Right-hand turns are particularly difficult for trucks because they will not make the turn in a traditional way. Drivers and their passengers can be injured in right-turn squeeze accidents.
When the right-turn squeeze accident was the truck driver’s fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the trucking company. Contact the Wilmington truck accident attorneys at Horton & Mendez to discuss your case.
How Right-Turn Squeeze Accidents Happen
Trucks practically never travel in one straight line to go from destination to destination. They will need to make a series of lane changes and turns.
Being such large vehicles, trucks need to make very wide turns. Trucks need between 50–60 feet of space in order to complete a turn. They cannot make a turn the same way that you would when you are driving a small passenger car.
In fact, a truck driver will need to swing left first before it even begins to go to the right. When you are a driver on the road, it is hard to understand a truck driver’s intentions when they begin to make a turn. You may think that they are making a left turn and begin to act accordingly.
The problem may be made even worse when the truck driver fails to signal their intentions. When you see that the truck driver is beginning what looks like a left turn, you may continue down the right side of the truck, putting you in the area in which the truck will soon be moving. Moreover, the driver may not check their blind spot before they begin to turn, not seeing you in the area.
Then, your car may get forced into the area between the truck and the curb. The truck is much higher than the car, and the car could end up in an underride accident. These are among the most dangerous types of truck crashes. The top of the car could even be severed in an underride accident.
The other risk in a right-hand turn accident is that the truck driver could swing out too far left before beginning the turn. They could collide with a car that is passing by in the left lane at a high speed.
Tips for Avoiding Right-Turn Squeeze Accidents
While you cannot ever completely control what a truck driver does, there are things that a driver could do to lessen the chance that they will end up injured in a right-turn squeeze accident, including:
- Being careful when passing trucks on the right side
- Giving trucks more room on the road in general
- Trying to anticipate when a truck may need to turn
Nonetheless, there is only so much that you can do on your own to stay safe.
Much depends on the truck driver, their training, and their own level of care that they exercise.
The Insurance Company May Try to Blame You
One of the main problems in a squeeze accident is that the trucking company may have had a warning printed on the side that the truck needs extra space to make right turns. The trucking company may claim that this warning absolves them of any responsibility for what the driver did and shifts all blame onto you.
Then, the trucking company may try to blame you for what happened, claiming that you did not give the truck driver enough room and space to make the turn. You would need a lawyer to help defend your own actions surrounding the truck accident to keep the insurance company from cutting your own compensation.
Potentially Responsible Parties in a Right-Turn Accident
Generally, you would not be looking to go after the truck driver for the consequences of the accident. In many cases, truck drivers are employees of a trucking company, which would be the ultimate defendant in your case. The trucking company would be legally responsible for the actions of their drivers that occur within the scope of their employment. The trucking company is the one with the insurance policy and the assets that can pay the high damages that you have suffered.
The truck driver may have been an independent contractor. In that event, there is still a chance that you may be able to sue the trucking company for negligent hiring and retention. Nonetheless, based on federal trucking regulations, a truck driver will carry at least $750,000 in insurance. In nearly all cases, the policy will be for $1 million or more. There will always be some insurance policy against which you can file a claim.
Contact a Wilmington Truck Accident Attorney After a Right-Turn Squeeze
If you or a loved one have been injured in a right-turn squeeze accident involving a truck, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The attorneys at Horton & Mendez can help you pursue all of your legal remedies, including filing a lawsuit on your behalf against the trucking company. To speak with an attorney, you can send us a message online, or you can call us today at 910-405-7751. We offer free consultations, and you owe us nothing unless you win your case.