Truck Accidents

Missoula Truck Accident Lawyer

Ready to Help You Secure Your Entitled Compensation

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Missoula or the surrounding areas, it is important to seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, we have a team of skilled attorneys who are dedicated to helping victims of truck accidents. Our attorneys have years of experience handling a wide range of truck accident cases, and we have successfully secured compensation for our clients.

Call (406) 233-1302 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

A truck accident refers to a collision or incident involving a large motor vehicle commonly known as a truck or a big rig. These accidents can result in varying degrees of damage to vehicles, property, and, unfortunately, often lead to injuries or fatalities. Trucks are significantly larger and heavier than standard passenger vehicles, which makes truck accidents particularly dangerous due to the potential for severe impacts and greater force involved.

Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Driver Fatigue: Long hours on the road, tight schedules, and pressure to meet delivery deadlines can lead to truck driver fatigue. Fatigued drivers may have reduced reaction times and impaired decision-making abilities, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Distracted Driving: Just like with any other vehicle, truck drivers can get distracted by activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting controls, diverting their attention from the road.
  • Speeding: Driving at excessive speeds reduces a truck driver's ability to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions and increases the stopping distance. Speeding also magnifies the impact force in case of a collision.
  • Poor Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, fog, and strong winds can significantly impact a truck's handling and braking ability, leading to accidents if not managed appropriately.
  • Improper Loading: Incorrectly loaded cargo can lead to weight imbalance and shifts during transit, causing the truck to become unstable and prone to tipping over or jackknifing.
  • Mechanical Failures: Faulty brakes, tire blowouts, steering problems, and other mechanical issues can lead to loss of control and accidents.
  • Drug and Alcohol Use: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs a driver's judgment and reflexes, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Inadequate Training: Insufficient training of truck drivers, especially those new to the profession, can result in poor decision-making, improper maneuvering, and an increased likelihood of accidents.
  • Aggressive Driving: Aggressive behaviors such as tailgating, sudden lane changes, and road rage can lead to dangerous situations and accidents.
  • Blind Spots: Trucks have large blind spots, also known as "no-zones," where smaller vehicles can be hidden from the driver's view. Accidents can occur when cars linger in these blind spots.
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way: Confusion about right-of-way rules or disregarding them can result in accidents, particularly at intersections and highway merge points.
  • Road Conditions: Poorly maintained roads, construction zones, and debris on the road can contribute to accidents, particularly if a truck driver loses control due to these factors.

The following are several parties who can be held liable in a truck accident:

  • Truck Driver: Should the truck driver's negligence, recklessness, or violation of traffic regulations lead to the accident, they may be deemed liable. Instances encompass speeding, driving while impaired, distractions, fatigue, or disregard for safety protocols.
  • Trucking Company: The company employing the truck driver could also share liability under specific conditions. This includes scenarios where the company displayed negligence in driver hiring, training, supervision, or oversight, or if they neglected proper truck maintenance.
  • Vehicle Maintenance Provider: In the event that insufficient truck maintenance contributes to the accident, the entity responsible for upkeeping the truck's mechanical aspects might be held liable.
  • Truck Manufacturer: If defects in the truck's design or manufacturing played a role in the accident, the manufacturer could assume liability. Such defects might pertain to brakes, tires, steering, or other components.
  • Cargo Loaders: Incorrect loading or inadequate securing of cargo can factor into the accident (e.g., causing a rollover or cargo spill). In such cases, those accountable for loading the cargo may face liability.
  • Third Parties: Other drivers, pedestrians, or entities that contributed to the accident through their actions might also share liability. For example, if another driver abruptly cut off the truck, leading to a collision, they could hold a portion of the liability.

Common Types of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can vary in type and severity, often involving different factors and circumstances. Here are some common types of truck accidents:

  • Rear-End Collisions: These occur when a truck crashes into the vehicle in front of it. Due to the truck's size and weight, rear-end collisions can cause significant damage and severe injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
  • Jackknife Accidents: A jackknife accident happens when the trailer of the truck swings out to the side, forming a 90-degree angle with the cab. This can be caused by sudden braking, slippery roads, or improper turning, and often leads to multi-vehicle crashes.
  • Rollover Accidents: Rollovers occur when a truck flips onto its side or roof. This can happen due to sharp turns, speeding, uneven loads, or driving on uneven surfaces. Rollovers are particularly dangerous and can cause widespread damage.
  • Underride Collisions: These happen when a smaller vehicle slides underneath the rear or side of a truck. Underride collisions are extremely dangerous and often fatal, as the top of the smaller vehicle can be sheared off.
  • Blind Spot Accidents: Trucks have large blind spots, also known as "no-zones," around the front, back, and sides of the vehicle. Accidents can occur when a truck driver changes lanes or turns without seeing a vehicle in one of these blind spots.
  • Tire Blowouts: A tire blowout can cause the truck driver to lose control, leading to accidents. Debris from the blowout can also create hazards for other vehicles on the road.
  • Wide-Turn Accidents: Trucks often need to make wide turns due to their size. If a truck driver swings out to the left to make a right turn, they can collide with vehicles in adjacent lanes, leading to accidents.
  • Head-On Collisions: Head-on collisions involve the front ends of two vehicles crashing into each other. When a truck is involved, these collisions are often deadly due to the truck's massive weight and force.
  • T-Bone Accidents: These occur when the front of a truck crashes into the side of another vehicle, forming a "T" shape. T-bone accidents commonly happen at intersections and can cause serious injuries.
  • Cargo Spills: Improperly loaded or secured cargo can fall off a truck, creating road hazards and causing accidents. Spilled cargo can also cause vehicles to swerve and crash.

How Devastating Can Truck Accidents Be?

Truck accidents are generally more devastating than car accidents due to the following reasons:

  • Size and Weight Disparity: Trucks are significantly larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to the average passenger vehicle weight of around 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. This size and weight disparity means that trucks have a much greater force upon impact, causing more severe damage and injuries in a collision.
  • Longer Stopping Distances: Due to their weight, trucks require a longer distance to come to a complete stop compared to cars. In emergency braking situations, the inability to stop quickly can lead to rear-end collisions and other types of crashes, often with catastrophic results.
  • Higher Ground Clearance: Trucks have a higher ground clearance than most cars, increasing the risk of underride accidents. In these situations, a smaller vehicle can slide underneath the truck, often resulting in severe or fatal injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
  • Maneuverability Challenges: Trucks are less maneuverable than cars due to their size and weight. They require more space to turn, change lanes, and navigate through traffic. This reduced maneuverability can lead to accidents, especially in congested or tight spaces.
  • Cargo Hazards: Trucks often carry large amounts of cargo, which can become hazardous in an accident. Spilled cargo can create obstacles on the road, cause secondary accidents, or, if the cargo is hazardous material, lead to fires, explosions, or chemical spills.
  • Higher Center of Gravity: The higher center of gravity in trucks makes them more prone to rollovers, especially during sharp turns or sudden maneuvers. Rollovers can cause significant damage and pose a risk to other vehicles on the road.
  • Severity of Injuries: The sheer force and impact of a truck accident often result in more severe injuries than car accidents. Victims of truck accidents are more likely to suffer life-threatening injuries, permanent disabilities, or fatalities.
  • Complexity of Accidents: Truck accidents often involve more complex legal and insurance issues due to the involvement of commercial entities, multiple parties, and various regulations governing the trucking industry. This complexity can make resolving claims and obtaining compensation more challenging for victims.

Why Choose Us?

At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, we understand the challenges that come with a truck accident. Our team of attorneys is dedicated to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve.

We work tirelessly to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who have successfully settled many cases out of court. However, if a trial is necessary, we are prepared to fight for our clients' rights in court.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Missoula or the surrounding areas, don't wait to seek legal help. Contact Hoyt & Blewett PLLC today to schedule a free consultation today.

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Your Voice in the Courtroom

At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC in Montana, we understand the devastating impact of personal injuries and wrongful deaths on families. With over 100 years of combined experience, our dedicated team of Montana injury attorneys is here to provide compassionate and skilled legal representation. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and understand your needs.

Hoyt & Blewett has proven time and again that we are more than willing to take personal injury and wrongful death cases to trial, with the results being very favorable for our clients. Our track record speaks for itself, as we have obtained numerous top personal injury verdicts in Montana, including 18 jury verdicts surpassing $1 million.

If you or someone you know has suffered damages due to the negligence of another, it is important to contact a trial lawyer who will vigorously represent your interests against insurance companies and other corporate defendants.

Call Hoyt & Blewett PLLC today at (406) 233-1302 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.

From their office in Great Falls, Hoyt & Blewett PLLC serves injured clients throughout Montana including Great Falls, Helena, Missoula, Billings, Kalispell, Bozeman, Butte, Anaconda, and Sidney.