Truck Accident Overview
With over 2 million large trucks, tractors, big rigs and semis on the roads today, trucking is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is a vital part of the US economy. There are many safety regulations in place to ensure that trucking companies only hire the most qualified and professional drivers.
Unfortunately, even professional drivers can make mistakes. Large trucks make up only 4% of all registered vehicles, yet truck accidents make up 8% of all fatal crashes. The US Department of Transportation estimates that each year:
- 500,000 truck accidents occur
- 100,000 or more people are injured
- Almost 4,000 people are killed
Due to the size and weight of a large truck, injuries from truck accidents tend to be extremely serious. Truck accident injuries include brain damage, spinal cord injuries or even death. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately following a truck accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A truck accident can happen at any time and in any place. Some common factors can include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver intoxication
- Time constraints
- Inclement weather
- Equipment working improperly or equipment failure
Driver fatigue ranks number one in contributing factors and accounts for 40% of all truck accidents. Since drivers are often fatigued, they might begin to rely on stimulants to counteract this exhaustion. Stimulants may create levels of intoxication, inhibiting a driver to perform their duties to their maximum potential.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
The aftermath of a truck accident is stressful and scary, but it’s important to remain calm and collect as much information as possible. Following a truck accident, try to:
- Give as many details of the accident to the police as possible and file an official accident report
- Call your insurance company to file a report with them
- Take photos of every vehicle involved and the surrounding area
- Do not make false statements, explain the extent of your injuries, sign reports or talk to other insurance companies without a lawyer present
- Contact a personal injury attorney immediately
- Seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
The Bigger the Car, The More Difficult the Case
Truck accidents are also typically more complicated cases because of the multiple vehicles involved, property damage, extensive injuries and the multitude of parties affected. Drivers, trucking companies, employers and maintenance companies are just a few of the parties that could be involved in a personal injury case because of a truck accident. Because of this, multiple parties could be held liable. It can also be difficult to determine who is at fault.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, there are certain monetary damages that victims are able to pursue. Pain and suffering can be professional, physical, financial and/or emotional. Medical expenses, property damage and loss of income or earning capacity are also losses that may be compensated. If you are the surviving member of an accident victim, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death suit. Trucking companies typically employ large insurance companies and these companies normally have their client’s best interest at heart, not yours.
All of these factors mean that it is in your best interest to have an experienced lawyer on your side. The attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill come to the table with years of experience in dealing with insurance companies, trucking companies and more. Call today for your free consultation.