Harvest Season Causes Rise in Truck Accidents
9th October 2020
North Dakota Truck Accident in the Fall
Every time fall rolls around in North Dakota there is always a spike in dangerous and deadly commercial truck accidents. One possible reason for this increase in truck versus passenger vehicle accidents is the rise in the number of trucks on the road during harvest season. Logging trucks, grain trucks, livestock trucks, delivery trucks, combines, and flatbeds carrying tons of equipment all increase in number when it’s harvest season in North Dakota. This increase in trucks on the road often leads to an increase in accidents, which means more injuries and more deaths.
Is Driving in Fall Dangerous?
Driving in North Dakota during the fall season presents two new dangers that didn’t exist just a few months before: increase in commercial trucks on the road and changing weather.
Just a quick glance at popular job finding websites will show you that farmers and trucking companies are desperate for new hires during the harvest season. And this influx in new, and possibly inexperienced, drivers often means danger for North Dakotans in passenger vehicles.
One job post from this past September reads:
[You will be] responsible for operating tractor and trailer farm trucks in an accurate and timely manner as well as move farm equipment and materials safely both on the farm and out on the road.
This small snippet gives a good idea of what kind of increase in activity occurs during harvest season in North Dakota. Tractors and farm trucks all come alive. Most of the vehicles haven’t been used all year and many of the people driving them only do it once a year. It’s not everyday you need this kind of equipment.
This means an influx of inexperience and an increase in chance of getting into an accident caused by a trucker.
Unsecured loads, overloaded trailers, and improperly stacked goods all contribute to the problem.
The coming of fall time in North Dakota also means getting used to the changing seasons. Autumn in North Dakota starts to get cold and rainy, causing dangerous road conditions like icy patches, slick puddles, and poor visibility. Driving during a North Dakota fall rainstorm can be challenging even for a passenger car, but for an inexperienced truck driver it can be even more serious because of what’s on the line.
Determining Truck Accident Liability
Truck accident liability can be hard to determine, as there are many parties involved in a truck accident case. Because truck drivers are employees of a company, they are often not solely liable for accidents that they cause. Truck accident liability can include the truck driver, manufacturer, trucking company, loaders, and even truck owners.
When it comes down to it, liability is determined by understanding the cause of the accident.
If the accident was caused because the driver was speeding, than the liable party is most likely the driver.
If the accident is caused because the driver did not know how to perform a proper stop or turn, than it may be the fault of the trucking company or the company that trained the driver.
If the trailer causes the accident, either by tipping the truck, something falling off, or some other hazard related to what they are hauling, then the company or persons that loaded the trailer may be at fault.
If the hitch of the trailer malfunctions or the tires do not perform as expected, than the manufacturer of the truck, trailer, or any number of the parts may be responsible.
An experienced North Dakota truck accident attorney’s job is to help a client sort out issues like liability and to help them get the proper compensation.
Common Injuries from Truck Accidents
Injuries caused by truck accidents are often more severe than common passenger vehicle accidents due to the sheer size difference. This often means head and brain injuries, spine and back injuries, internal injuries, broken bones, and serious lacerations.
Head injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, can occur after a truck accident. Traumatic brain injury occurs when the head is hit or punctured with high force. These accidents can range from mild to severe, from a concussion to coma or even brain death.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries occur frequently in car and truck accidents because of the rapid back and forth motion that occurs when a car is struck from behind or from the side. Spinal cord injuries can result in complete or incomplete paralysis or death in severe cases. Accident victims often suffer other back and neck injuries that are not necessarily related to the spinal cord, like strained muscles, herniated discs, and cracked vertebrae.
Internal injuries occur when the body collides with something inside the car, particularly at high speeds or with a lot of force. This can cause organs and other internal parts of the body to be crushed or torn. Internal injuries are not always noticed right away, so it’s important to get checked out be a medical professional as soon as possible.
Broken bones can be present alongside other injuries or occur on their own. Broken bones can be minor injuries or they can cause serious complications like infections or paralysis. Truck accidents often cause multiple broken bones in an accident victim which can create serious physical and financial problems.
Lacerations and Bruises
Lacerations are very common, especially in accidents where glass breaks. Broken glass from windows or windshields can cause deep wounds that often require stitches and may cause infection. Bruises are by far the most common injury in any type of vehicle accident but they tend to be much less serious and usually will go away on their own.
What Factors Determine the Amount of Compensation I Receive?
When determining how much compensation you can receive from a truck accident, a couple factors come into play like the amount of debt, loss in quality of life, and liability.
When calculating your settlement amount, the biggest factor is the amount of financial debt your injuries have caused you. This can include medical bills, property damage, the loss of wages (both past and future), any in-home care you may have been required to pay for while you were recovering, and any other costs the accident caused.
Quality of Life
Quality of life is a big determining factor in your settlement value. Your attorney will look at what your life was like before your injuries and what it’s like now. The greater the change in your quality of life, the more your settlement is likely to be.
When making a claim for compensation after a truck accident, obviously negligence comes into play. Your attorney will help to determine who caused the accident and how liability will affect the claim. The more evidence there is that shows the truck driver was negligent, the more likely it is your attorney can use that information to get you a fair settlement. When there is a lack of evidence of liability, insurance companies often use it to try to lower the settlement amount.
Contact an Experienced North Dakota Truck Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact one of our talented attorneys here at Sand Law. We will work to ensure that you get the best settlement possible by investigating your case, negotiating with the insurance companies, and taking your case to trial if we have to. We work on your behalf while you recover. For more information please contact us online or at 701-609-1510.