An 18 wheeler accident can result in some of the worst injuries imaginable, giving the extreme difference in weight between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck. In fact, a fully loaded big rig may weigh as much as 25 times more than a standard passenger vehicle, so most cars don’t stand a chance during a wreck. Given the potential for incredible damage, commercial truck drivers must always maintain control of their vehicle. The company that owns the truck or employs the driver should also maintain the truck to ensure it is safe while on the road.
WHAT CAN CAUSE AN 18 WHEELER ACCIDENT?
Although commercial truck drivers tend to be safer than most other drivers, they are still involved in more than 3,000 fatal crashes a year, and more than 50,000 crashes that result in injury. There are a number of risk factors that can contribute to a crash, though driver error is by far the most common reason for a wreck. Commercial truck drivers are often pushed to their limits in the pursuit of arriving on time, so they may be incentivized into making dangerous maneuvers or driving while fatigued. This can easily lead to a crash.
The driver’s employer may also demand dangerous hours from their employees, or fail to maintain its vehicles at an acceptable level. It is required by law that a commercial truck company performs regular inspections on its vehicles. This will reduce the likelihood of an 18 wheeler accident and ensure mechanical issues are identified before they become imminent threats. If mechanical failure is responsible for a crash, the vehicle or part manufacturer may also share liability for any injuries. When a commercial truck wrecks, the state will send an independent investigator to verify whether the crash was the result of a mechanical issue or not.
When possible, an attorney will bring a claim against multiple defendants, as this will increase the chances that a victim gets the compensation they need. Although driver error is common in an 18 wheeler accident, the driver and the victim’s insurance company may not be able to provide the needed compensation to cover the victim’s medical bills. If multiple defendants are involved, a truck accident lawyer will have a better chance of acquiring restitution.
With the immense physical forces involved, it’s common for people to sustain permanent or long lasting injuries. If the victim sustains a permanent injury, it will be particularly important for the victim to consider getting help from an attorney. Personal injury attorneys will be able to calculate a victim’s injuries and fight for compensation that may help the victim be able to afford things like physical therapy going into the future.
It’s not always easy organizing a claim and seeing it through to the settlement process, but an attorney will provide the needed expertise and structure.