Blind Spots and Truck Accidents

Commercial trucks, like 18-wheelers, are integral to our nation’s transport system. However, their sheer size presents unique and dangerous challenges on the road. One major issue is the risk of accidents due to the truck’s blind spots, which are broad areas around the vehicle that are not visible to the driver on their side or in rearview mirrors.

If the truck driver cannot react quickly enough, blind spots can lead to devastating side-impact or rear-end collisions with smaller vehicles. To avoid such tragedies, truck drivers are responsible for diligently monitoring their blind spots before changing lanes, merging, or turning.

However, not all truckers take the necessary precautions to avoid creating these dangerous situations. For the passengers of smaller vehicles that are in the wrong place at the wrong time, truck accidents caused by blind spots can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death. In such cases, it is important to seek the help of a truck accident lawyer to navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation deserved.

Trucker Blind Spots and How They Cause Accidents

Large commercial trucks, such as semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and delivery trucks, have areas of poor visibility due to their size and design. The combination of the shape of the truck cab and the length of the trailer can create large blind spots in the front, side, and rear of the vehicle. The truck’s side mirrors reduce the size of these blind spots, but they can’t eliminate them. According to some estimates, the blind spots for a standard commercial truck can extend up to 20 feet to either side of the truck’s cab, 40 feet behind, and 10 feet in front.

Due to the large size and weight of these vehicles compared to everyone else out on the road, negligent commercial truckers are in terms of safety, can cause severe and tragic accidents. That’s why the law holds truck drivers to a higher standard when it comes to taking proper precautions to minimize the extreme risks blind spots present.

These measures include requiring truckers to use side mirrors and checking the truck’s blind spots before maneuvering, often with cameras or sensors. Unfortunately, truck driver errors are still one of the leading causes of truck accidents every year. Some of the most common underlying reasons include the following:

Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers are constantly moving and can be on the road for days. Some drivers won’t take federally mandated rest time to avoid fatigue so they can meet their tight deadlines. These long hours can lead to drowsiness, poor decision-making, and decreased reaction times. In general, truck driver fatigue affects the driver’s ability to stay focused and alert while maneuvering traffic, placing them at a higher risk of causing a blind spot-related accident.


In today’s world, it’s all too easy for drivers to become distracted while behind the wheel, especillay while operating a large vehicle with significant blind spots. Whether using a smartphone, eating and drinking, or reaching for an object, distractions cause drivers to be less aware of their surroundings, with less time to react or take necessary evasive action.

Inadequate Training

Poor driver training can be a major contributing factor to many serious or fatal blind spot-related truck accidents. Inexperienced drivers may not be fully aware of the size, length, and angle of their vehicle’s blind spot, which means they’ll fail to account for risks to fellow motorists while turning or merging into traffic.

Driving Under the Influence

Abusing drugs or alcohol is a terrible decision for any driver, but even more so for those of mammoth vehicles like commercial trucks. These substances impair a driver’s ability to focus, stay alert, assess their surroundings, or maneuver safely, especially with the challenges presented by blind spots.

Who Can I Hold Responsible After a Blind Spot-Related Truck Accident?

When blind spots contribute to serious truck accidents, the victims and their families may pursue compensation. Like any preventable harm, the legal standard of negligence proves liability for a blind spot-related truck accident.

Under the law, all drivers have a duty of care to not place fellow motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians in unnecessary danger. When truck drivers fail to fulfill this duty, such as by not following the appropriate safety protocol for blind spots, they may be liable for any resulting damages.

Remember that this duty of care applies not only to the individual truck driver but also, potentially, to the trucking company that employs them. This is important because most truck drivers do not have the personal financial resources to compensate their victims for the significant monetary damages that can result from these devastating accidents. That’s why their employers have a legal responsibility to prevent accidents by ensuring they train their drivers properly and supervise them.

Unfortunately, there are many examples of trucking employer negligence that can lead to an accident involving blind spots. Scenarios that render trucking companies liable for accidents include:

Inadequate Hiring Practices

Trucker companies are responsible for adequately vetting their driver’s qualifications, experience, and knowledge of safety practices. The hiring process must include conducting a rigorous background check and making sure they have the necessary certifications. A trucking company’s failure to have proper hiring practices can lead to inexperienced or unsuitable drivers getting behind the wheel and causing a preventable accident.

Failure to Train

One of the major responsibilities of trucking employers is to provide drivers with the necessary guidance and resources to operate their vehicles safely. This includes regular training on safe driving practices, with a comprehensive understanding of the risks of blind spots and how to avoid them. Employers who don’t provide adequate training may be found negligent and, therefore, liable for any losses or damages that result from an accident where the driver was reckless or incompetent.

Failure to Supervise

All trucking companies are obligated to regularly monitor their truck drivers’ activity to ensure that they’re following the rules for safe driving, such as taking adequate breaks. Rest periods are legally mandated to ensure drivers are alert, attentive, and able to react appropriately to potential hazards. Employers that demand excessively long work days or impose an unrealistic delivery timeline can be held responsible for any fatigue-related accidents.

Inadequate Truck Maintenance

Trucking companies are responsible for providing their trucks with regular maintenance and addressing any potential issues before they become a hazard. For example, they must ensure that necessary safety features, such as cameras or mirrors that reduce the risk of a blind spot accident, are in good working order.

Vicarious Liability

In some cases, trucking companies can be held liable for the negligent behavior of a driver employed by them, regardless of whether or not the company did anything wrong. This is known as vicarious liability, and it makes businesses broadly responsible for their employees’ harmful actions while performing work duties.

Vicarious liability is critical for trucking companies because you can hold them responsible for any accident involving one of their trucks. Therefore, it’s vital for them to adequately train and supervise all employees to minimize the risk of an accident and any resulting liability.

The Trucking Accidents That Are Caused by Blind Spots

Blind Spots and Truck AccidentsA truck driver failing to check their blind spots when driving can lead to a tragic collision.

Yet, while these accidents will usually vary depending on the circumstances, the more frequent types of blind spot accidents include:

Additionally, when it comes to these blind spot trucking accidents, the more common causes of these crashes include:

Types of Damages Victims Can Pursue After a Serious Accident

Large truck accidents caused by driver error, such as not avoiding the risks of blind spots, can have devastating consequences for victims and their families. Consulting with an attorney can help you better understand your legal rights, including how to pursue justice and the damages that may be available with a personal injury claim. Depending on the details of your case, the compensation that you can claim after a serious truck accident may include:

Economic Damages

The ramifications of getting seriously injured in a truck accident are extensive, and there’s bound to be a heavy financial burden.

Claims for economic damages reimburse those quantifiable out-of-pocket costs that the victim incurred as a direct result of the accident, such as:

  • All medical bills—including hospital bills, doctor visits, surgeries, tests, medications, physical therapy, and more—related to the injury.
  • Payment for all lost wages due to the victim missing work during recovery.
  • Compensation for any property damage that resulted from the accident, such as repairing or replacing the victim’s car.
  • In the case of injuries with long-term consequences that will make it harder for the victim to earn a living, compensation for lost future earnings and lost earning capacity.

Non-Economic Damages

The emotional and physical losses from getting hurt in a terrifying accident are likely significant—not only for the victim but also for their loved ones. In particular, having to endure a temporary or permanent disability will significantly affect their overall quality of life. While non-economic damages are not measurable, a skilled personal injury lawyer can help make sure that the victim receives proper compensation for these genuine losses.

Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement or scarring
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are very different from economic and non-economic damages because their purpose is not to compensate the victim but to punish the at-fault party for their extreme negligence. It’s rare for the court to award punitive damages because there’s a very high burden of proof for recovering this form of compensation.

However, in some states, such as New York, courts may find it appropriate in truck accident cases that involve reckless disregard, intentional harm, or gross negligence, as shown by a demonstrated pattern of irresponsible behavior from a trucking company or its drivers.

Injuries That Can Develop After a Blind Spot Trucking Accident

Sadly, due to their size, trucking accidents are often devastating, resulting in catastrophic injuries.

However, while these injuries will vary on a case-by-case basis, some of the more common types of trauma resulting from these accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Crushing injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Death

The Benefits of Having a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer by Your Side

No one expects to get in a truck accident. The physical, emotional, and financial fallout can be overwhelming when it happens, leaving victims to pick up the pieces and try to move forward. Truck accidents are often very complex, especially when significant damages are involved. That’s why you need a skilled truck accident lawyer by your side to advocate for your interests, help you recover fair compensation, and provide support during every step of the legal process.

Here are just a few of the benefits of enlisting the services of a skilled truck accident lawyer to handle your case:

Build a Strong Case

An experienced truck accident lawyer will be familiar with the complicated regulations that govern the trucking industry and how to apply them to demonstrate negligence in the aftermath of a blind spot-related accident. Overall, your attorney’s job will be to assess your case’s facts and pursue an appropriate legal strategy to maximize the compensation you can receive.

Investigating the Accident

From witness statements, police reports, and medical records to collecting video footage from traffic cameras, the right attorney is someone with the skills and resources to conduct a thorough investigation into the causes of the crash and all the parties that should be held liable. Truck accident lawyers also have a network of forensic experts they can call upon to provide testimony that helps strengthen your case.

Calculate the Victim’s Damages

It can take years to fully recover from the physical, emotional, and financial toll of being seriously hurt. A skilled truck accident lawyer can accurately calculate the damages you’ve suffered, from medical bills and lost wages to intangible non-economic damages, to help ensure you receive full and fair compensation.

Negotiate With Insurers

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Trucking companies and their insurers may use intimidating tactics to pressure victims into accepting a much lower settlement than they deserve. An experienced truck accident lawyer can make all the difference in pushing back and negotiating a more favorable settlement. If negotiations fail and it’s necessary to escalate the case to trial, your attorney can represent you in a court of law and make sure you get fair treatment.

For a chance of recovering the compensation needed to heal after a truck accident that involved blind spot negligence, it’s essential to enlist the services of a personal injury attorney that’s knowledgeable and experienced in handling similar types of cases.

A skilled truck accident lawyer will protect your rights, maximize compensation for your damages, and provide peace of mind that you placed your case in good hands throughout the legal process.

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