
This is why victims and their families should speak about their situation with a qualified attorney as soon after a crash as possible. There may be other parties who are liable for medical costs, such as the cost of surgery, physical therapy and diagnostic testing. Additionally victims who suffer impairment of a body function, may be eligible to seek compensation for excess damages.
Truck drivers owe a duty of care to pedestrians, cyclists and all other drivers. Even when in a parking lot or rest area, truck drivers are required to drive responsibly to prevent causing harm to others. If a truck driver fails to fulfill this duty, he or she can be held liable for the damages that may result.
For instance, if a truck driver backs up too quickly or without inspecting around and behind the vehicle first, the driver may be liable for damages.
Employers and Trucking Companies
Both employers and trucking companies have a legal obligation to prevent truck backing-up crashes. When preventative measures are not taken, truck owners, employers and companies may share liability.
This duty includes:
- Properly maintaining and servicing their trucks
- Doing a proper background check of employees, including validating their licenses
- Ensuring truck drivers receive proper training
- Complying with all federal and state truck safety regulations
How Truck Drivers Can Avoid Causing a Crash While Backing Up?
Despite the inherent challenges of driving a commercial vehicle, truck drivers can take steps to help avoid a crash.
To help reduce a crash risk while backing up, truck drivers are supposed to:
- Avoid backing up into traffic, such as using a parking lot or alleyway to turn around
- Check blind spots before maneuvering the truck
- Get out and manually inspect behind and around the truck
- Check the vehicle’s audible reverse alarm to be sure it is engaged and working
- Ask another person to help, especially to keep people and traffic away from the truck
- Back up slowly, using mirrors and human spotters to mitigate the risks
How Can You Avoid Being Injured in a Truck Backing-Up Crash?
As a pedestrian, cyclist or driver of another vehicle, you can help to protect yourself by remaining alert around trucks.
- Keeping a visual on trucks as you walk or ride, even in a parking lot
- Never drive or park your car behind a truck
- Avoid walking around or behind a truck at anytime
Learn About Your Legal Options After a Truck Crash
Truck backing-up crashes can cause life-altering injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured in this way, we strongly recommend seeking legal help immediately. A qualified attorney can help get your claim started while you focus on your physical health.
At Jay Trucks, we are prepared to work hard to get you the maximum compensation possible. We have a proven history of results, recovering millions for our clients.
Get started today by setting up your free case review. It is confidential and there is no obligation to move forward.
Experienced. Local Lawyers. 989-244-0356