Semi Truck Accident Lawyers

Semi-trucks, also referred to as tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and big rigs, are a common sight across America’s roads and highways. Unfortunately, semi-truck accidents are also a common occurrence. According to the most recent data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents involving large trucks have been on the rise for more than a decade.

If you or a loved one are involved in an accident with a truck, retaining the services of an attorney becomes vital. Because truck drivers are often insured in the millions and more than one party can be held vicariously responsible for a driver’s negligence, having a lawyer at your side as soon as possible will help to ensure your case is handled in the most professional manner. Identifying all the different lines of insurance is difficult in trucking accidents as the truck and trailer are often insured by different companies, with either or both possibly being guilty of negligence.

What Causes Semi-Truck Accidents?

There is no one reason that semi-trucks crash so frequently. Collisions are caused by a variety of mechanical problems, types of truck driver negligence, and failures to adhere to national safety regulations. Truck drivers are obligated to abide by specific federal safety regulations when they are on the road. When these are not followed, accidents happen. Occurrences of trucking accidents often occur due to:

  1. Driving when fatigued
  2. Reckless driving (especially during adverse weather conditions)
  3. Defective equipment
  4. Improperly secured loads or loads that exceed a truck’s maximum capacity
  5. Unsafe passing

Semi – Trucks Driver Fatigue Contributes to Accidents

The most common act of negligence in truck crashes is when a commercial driver is driving while tired. Driver fatigue causes thousands of unfortunate and senseless accidents each year. Federal trucking laws, known as Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, govern:

  1. The amount of time a driver can be on the road for a single stretch
  2. How much time must be taken off between shifts
  3. How many hours they can log during a specific week

It’s not uncommon for drivers to falsify their driving logs to be able to drive for more time than they should, and many trucking companies imply or expressly request their drivers to falsify records. Sadly, many trucking outfits place unrealistic scheduling demands on their drivers, and sleep deprivation is often the result. Other factors that can result in truck driver fatigue include:

  1. Long stretches of night driving
  2. Irregular schedules with little routine
  3. Unhealthy eating on the go
  4. Loading and unloading cargo in between trips

What to Do Following a Semi Truck Accident?

The amount of confusion immediately following a truck crash can be great. You’ll want to make sure the police and any necessary emergency workers are called immediately to assist with any injuries or burns. The police will take extensive notes, statements from all the involved parties and any witnesses, and take photos as part of their accident report. If possible, you will also want to document as much as you can, including witness statements. If your phone’s camera is working, be sure to take as many pictures as possible of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you and any other passengers sustained. Doing so can help you ensure that anything the police missed is still documented.

What Financial Recovery Can I Expect to Receive for a Semi Truck Accident Claim?

Generally, a person injured in a collision with a large truck because of another party’s negligence can seek a monetary recovery (referred to as damages) for both tangible and intangible losses.  Any recovery requires that a plaintiff provide proof of the value of the damages and a causal connection between the conduct of the defendant and the plaintiff’s injuries.  

These types of damages can include:

  1. Medical expenses (past, present & future)
  2. Loss of earnings
  3. Decreased earning capacity
  4. Pain and suffering
  5. Diminished enjoyment of life experiences
  6. Mental distress
  7. Loss of consortium
  8. Punitive damages (depending on the applicable law as well as the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct)
  9. Wrongful death damages

Why You Should Hire a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accidents are complicated, and there are often many potential causes and responsible parties. If a truck swerved into your lane, was it because the driver fell asleep, or the steering failed? Was the driver sleepy from drugs, alcohol or being required to pull too many shifts? Did the steering fail because of a manufacturing defect, failure to do maintenance or shoddy work at the maintenance facility? How do you calculate your future medical expenses and lost income from the accident?

Getting to the bottom of these issues is where truck accident attorneys shine. Without a lawyer, it’s very difficult to navigate the system, understand the full extent of your losses and negotiate the best settlement.

The Best Semi Truck Accident Lawyers

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