Logging continues to be a thriving and necessary industry, with over 428,000 logging truck drivers employed in the United States. Logging trucks are large, difficult to maneuver, and weigh up to 88,000 pounds when fully loaded, depending on legal limits in each state. In an accident with a logging truck, those in standard passenger vehicles are vulnerable to severe injuries. Nearly 400 logging truck crashes occurred in a recent five-year period. Alarmingly, logging truck accident numbers rose by 33% during the five-year period of the study, while other commercial truck accidents rose by only 16%.

What Causes Logging Truck Accidents?

Logging truck companies are typically paid by the load, incentivizing them to carry as many logs as possible. When loads aren’t properly balanced, it increases the risk of an accident. Logging truck accidents are extremely dangerous, particularly when the crash causes logs to loosen and roll out of the truck and into traffic.

Common causes of logging truck accidents include the following:

  • Fatigued driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding to meet unrealistic delivery goals
  • Unbalanced loads
  • Equipment failures
  • Unsafe lane changes due to blind spots
  • Negligent truck maintenance
  • Inadequate trailer lights

Logging trucks are often on the roads after dark and before dawn and have fewer trailer lights than other semi-tractor-trailer trucks making them difficult for other drivers to see. This sometimes results in accidents at intersections.

Common Injuries in Logging Truck Accidents

Logging trucks are more likely to roll over than other commercial trucks, resulting in devastating accidents including multi-car pile-ups. They are more complex accidents to deal with, even compared to a delivery truck accident or bus accident. Improperly balanced log loads, improper braking, or swerving can cause jackknife crashes and underride accidents in which a vehicle becomes lodged under the trailer. Injuries in traffic accidents involving logging trucks are often severe or catastrophic, including the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Burns
  • Facial injuries

Injuries in logging truck accidents often cause temporary or permanent disability, resulting in significant expenses for injury victims.

Liability In Trucking Accidents

When a truck accident occurs, it takes a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident, who was at fault, and which party is liable for the damages to victims, like medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and compensation for pain and suffering. Logging truck accidents can have multiple potentially liable parties including a careless driver, a negligent trucking or logging company, a negligent truck maintenance company, the manufacturer of defective equipment, or a third party such as a third-party driver or negligent road maintenance agency. Proving liability in truck accidents requires documenting evidence to show the following:

  • The at-fault party owed a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent causing injuries to others
  • They breached this duty through an act of negligence
  • The breach of duty caused an accident and injuries
  • The injury victim suffered economic and non-economic damages from the injury

It takes an experienced attorney to prove liability and make a compelling case to the insurance company for the maximum available compensation.

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?

An injury victim shouldn’t have to take on powerful trucking companies and their insurers without experienced representation, especially while dealing with a painful recovery or disabling injuries. A truck accident lawyer is the best way to move forward with prompt actions and the best possible results. Call the Cherry Hill truck accident lawyers at Cuneo & Leonetti today for a free consultation on your case.