Truck Driver Injured in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-85 near Hillsborough, NC
Hillsborough, NC -- April 15, 2022, a truck driver was seriously injured in a rear-end crash with a disabled 18-wheeler on Interstate 85 near Hillsborough.
Authorities say the incident happened around 8:50 p.m. on I-85 north near I-40 east. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial tractor-trailer broke down in the middle of the interstate and shortly after it was rear-ended by a second big rig traveling around 65 mph.
The rear-ending truck driver was entrapped after the collision and had to be rescued. He was transported to an area trauma center. The driver of the disabled truck was unhurt.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Truck Accident on I-85 near Hillsborough
Thorough investigation is important after any wreck, but even more so when the collision is between commercial trucks. Why? Because fault often turns into a long and high-stakes game of "hot potato" between the companies behind those trucks and drivers. Most firms are eager to deflect blame, so when they pass it back and forth the injured victim may be stuck waiting for much-needed help.
Some may not think there can be much contest about fault here if a moving truck hit a stopped one, but consider the other side of that: Even if one truck rear-ended another, the stopped truck was reportedly disabled in the roadway and presented a potential hazard and obstacle to safe passage. At the very least it's likely to be a point of serious contention between the two companies as they bicker about who's to blame for the victim's injuries.
Both drivers' employers may have potential grounds to say they're innocent of wrongdoing and point fingers at the other one, and if decades working on commercial wrecks are any indication they most likely will. Even if they don't blame one another each may try to say something else was responsible for the victim's injuries: Bad weather, road conditions, low visibility, sudden and mysterious mechanical problems or defective parts, or even some "mystery vehicle" that left the scene are often blamed for the damage done.
Folks may think I'm just being cynical, but these concerns come from plenty of experience helping truck drivers and families whose lives were affected by crashes like this. From what I've seen, when it's time to hold someone accountable any notion of trucker fraternity goes right out the window, at least on the corporate and/or legal level. Moreover, a lot of victims and families feel their only recourse is through workers' compensation after these accidents. They may receive some help from that program, but as a matter of principle the parties responsible for their damages should be held properly accountable and make what amends they can.
A commercial entity with a million-dollar truck insurance policy has a lot to lose and will fight like hell to avoid that. That's just as true when trucks hit each other as it is when they hit anyone else, which is why it's important to investigate these incidents carefully and learn all their facts. Experienced professionals need to gather evidence so those affected have the tools to overcome all the buck-passing and finger-pointing and get the help they need.