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What Was the Worst Truck Accident in History?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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A truck accident is often the most dangerous kind of accident that we see on the road. The size and weight disparity of a truck compared with anything else on the road means that even a moderate impact is going to have a devastating effect. The damage that occurs often has a significant cost, and a Charlotte truck accident attorney may be able to help the victims of these kinds of accidents get the restitution that they need.

Worst Truck Accidents

It’s hard to say what makes something the worst truck accident in history. In some cases, there is the spectacle associated with a significant number of cars piled up along with a crashed semi-truck. Fortunately, though, in many of those cases, there miraculously haven’t been any deaths. In other cases, it may be the number of deaths that make it one of the worst. While it’s impossible to say what the worst accident was, there are a few notable ones.

What Was the Worst Truck Accident in History?

Whitefish, Montana 1984

One of the most terrifying examples of a truck accident occurred during a snowstorm in January of 1984. An explosion took place when the driver of a truck lost control and slammed into a school bus. Nine people were killed, and another nineteen sustained serious injuries.

Houston, Texas 1976

One of the most serious accidents involving a truck occurred in Houston in 1976. The initial accident was tragic but nothing particularly shocking, as it involved only the driver’s death as the truck crashed through a guardrail onto a freeway. However, the truck was carrying 7500 gallons of anhydrous ammonia, and the tank was damaged in the accident. The deadly gas would soon spread a cloud along the road, and five others would die from inhaling the fumes while another 178 would be injured.

When the accident was investigated for a legal case, the National Transportation Safety Board would determine that the driver lost control of the truck as a result of the speed at which he was driving and the movement of the liquid within the tanker creating an imbalanced situation.

Los Angeles, California 2002

In terms of the number of vehicles involved, one of the most dramatic accidents involving a truck that ever occurred was in Los Angeles in 2002. On a foggy day, a semi-truck crashed into the center divider on the highway and set off a chain reaction of accidents. With crowded roads, a lack of safe following distances, and the dense fog all to blame, there would be 216 vehicles involved in the accident and 41 people injured.


Q: What Should I Do if I’ve Been in a Truck Accident?

A: If you’ve been in a truck accident, there is a strong likelihood that you have serious injuries, and the most important thing that you can do is take care of those injuries. It’s always wise to let paramedics check you out at the scene of the accident in case you have any traumatic injuries that you aren’t noticing due to shock. You should also consider getting a full examination later.

If your injuries are mild enough that you can document the accident with photos and video, that can often prove valuable to your case later on, as can any contact information of witnesses of the accident. It’s also important that you be careful when talking about the accident so that you don’t mistakenly say something that sounds like taking the blame. Lastly, get in contact with a lawyer who understands car accidents and can help you begin the process of seeking compensation for your injuries.

Q: How Do I Get Compensation for Injuries From a Truck Accident?

A: Generally, if you were not at fault for a truck accident, the compensation that you seek will come from the insurance company of whoever is at fault. However, getting compensation from the insurance company can often be challenging, and an experienced truck accident lawyer can be helpful in pursuing restitution.

It may be possible to find a fair agreement that both parties are happy with. However, that’s not always the case. If there is simply no way a settlement is going to be found, then you may be able to file a civil claim against the insurance company in the form of a truck accident claim, which is a subset of personal injury claims.

Q: Who Could Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?

A: We might just assume that the driver of a truck is liable for a truck accident. While this might be true in many accidents, it is not necessarily always the case, as other parties could be at least partially liable as well. For instance, the employer of the driver could be at fault for the actions of their employee, particularly if the employer in some way encouraged reckless actions.

The government may be at fault in cases where a failure to properly manage roads may be to blame for the accident. Potentially, a parts or maintenance provider could even be at fault if an issue with a part failure or improper installation is to blame.

Q: Why Would I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

A: A truck accident lawyer could be critical to getting the restitution that you deserve. They will investigate your accident and represent you through settlement negotiations or in court if necessary.

Enlist the Support of a Charlotte Truck Accident Lawyer

It’s hard to overstate the danger that trucks impose on the road, and those who have gotten into an accident with one often find that the damage and injuries that are sustained are significant. The costs that are associated with the harm are extensive and can leave someone feeling like they’ve got nowhere to turn for help. The responsibility for those costs, though, belongs to whoever is at fault for the accident.

A Charlotte truck accident lawyer, as you can find at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler, can help you take the steps necessary to try and seek fair restitution. Contact us to discuss your truck accident and the options you have.