The road is a dangerous place at the best of times, and every year more and more vehicles are hitting the road—especially delivery vehicles and other types of box trucks or vans. Accidents involving these types of vehicles can not only be devastating to injured passenger car victims, but also present a unique legal challenge to try and recover damages from the responsible party.
Here’s what you should know regarding box truck accidents, including what types of trucks qualify as box truck, common accidents, who may be responsible for the crash, and how to get legal help after an accident.
What Is a Box Truck?
Box trucks are a type of truck with a large enclosed rectangular cargo area in the rear, and usually feature a roll-up style door on the back for loading and unloading. These types of trucks are often used for deliveries of appliances and other household goods and for commercial deliveries between businesses. They are also used as moving trucks. Box trucks may range in weight from roughly 12,000 pounds to about 33,000 pounds, or anywhere from six to over sixteen tons.
While the heavier-weight box trucks may require a CDL (commercial driver’s license) to drive, lighter varieties box trucks do not, and may be legally operated by someone who is 18 years old with a regular driver’s license and no specialized training.
Box Truck Accidents
Box truck accidents can happen as a result of the same things that cause passenger vehicle accidents, but the consequences can be even more grave due to the size mismatch of the crash. A regular passenger vehicle only weighs in at 1.5 to 2 tons, and versus a six-ton truck, the results can be catastrophic.
Some of the most common types of accidents that happen with box trucks can include:
- Blind spot accidents. Trucks have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles, both at the sides and to the rear of the vehicle. An inexperienced or poorly trained box truck driver may not realize special attention is required before changing lanes or taking a turn to ensure nobody is hidden in those blind spots. The result can be a serious crash.
- Rollover crashes. Box trucks have a higher center of gravity than many people are used to in a vehicle, meaning the risk for a rollover accident is much greater. If a truck driver takes a corner too quickly or tries to maneuver at speeds too fast for the truck to handle, the entire truck may fall over onto its side or even roll over completely, crushing any smaller vehicles in the way.
Other accidents with box trucks may be caused by delayed or improper maintenance, including failed brakes, old or faulty tires, broken lights, or other issues that can cause the truck to become a hazard on the road. Driver fatigue is often a problem, as well, especially when drivers are overworked. Fatigue can lead to errors in judgment that cost the lives of others on the road.
Liability in Box Truck Accidents
Determining who is responsible for paying damages in a box truck accident lawsuit can quickly become complicated, since most of these trucks are commercial vehicles. Not only may the driver be held liable, but the employer itself may hold responsibility. There may also be multiple insurance companies and other parties involved as well, each of them fighting to minimize its own responsibility for your injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you find all parties who may share financial liability for your accident, so that you can receive the compensation that you’re owed.
Get Legal Help Now
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a box truck, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We’re here to stand up for the legal rights of those who have been injured, and we want to get you the justice that you deserve in a court of law. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals, call us by phone, send an email with our contact form, or click the live chat box on this page right now.