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Truck accident injuries and fatalities on the rise

Truck accidents can cause disproportionate harm to unsuspecting victims traveling in passenger vehicles or to others sharing the roadways with large trucks. Because for the obvious size disparity between trucks and other vehicles, the harm to victims hit by a truck can be significant. During 2012, 333,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes throughout the country. In total during 2012, 104,000 victims were injured in truck crashes and 3,921 victims were killed in fatal truck accidents.

A troubling trend is an increase in fatal truck accidents. From 2011 to 2012, fatal large truck accidents increased by 4 percent from 3,781 fatalities to 3,921. A significant percentage, 73 percent, of the victims in truck accidents in 2012 were occupants of other motor vehicles. Fatalities for occupants of other motor vehicles killed in a truck accident increased 5 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Also troubling is the trend marking an increase in injuries from truck accidents. In 2011, 88,000 victims were injured in truck accidents. Marking an 18 percent increase, 104,000 victims were injured in truck accident in 2012. Similarly to fatal truck accident statistics, 73 percent of injured victims were occupants of other motor vehicles. Victims of both fatal and non-fatal accidents can suffer extensive physical, financial and emotional injuries.

Medical expenses victims suffer following a truck accident can become costly and lost earnings may mount for victims seriously injured in a truck accident. Other victims may have lost a loved one in a truck accident that was the primary source of income and support for the family. Funeral expenses and pain and suffering damages may also be a challenge for loved ones of victims of fatal truck accidents.

Because of the nature of large trucks and large truck accidents, it is important that victims, and families of victims, have protections. Being injured or otherwise harmed in a truck accident is serious which is why legal resources and options exist that victims may wish to be familiar with.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Large Trucks," accessed Dec. 23, 2014

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