When operating a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, particular care must be given to turns. A squeeze play accident can result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries. A squeeze play accident occurs when a truck is trying to make a wide turn, but somebody gets caught between the truck and the sidewalk. If you are injured in a squeeze play accident, you should contact The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC. Not all attorneys understand how to pursue damages in a truck accident case. Folsom personal injury attorney Travis G. Black understands what should be done to recover damages, and he has additional insights gleaned from past work experience in the insurance and law enforcement fields.
Injuries Caused by Squeeze Play Accidents
When a semi or big rig needs to make a tight right turn, it often starts the turn by swinging wide to the left before beginning to turn. The initial swing may put the cab in a different lane than the one in which it started, and it may confuse drivers and other people around the truck. In some cases, drivers or pedestrians around the semi may not understand the intentions behind the truck driver’s swing to the left. This maneuvering can endanger pedestrians and people in any smaller vehicles to the left of the turn and the right of the turn, as well as people who are near the semi after the turn is completed.
Truck accidents that happen in the space between the right curb and a truck when a truck is turning are known as squeeze play accidents. The car may be squeezed between the trailer and the curb, resulting in serious and sometimes fatal injuries, including crushing and amputation. When injuries are disabling, it is usually necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit because very few people have enough money saved to take care of all of the expenses that are necessary, possibly including rehabilitation and long-term medical care. They may not be able to work for a long period of time, making the situation doubly stressful.
Since the injuries tend to be so severe, a Folsom truck accident lawyer may look to multiple parties for the recovery of damages. To establish the truck driver’s liability, it is usually necessary to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the driver owed a duty of care, the driver deviated from the duty of care, the deviation actually and proximately caused your injuries, and you suffered actual damages. If a truck driver fails to signal before making a turn, for example, this would be a deviation that could result in injuries in a squeeze play accident.
Your attorney may also consider the truck driver’s employer when seeking the recovery of damages. In many cases, the truck driver’s own insurance policy is insufficient to cover the enormous damages that flow from a trucking accident. The trucking company is likely to have better coverage but will likely aggressively defend against liability. It may be possible to hold a trucking company liable if it has negligently hired, negligently supervised, or negligently trained a truck driver. For example, trucking companies are supposed to make sure that their drivers are adequately trained and able to do the job. If a truck driver failed to check a blind spot around the vehicle, and as a result they caused a squeeze play accident, the employer could be held liable under a theory of negligent training or negligent supervision.
Damages that may be recovered include all economic and noneconomic losses. These include medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, scarring, disfigurement, wage loss or lost income, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and household services. How significant the award will be depends on the particular situation. In some situations involving egregious conduct by a truck driver or their employer, it may be possible to recover punitive damages as well.