When you travel throughout Arkansas and Sebastian County, you expect roadways, highways, and freeways that are safe and do not subject you or your family to unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, accidents do happen despite our best efforts to avoid them. Sometimes drivers can become momentarily distracted and cause a wreck. In other cases, the driver may misjudge the situation, be fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In states like Arkansas, where retail business, manufacturing, and farming dominate, truck traffic is often very noticeable on the state highways and interstates. However, injuries are also often much more severe due to the increased mass of commercial trucks like 18-wheelers, Mack trucks, and tractor-trailers.
Truck accident cases are complicated. They often involve serious injuries, significant medical expenses, and potentially multiple parties. When you are in a wreck with another driver, your claim is likely against that driver and their insurance company. However, when a commercial truck is involved, you could have a valid claim against the truck driver, the trucking company, the vehicle manufacturer, the loading company, or even another driver that contributed to the accident. You need our experienced Sebastian County, AR truck accident attorneys at your side.
If you have been injured in a trucking or commercial vehicle accident, you need an attorney who will stand up and fight the insurance company for you. For twenty years, our team of aggressive and professional lawyers have fought for Arkansans injured due to carelessness, recklessness, or negligence. To discuss your legal options and what steps to take after a truck accident, call (479) 316-0438.
Areas and Roads of Concern In and Around Sebastian County, AR
A number of high-traffic roadways and highways pass through Sebastian County. While motorists should remain aware and focused at all times, the high speeds and often high volume of traffic on these roads may require additional care. These roadways include:
- Interstate 540 – I-540 is a spur of US I-40 that runs through Sebastian and Crawford counties. The roadway connects northwest Arkansas to destinations including Little Rock, Bella Vista, Rogers and continues to the Oklahoma state line.
- Interstate 49 – I-49 serves as the boundary between Rogers and Bentonville and passes through Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Between Alma and Fayetteville, Arkansas I-49 is known as the Boston Mountains Scenic Loop. Motorists on this route should be wary of slow-moving vehicles which may be distracted or seeking a destination like the University of Arkansas or Fort Smith National Historic Site.
Other major highways which pass through Sebastian County include:
- State Route 10
- State Route 22
- State Route 45
- State Route 59
- State Route 96
- S. Highway 64
- S. Highway 71
- S. Highway 271
While motorists should remain wary on all roads, the injuries due to an accident on a highway can be particularly severe or fatal.
Common Types of Truck Accidents in Sebastian County
Automotive vehicle accidents occur for a wide range of reasons, from distracted driving to operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Truck drivers are not immune from these same reckless and dangerous behaviors. However, because of the size and weight of these massive vehicles, trucks are prone to other sorts of accidents. Below we examine some of the common reasons truck crashes happen.
A jackknife accident occurs when a trailer whips around at a 90-degree angle to the truck’s cab. These kinds of accidents pose a serious danger to other motorists as they are usually unexpected and cross several lanes of traffic. Some common causes of a jackknife accident include problems with the truck’s braking system, reckless driving during inclement weather, excessive speed, or driver inexperience.
Large trucks have a high center of gravity. Therefore, there is a greater risk of these massive vehicles rolling over. Rollover accidents occur for a broad range of reasons, including shifting or unbalanced loads, braking issues, mishandled curves, dangerous road conditions, and driver inattention. When a truck rolls on its side, any smaller vehicle traveling alongside could be crushed.
Rear-end accidents are common amongst all combinations of vehicles. Sometimes, a rear-end collision involving a truck is caused by unsafe driving from motorists driving smaller vehicles. Trucks need considerably more distance to stop or slow down, so if a passenger car quickly changes lanes in front of a truck or suddenly stops, a rear-end accident is likely to occur. Nonetheless, truck drivers have to be aware of their surroundings, especially because of the large blind spots their vehicle presents. Furthermore, a driver of a massive commercial vehicle should never tailgate a smaller car or truck.
Something unique to large trucks is the possibility of an underride accident. These catastrophic and sometimes deadly collisions occur when a smaller vehicle collides with the side, front, or rear of a truck and is pulled underneath the trailer.
Under federal law, all trucker drivers are required to properly ensure that their cargo is properly loaded and secured. When a truck’s cargo becomes loose, it could cause a deadly accident. Any dramatic shift in a truck’s cargo will make the vehicle harder to control, potentially leading to an accident. Furthermore, if the cargo is unsecured, it could spill on there roadway behind the truck. Depending on the traffic and the cargo, this could lead to multiple devastating accidents.
Any type of vehicle could be affected by a tire blowout. However, they are especially dangerous when they involve a large commercial truck. A driver could easily lose control of their vehicle when a blowout occurs. When this happens, a truck driver attempting to regain control of their vehicle will not always have the ability to react to or avoid the traffic around their vehicle. Sometimes, a blowout will cause a massive truck to veer into an oncoming lane of traffic. Even if the truck driver maintains control, the scraps and debris of the destroyed tire could impact other drivers in the vicinity.
What Type of Injuries Can Trucking Accidents Cause in Sebastian County?
Each and every trucking accident is the product of its own unique factors, mistakes, and other circumstances that resulted in the collision. Therefore it is not possible to predict the exact nature and severity of injuries one might sustain, but certain injuries do occur more frequently than others. Common injuries due to trucking accidents can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries – A TBI is a difficult diagnosis to receive because of the often severe consequences a TBI can carry. A TBI can cause changes in one’s personality, increased aggression, problems with language and communication, trouble maintaining attention or focus, difficulty with abstract concepts and many other problems. Injuries to the brain are often life-altering or fatal.
- Bone fractures – Bone fractures can be simple or they can be complex. Simple fractures occur when there is a break to the bone but no tissue damage. A complex fracture occurs when the break is so severe that extensive soft tissue damage also occurs.
- Whiplash – Whiplash is an injury caused to the neck and spine due to rapidly changing forces. When the vehicle accelerates and decelerates following a collision, the forces may cause shearing of nerve and muscle tissue in the neck, head, or back.
Types of Compensation Available to Sebastian County Truck Accident Victims
When you sue a truck driver, their employer, or an insurance company, you are seeking to be made whole. This is accomplished by recovering a monetary award to cover your damages. Damages is a term used to describe your injuries and losses attributable to the accident. In Sebastian County, AR, a truck accident victim is usually entitled to economic and non-economic damages.
If you are injured in a truck accident, you will incur considerable expenses. Possibly the largest expenses will be centered around your medical care, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, medication, and follow-up appointments. Some severe injuries will also require modifications to your home or home healthcare.
In addition to your medical costs, you could also recover your lost income. This includes the time you have already missed because of your injury and any future income you would have earned. For example, if you are only able to work at a diminished capacity, you could be missing overtime or bonuses you would have otherwise received. In cases where the accident victim is permanently disabled, they should recover the income they earned throughout their lives.
While these two categories represent the two most significant sources of financial loss, your recovery is not limited to them. Smaller expenses, including parking fees, childcare, or any other expenses that could be traced to your injury or treatment, could also be included.
A substantial portion of an injury award could be your non-economic damages. Unlike economic damages, you will likely not have a bill or statement to prove what losses you incurred. Nonetheless, you are still entitled to a monetary recovery for intangible harm such as depression, mental anguish, anxiety, sleep loss, and loss of enjoyment of life.
One way these types of damages are calculated is to apply a multiplier to your medical expenses. For example, if your medical expense total $110,000 and a multiplier of three was used to calculate your non-economic damages, you would receive $330,000 to cover your pain and suffering. Typically, a multiplier will range between one and five. Our Sebastian County personal injury lawyer will fight aggressively to apply a higher multiplier than an insurance provider would use.
Contact Our Sabastian County, Arkansas Truck Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Unfortunately, many other serious injuries can occur as the result of a truck accident. These can also include burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, lacerations, contusions, and many other types of injuries. If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call our Sebastian County, AR truck accident attorneys at (479) 316-0438.