The Kansas Department of Transportation reported over 3,375 crashes involving large trucks in one recent year, causing 952 injuries and 74 deaths. If you are one of the thousands of people injured in Kansas truck accidents yearly, you already know how the effects can impact your finances, life, and livelihood for a long time.

The Wichita truck accident lawyers at Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys have spent their careers defending crash victims’ rights. Our Wichita truck accident attorneys limit the number of cases we take, so we can give you the individual attention you deserve. Along with our 50 years of experience, this approach has helped us recover millions of dollars for our clients.

No matter how challenging your case may seem, we will do what we can to help you find justice. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review with a skilled semi-truck accident lawyer.

Why Do Semi-Truck Accidents Happen?

Some form of negligence causes most truck accidents.

A few of the most common causes of truck accidents in Wichita include the following:

  • Impaired driving — Truck drivers who abuse drugs or alcohol put themselves and other drivers around them in extreme danger. These substances impair drivers’ ability to think, dull their reflexes, and make it harder to recognize hazards.
  • Distracted driving — While distractions are dangerous no matter what type of vehicle someone is driving, it is even riskier for truck drivers because of how big trucks are. Typical distractions for truck drivers include talking on the phone, texting while driving, using a navigation device, listening to music, eating or drinking, grooming, and looking at traffic coming the opposite way.
  • Driver fatigue — Truck drivers are more prone to tiredness because of their long hours and strict delivery schedules. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that going more than 20 hours without sleep impacts a driver’s performance, like driving with a blood-alcohol concentration level of 0.08 percent. The effects of driver fatigue include slower reflexes, impaired cognition, decreased situational awareness, and a higher chance of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Speeding — Semi-trucks and other heavy vehicles can be difficult to control, especially at high speeds. Because of this, truck drivers need to be careful when merging, passing, and turning. Otherwise, they could run into another vehicle or overturn the truck.
  • Following too closely — The weight of semi-trucks and other large vehicles means truck drivers need extra time to slow down or stop. If truck drivers don’t watch their speed and following distance, they may be unable to stop in time to avoid hitting a car in front of them.
  • Not checking blind spots — Trucks have significant blind spots that drivers need to be aware of, particularly when passing, turning, and merging. If truck drivers do not check their blind spots thoroughly, they could collide with or crush a nearby vehicle.
  • Driver inexperience — Learning the ins and outs of driving a large truck takes time. New drivers who haven’t had much time behind the wheel may not know what to watch for or how trucks handle compared to smaller cars. This lack of expertise makes inexperienced drivers much more likely to be involved in a car accident.
  • Defective parts — Trucks are complicated machines, and all their components must work properly to minimize the chance of an accident. If a critical part fails due to a manufacturing or design defect, the driver could lose control of the truck. Some parts that may cause an accident if a defect include the truck’s brakes, suspension, steering system, transmission, and tires.
  • Lack of maintenance — Truck parts can sometimes fail, even when designed and manufactured correctly. Trucks must undergo regular maintenance to minimize the possibility of a worn component leading to an accident. If a maintenance crew does not do their job correctly, a damaged part may not be repaired and could cause an 18-wheeler accident.
  • Cargo shifting or coming loose in transit — Because trucks carry thousands of pounds of cargo, the weight needs to be distributed to maintain the truck’s balance and center of gravity. When a truck’s load is not properly secured or balanced, the truck can become challenging to control, leading to a crash.
  • Bad weather — Snow, rain, ice, and other types of bad weather can make it even more of a challenge for truck drivers to avoid a crash. A truck driver’s job is to be aware of these dangers and take appropriate steps to minimize the chance of a collision. If truck drivers do not slow down in bad weather, put chains on their tires, or take other actions, they significantly increase the odds of an accident.
  • Poor road conditions — Sand, gravel, potholes, and other road hazards can cause truck drivers to lose control and collide with nearby vehicles.
Meet Our Team

Common Truck Accident Injuries

Truck accidents cause more severe injuries than car accidents because of how large semi-trucks are, even without a trailer. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 69 percent of people injured in truck accidents were occupants of other vehicles in one recent year.

The most common truck accident injuries in Wichita, KS include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Injuries to internal organs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Burns
  • Crushed, severed, or amputated limbs
  • Injuries to muscles, joints, and connective tissues
  • Broken bones
  • Psychological distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Wrongful death

Determining Liability in Wichita Truck Accident Cases

While every Wichita semi-truck accident differs, a few parties are more likely to be liable for the crash. The four parties most commonly found to be responsible for trucking accidents in Wichita are:

  • The truck driver — Truck drivers are at fault in most crashes, as they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for keeping the truck under control. Truck drivers must be alert and attentive at all times behind the wheel. If not, they put themselves and others in danger.
  • The trucking company — Trucking companies must ensure their drivers behave safely behind the wheel. They should also ensure drivers are fully qualified to drive a truck and can do so safely. If a trucking company fails in any of these obligations, it can be liable for an accident.
  • Maintenance crews — Maintenance crews play a critical role in preventing semi-truck accidents. If these crews don’t do their jobs properly, a worn or defective part might not be repaired or replaced, making an accident much more likely.
  • Cargo loaders — A cargo loader’s job is to ensure a truck’s payload is adequately distributed and secured. If the cargo shifts or isn’t distributed evenly, the truck’s balance can be thrown off, making it harder for the driver to control it.

Know Your Legal Rights After a Wichita Semi-Truck Accident

The best way to protect your rights after a semi-truck accident is to hire an experienced attorney. A truck accident lawyer can investigate the accident while you heal from your injuries. They can determine all the liable parties and what compensation you are owed. Hiring a semi-truck accident attorney also means they can represent you in insurance settlement negotiations to give you a better chance of getting a fair deal.

Contact a Wichita Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Do not let yourself be taken advantage of by trucking companies and their insurers after a major semi-truck accident. We know how terribly an accident can disrupt your health, mental state, and financial future. We want to help you get the money you deserve so you can get on with your life. Contact Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation with a Wichita semi-truck accident lawyer.