Accidents involving semi-trailer trucks are likely to have catastrophic consequences. Truck accidents occur far too often on US roads, with 510,000 truck accidents reported in 2019, which resulted in 114,000 injuries. In 2020, 4,842 crashes involving these huge trucks resulted in fatalities.
Since victims suffer extensive injuries and even death, they must be aware of their right to seek compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Although no amount of payment will repair suffering or bring a loved one back, it can nevertheless provide support to individuals and families.
If you or a family member were in a truck accident, you must seek out an experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer.
At The Personal Injury Center, we are passionate about educating victims of injury on their rights. We can connect you with a personal injury lawyer who can assess your specific case and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us for the personal attention you deserve.
Why Tractor Trailer Accidents Are Dangerous
Large truck accidents are inherently dangerous because of the sheer size of these commercial vehicles. Despite many rules and regulations, an alarming number of commercial truck accidents happen every day in the United States.
Big rig trucks are built differently than cars and operate differently on the roads. This means that trucks are prone to causing severe accidents that can result in serious injuries. Driver behavior can also contribute to the severity of a truck accident. Some factors that contribute to truck accidents include the following:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting while driving
- Other forms of distracted driving (e.g., eating)
- Speeding and overtaking
- Driver fatigue
The severity of the injury from semi-truck accidents will depend on various factors, such as the use of a safety belt, the type of truck, and the number of vehicles involved.
Road accidents involving trucks can result in severe and fatal injuries. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputation and disfigurement
- Cuts, bruises, broken bones, and lacerations
These truck accident injuries cause immense suffering and leave victims with an overwhelming monetary burden, including hefty medical bills, lost wages, or property damage. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, you must file a claim with the help of an experienced accident attorney. It’s the best way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Below, we have listed some of the factors that could make a truck accident very severe.
An 18-wheeler truck is usually 70–80 feet long. In comparison, the average size of a small car is between 10–14 feet. The weight of an 18-wheeler is about 80,000 lbs, and a passenger car weighs around 5,000 lbs.
Moreover, a truck is much higher than a standard passenger vehicle. Its size also means that it takes longer to come to a complete stop. Therefore, the impact in a collision will be much more severe as opposed to an accident involving only regular vehicles.
A trucking company may be liable if they have breached any of the size requirements as mentioned in the federal trucking regulations. A truck that carries more weight than is recommended will cause severe injuries if it’s involved in an accident.
Longer stopping distances
In comparison to a passenger vehicle, a commercial truck may require more time to come to a complete stop. Truck drivers must be adequately trained to factor in this requirement and allow enough time and space to fully stop. Failure to do so may mean that the truck driver will be held liable for any injuries that he or she causes.
Larger vehicles have bigger blind spots
Commercial trucks have blind spots that can span up to three lanes of traffic. Those driving alongside trucks may remain in these blind spots for extended periods. Drivers have to put in continuous effort to check blindspots, which is especially important when changing lanes or merging.
Truck drivers must be appropriately trained to navigate these large blind spots, as failure to do so can result in severe accidents. Intoxication, distraction, or fatigue are factors why drivers don’t check blind spots. However, truck drivers may be liable if they improperly operate around a blind spot.
Due to these factors, truck accidents can cause severe injuries or even fatalities. At The Personal Injury Center, we can pair you with a personal injury attorney who can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve. Request for a free evaluation today.
What Types of Evidence Are Gathered After a Tractor Trailer Accident
You will need different types of evidence to prove that a truck driver was negligent. If you or a loved one have suffered harm from a trucking accident caused by a driver’s negligence, contact The Personal Injury Center today. We can connect you with a personal injury lawyer who will gather the evidence to support your truck accident case.
Some of the evidence that may be needed to prove your case includes:
Black boxes, in-cab cameras, and other data recorders
Most commercial trucks have a black box, which monitors driver safety and truck status. The black box can provide information on the truck’s operation and the driver’s actions before and during an accident.
Some of the information a black box can record includes the speed of the truck, whether the driver engaged the brakes, and whether the driver drove more than 11 hours (more on this below).
Many commercial trucks have cameras installed inside the cab of the vehicle. The in-cab camera can monitor the driver’s activity and the road in front of a trailer truck and pick up evidence, such as reckless driving or driver intoxication.
Some or all of this evidence may prove helpful in your truck accident claim.
The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has strict rules and safety regulations regarding the time a driver can operate a commercial truck. USDOT mandates that truckers can’t spend more than 11 hours behind the wheel.
Truck drivers must also not be behind the wheel for more than 60 hours over seven days or 70 hours over eight days. Moreover, drivers must have a 10-hour break between each shift.
A driving logbook records a driver’s hours of service, which may provide evidence of whether the truck driver violated federal regulations. A truck accident attorney can obtain the logbook for you and assess whether a violation or tampering has occurred.
Victim’s medical records
It is essential that you immediately seek help from a medical professional after a truck accident. They will assess and record the injuries you have suffered and the treatment you’ve received.
This may include lists of medications, medical bills, scans, test results, and other medical evidence. A truck accident attorney can inform you which of these may help your case.
Photographs and videos
After an accident, you must take as many photographs and videos of the scene as possible. These include the accident scene, vehicle damage, and pictures of your injuries.Gathering evidence to support your claim may seem like a complex process. We at The Personal Injury Center can provide you with the information you need for your case. We can also partner you with a personal injury attorney who can help you gather all the evidence for your claim. Visit our website today to learn more.
What a Tractor Trailer Lawyer Can Do For You
You or your loved one may feel overwhelmed after being injured in a truck accident. An experienced truck accident attorney can assist in proving a truck driver’s liability by gathering evidence, interviewing eyewitnesses, negotiating with your insurance company, and taking your case to court if necessary.
After being injured in a truck accident, you shouldn’t have to deal with the lawsuit alone. A truck accident lawyer can take this on while you rest and recover from the accident.
A truck accident lawyer can:
Identify the party at fault
There may be multiple negligent parties involved in a truck accident. Parties that are commonly responsible may include the following:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of the truck
- The truck maintenance company
- The shipping company (that loaded the truck)
- A third-party driver
A truck accident lawyer can identify who the liable parties are and hold them responsible.
Build your case
A truck accident lawyer can work to build your case and present it to an insurance company or court in the best way possible. To do so, your lawyer can do the following:
- Gather the contact information of all involved parties and eyewitnesses, including addresses, insurance information, and means of contact
- Take photos and videos of the scene from functional perspectives
- Talk to eyewitnesses and request formal statements from everything they have witnessed
- Gather helpful information regarding the context of the accident, including the weather, road conditions, and time of day
- Go to the police and ask for a copy of the accident report
- Compile useful medical information
- Negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Take the case to trial if the settlement fails
By allowing a lawyer to take on your case, you can focus on your recovery and rehabilitation after suffering an injury.
For your claim to be successful, you need to prove that the other party was negligent by demonstrating the following:
- They owe you a legal duty of care to drive reasonably and safely
- They breached their duty by driving unreasonably or unsafely
- Their breach of duty of care caused the harm that you are suffering
- The loss that you have suffered is because of your injuries
You may receive compensation in a personal injury claim from economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses include medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to your motor vehicle. Non-economic losses include the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of activities you are unable to participate in
- Loss of consortium
You must contact a tractor-trailer lawyer after being injured in a truck accident. At The Personal Injury Center, we can refer you to an experienced lawyer who will gather evidence, build your case, and identify potential parties at fault. You shouldn’t have to go through an accident’s challenges alone, so message or email us today.
Get the Help You Need Today
You don’t have to suffer the burdens of being the victim of a truck accident alone. Many people would love to lend a helping hand to someone like you. We at The Personal Injury Center are among these individuals. We aim to provide practical information to help further your claim or case.
We also offer free case evaluations, after which you can request a referral to a personal injury lawyer. We will do our best to assist you in getting fair compensation.
FAQs on Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers
To prove that a truck driver was negligent, you must demonstrate the four essential elements of negligence. First, you need to prove that the driver owed you a duty of care. Second, the driver breached the duty of care. Third, the driver’s breach caused you harm, and lastly, the loss that you have suffered is because of your injuries.
If you or a loved one are injured in a truck accident, you can take the following steps to protect your rights:
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Keep copies of medical bills and any orders from your doctor
- Cooperate with the police, but only to the extent necessary
- Don’t accept blame or apologize for the crash
- Obtain a copy of the police accident report
- Don’t discuss anything with insurance providers until you’ve spoken to a truck accident lawyer
- Keep track of lost income
The most important thing you can do after a truck accident is to contact The Personal Injury Center so that we can get you in touch with a truck accident lawyer. Our lawyers have years of experience upholding truck accident victims’ rights.
As a truck accident victim, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are the subjective and non-material losses that result from an accident. These include loss of reputation and enjoyment and pain and suffering.