While semi-trucks and passenger vehicles are often able to share the road without incident, when a semi does collide with a smaller automobile, serious injuries are likely to occur simply due to the force of impact inflicted by a semi. A recent semi-truck accident in the Atlanta area has resulted in the death of one victim and injuries of three others.
According to witnesses, the driver of the semi ran a red light and struck a car on the driver's side. The impact killed the 22-year-old driver of the car instantly. The semi-truck then collided head-on with another car, causing that driver serious injury. The truck finally came to a stop when it fell to its side, but not before striking a third car and injuring its driver. The operator of the truck suffered injuries as well, though they were not life-threatening.
Police are currently investigating the truck crash. Depending on the evidence that investigators find, the driver of the truck may be facing charges.
But criminal charges will not be able to compensate those injured in the accident or the loved ones of the deceased victim. In a case such as this one, if a semi-truck driver is found to have been operating his or her vehicle carelessly or negligently, crash victims may be able to sue the driver. The surviving victims can file claims for personal injury, while the loved ones of a victim who was killed can file a lawsuit for wrongful death.
If a victim were to prevail on a personal injury suit, a court may award him or her compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If a court were to find in favor of a deceased victim's family, the family might also receive compensation for funeral expenses as well as loss of companionship.
While most semi-truck operators are well-trained in safe driving techniques and are mindful of smaller vehicles, a handful of operators pay less attention to their surroundings. When this happens, accidents are more likely to occur, and victims deserve to be compensated for any injury caused by a truck driver's negligence.
Source: CBS Atlanta.com, "Victim identified in S. Fulton tractor-trailer accident" Melissa Roberts and Rebekka Schramm, Oct. 15, 2012