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Understanding the dangers of truck accidents

Because of the serious harm and suffering truck accidents can cause, truck accidents are a serious concern both on the roadways and for victims. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that 3,921 victims were killed and another 104,000 victims were injured in truck accidents in 2012. Overall, in 2012, 333,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes.

The NHTSA reports that from 2011 to 2012, fatalities from truck accidents increased by 4 percent from 3,781 fatalities in 2011 to 3,921 fatalities in 2012. Of those killed, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles. Each fatality likely represents a family that is left behind and facing emotional and financial challenges. The number of people injured in truck accidents in 2012 increased by 18 percent; while 104,000 people were injured in truck accidents in 2012, 88,000 were injured in 2011.

Similar to fatal truck accident statistics, of those injured in truck accidents in 2012, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles. Each truck accident victim that is injured can suffer serious or disabling injuries, medical expenses, the possibility of future medical care requirements -- the list goes on. Because of this, victims of truck accidents, and their families, may be able to recover compensation for damages suffered.

Truck accidents can result in both catastrophic injuries and the loss of life. In recognition of the serious harm victims may suffer, the legal process offers protections and resources for victims to recover damages through personal injury or the family through wrongful death claims. When a victim has been injured by a negligent truck driver, it is important to keep in mind that both the truck driver, and sometimes the trucking company, may be liable to the victims for damages.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Large Trucks," Accessed Nov. 6, 2014

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