Collisions involving semi-trucks occur every day on highways and rural routes across the United States, and if you or a loved one suffered injuries or death in a crash involving an 18 wheeler, you may consider an accident lawyer.
Large trucks can be involved in all sorts of wrecks. Perhaps one rolled over right in front of you, and you couldn’t avoid a collision in time. Maybe the truck driver unexpectedly swerved into your lane. Or perhaps a tired driver tried to deliver his last load for the day but lost control of his truck and struck a loved one’s vehicle while he was innocently making his way home from work.
WHY ARE LARGE TRUCKS SO DANGEROUS?
They’re big. They’re powerful. And they’re difficult to maneuver. In addition, trucking companies sometimes exert tremendous pressure on drivers to deliver their cargo on time, no matter the circumstances, and truckers are notorious for attempting to do just that—despite consequences to attention span, reaction time, or fatigue.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that in any given year, crashes involving commercial vehicles cost the American public more than $83 billion. Between 2002 and 2011, 45,156 people lost their lives in wrecks involving large trucks, and more than a million people were injured. In 2013, Texas reported 359 fatal crashes involving tractor- trailers. Hundreds of others required medical treatment. Although accounting for only 3% of motor vehicle accidents overall, semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles clearly cause exponential damage to life, health and property.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IN A LARGE TRUCK COLLISION?
It isn’t always the driver who is to blame when things go awry. When an 18 wheeler accident lawyer takes a case, he or she will look at several other players that may have played a role in the crash:
- The owner of the truck
- The company (or person) leasing the vehicle—i.e., the trucking company
- The truck manufacturer, or the maker of parts or tires which may have contributed to the crash
- The company or person responsible for loading the vehicle’s cargo
Due to the sheer size alone, crashes involving big rigs can result in a great deal of property damage and significant injuries or even death. An experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer can help hold the responsible parties accountable for financial compensation in terms of medical expenses, pain and suffering, or even wrongful death.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I’M IN AN ACCIDENT WITH A SEMI-TRUCK?
Gathering essential information as soon as possible after the crash is important. Victims should obtain a police report right away, which is helpful in identifying the truck driver as well as the company for which he works. Transcripts of official health diagnoses and copies of medical bills are equally crucial in the event legal action is pursued. These documents will be helpful evidence to the 18 wheeler accident lawyer when the time comes to take the case to court or negotiate settlements.