Despite their vehicles’ size and weight, qualified truckers should be able to safely navigate highways and local roads, avoiding accidents with smaller vehicles like yours. However, there are numerous characteristics of commercial trucks that increase the likelihood of a crash, particularly if the driver is careless or reckless while behind the wheel. One of these characteristics is the truck’s turning radius, which requires making wide turns. If a trucker is not properly trained or does not navigate a left-hand turn, right-hand turn, or U-turn appropriately, they can certainly cause a crash.
If you were hurt in a trucking wide turn accident, do not hesitate to ask for legal advice and help. At Studinski Law, LLC, our experienced Wisconsin truck accident lawyers are ready to represent you during this time and fight for your right to compensation. Call us today at (715) 343-2850.
Trucks Are Forced into Wide Turns
Driving a large commercial truck is difficult and requires special education and training. That is why truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license and may even need an additional endorsement for certain types of trucks, braking systems, and types of cargo. However, no matter how skilled a trucker is, they are going to have to make wide turns in a semi.
Eighteen-wheelers and other semi-trucks are simply too large and have a wider turning radius than can possibly fit within many local streets and intersections. They cannot make the same maneuvers as personal vehicles. When a commercial truck wants to make a right turn, it may need to do so from the far left lane, crossing the right lane during the turn. When a semi wants to make a left turn, it may need to swing wide into the right lane to do so. A large truck may also need to swing into an oncoming or far lane of traffic on the road it is turning onto.
It is entirely possible for truckers to make safe wide turns that do not involve colliding with another vehicle or anyone getting hurt. When a wide turn leads to a collision, something has gone wrong. It is highly likely that the truck driver is responsible and did not maneuver the vehicle as they should have. It could also mean the trucker was distracted and not keeping a proper lookout. If you were injured in an accident with a turning truck, you should speak with our truck accident attorneys at Studinski Law, LLC. We will conduct an in-depth investigation to determine who was at-fault and liable for the crash.
Left-Hand Turn Accidents
Taking a left-hand turn is no simple matter for a semi-truck. The truck needs a large area to turn and a great deal of time, all while crossing one or more lanes of traffic. If there is a large intersection with a double turn lane and a left-turn arrow, a semi-truck driver gets lucky and can utilize the outer turn lane that has a larger radius. Yet this is not always available. Many truck drivers are forced to take left turns in smaller intersections and without left-turn arrows that ensure there is no on-coming traffic. This may require them to swing into a non-turn lane to their right to make the turn. It may also require the trucker to turn into the further lane. The complexities and risks associated with making these turns can lead to left turn crashes.
There is always the question of who is at fault for a left turn accident? Is the trucker who made the turn responsible? Or, is the on-coming vehicle at fault? It depends on the situation. If the on-coming vehicle was speeding or ran a red light, the crash could be their fault. However, if a trucker attempted to make a left-hand turn when there was not enough time or without appropriately checking for traffic, they may have been negligent.
If you were injured in a left turn accident involving a large commercial truck, contact our left-hand turn accident lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC right away. We are experienced in investigating this type of accident. We will find out what happened and who is liable.
Right Turn Trucking
Safely making a right turn in a large semi-truck requires a great deal of training and practice. It’s difficult, which is why right-hand turn accidents are unfortunately common. The trucker may collide with an on-coming vehicle if it makes too wide of a right turn. Or, what is more likely is that a truck on the outside turn lane hits a vehicle making a right turn on the inside lane. Many smaller vehicles have been pinned and crushed this way.
If you were in a vehicle that was struck by a semi-truck turning right, call a right turn truck accident lawyer with Studinski Law, LLC immediately. Truckers are trained in how to avoid this type of collision. If you were hurt, it may be because the trucker was careless in maneuvering their vehicle.
However, in a right-turn truck accident claim, you are likely to face a contributory negligence claim. This means the trucker or trucking company allege you are partly or fully responsible for the crash. This is a common defense when your vehicle was in the inner right turn lane when it was struck. The trucker may claim you knew they were turning and you tried to sneak past the truck, ultimately getting in the way. If the judge or jury determines you were also negligent, the court will assign each party a percentage of fault. If you are 51 percent or less at fault, then you can still obtain compensation. Unfortunately, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
U-turns are rarely a good idea, even for small personal vehicles During a U-turn, a vehicle needs to be able to smoothly make a full 180 degree turn without impeding traffic in either direction. This is almost always impossible for a large semi-truck. A truck and trailer would need multiple lanes and a shoulder to fulfil a 180 degree turn. That is why truckers are trained not to take U-turns. If a trucker needs to reverse their direction, they should wait until they find a large parking lot to do so in or can go around a block. Although, this should not be an issue on a well-planned trip.
Accidents caused by a truck making a U-turn are almost always the trucker’s fault. There are very few times in which a U-turn would be appropriate. Some examples are if the trucker was forced to take a U-turn due to law enforcement directions, a natural disaster, or a collision blocking the road. However, even when a truck is forced into this maneuver, they must be extraordinarily cautious. If the truck involved in your crash was making an unnecessary U-turn or the U-turn was executed poorly, speak with a U-turn truck accident lawyer about filing a personal injury claim.
Wide Turns and Negligence
Wide turns are a side effect of the size and limited maneuverability of semi-trucks. There are times when they can be avoided and many ways in which the width of the turn can be minimized. Truckers should be well-trained in how to safely make left and right turns with their large vehicles in various sized spaces. When a wide turn does cause a collision, it may be because the trucker was negligent in making the turn.
A trucker can negligently make a wide turn if they:
- Are driving a route where certain types of turns are unsafe
- Swing wide when it is unnecessary to do so
- Swing into oncoming, moving traffic
- Do not use their turn signal
- Do not check their blind spots
- Do not wait for a clear opportunity in traffic
Pursuing Compensation for a Trucking Wide Turn Collision
If you were injured in a trucking wide turn collision, contact an experienced truck accident attorney right away. To pursue compensation after a crash, you need to immediately take steps to preserve evidence. There are a number of parties that may be involved in the crash or ultimately liable for compensating you. You need each of these parties to maintain all potential evidence for your case, including the semi-truck, its electronic data recorder, the trucker’s logs, and truck company records.
In addition to preserving potential evidence, we will investigate how and why the crash happened. This may include hiring expert witnesses like truck driving experts, engineers, and accident reconstructionists. They can help us determine whether the wide turn was the cause of the accident, and if so, whether the wide turn was done negligently or with the proper amount of care.
Once we have evidence that you were hurt when the trucker made a negligent wide turn, we can pursue compensation for your injuries through a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. We can request compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of society and companionship
- Property damage, when applicable
Contact Our Wisconsin Trucking Accident Lawyers Today
If you were injured in any type of commercial truck accident, contact our personal injury lawyers of Studinski Law, LLC at (715) 343-2850. Our team has collective experience in a wide variety of personal injury matters, including vehicle, motorcycle, bus, and truck accidents. We will investigate the incident that led to your injuries and determine liability. With as much evidence in hand as possible, we will move forward with a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. Our priority is to obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries.