Table Of Contents
- If a Truck Injures You, You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
- There are Many Causes of Truck Accidents
- Driver Error
- Poorly Maintained Big Rigs
- Equipment Failure
- Negligently Loaded Cargo
- Differences Between Car and Large Truck Accidents
- What Should You Do if a Tractor Trailer Accident Injures You?
- Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
- What Are Your Damages in a Commercial Truck Accident Case?
- If a Large Truck Accident Injures You, You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
If a Truck Injures You, You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
Commercial truck accidents differ from accidents involving just passenger cars in various ways. In fact, you are dealing with a much larger vehicle. Therefore, a truck crash often involves serious injuries and extensive property damage. As a result, if a truck accident injures you, you will need a truck accident attorney.
There are Many Causes of Truck Accidents
Driver error is probably the most common cause of truck accidents. Unfortunately, despite the increased size and impact of truck accidents, truck drivers often drive recklessly. For example, they often drive while they are drowsy. In that condition, their reaction time slows down.
Additionally, they are not as aware of their surroundings as they should be.
They sometimes speed while on a curve on a highway or exit/entrance ramps. This can cause their big rig to rollover.
Driver errors can cause rear-end collisions, T-bone accidents and jackknifed tractor trailers.
Lastly, they may try to reach mileage goals set by their companies. They can also drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Poorly Maintained Big Rigs
Big rigs often drive thousands of miles per week. Consequently, if they are not properly maintained, they can become dangerous. For instance, worn brake pads or a cracked windshield can cause a major traffic accident.
Defective parts on a tractor trailer or dump truck may not be the fault of the driver, but they can certainly cause a truck accident. Your attorney will be able to tell if a trucking company or manufacturer is responsible for the accident that injured you.
Negligently Loaded Cargo
If a shipping company negligently loads cargo on an 18 wheeler, the cargo can shift in the trailer if the driver makes a sharp turn. Cargo can also shift while the truck is on a curve or the driver stops suddenly.
In any case, the shifting cargo can cause the truck to rollover. As a result, the contents on the truck may spill out onto the road and cause accidents and injuries.
Adverse weather, poorly maintained or designed roads and speeding also cause truck accidents.
Differences Between Car and Large Truck Accidents
Certainly, commercial truck accidents differ from car accidents in various ways. Not only are you dealing with a larger vehicle but the big rig drivers need to follow certain federal regulations that the typical driver does not have to follow.
For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates commercial vehicles. Under their rules, truck drivers cannot drive over 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Notwithstanding that rule, many ignore this rule so they can meet deadlines. Or they hope to get paid more by the trucking company for reaching their destination sooner.
In a truck accident, there are several parties who may have caused the accident. Besides the driver, the trucking company may have poorly maintained the truck.
Likewise, a shipping company may have improperly loaded the freight.
In some tractor trailer accidents, the trailer tow hitch can fail, causing the trailer to detach from the cab. A runaway trailer could strike other vehicles on the road. If the tow hitch was defective, the manufacturer of the hitch may be liable for the accident.
If frequent use made the tow hitch fail, the truck company and/or the company that maintained the trucks may be liable.
The larger the vehicle, the more likely the accident injuries will be greater. This leads to extensive medical bills, life-changing injuries. These injuries can include soft tissue, fractured bones and head and neck injuries.
Unfortunately, truck accidents also cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries and wrongful death.
What Should You Do if a Tractor Trailer Accident Injures You?
If you can, take pictures of the accident scene. This includes the damage to your car and to any other vehicles.
Take pictures of any skid marks, debris, etc.
Exchange contact information with the truck driver and any other drivers involved in the accident.
Additionally, if there were any witnesses, get their contact information.
Report the accident to the police. Get the names of the police officers who came to the scene.
If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as you can. Remember, minor injuries can turn into major injuries. Moreover, you may have injuries that don’t immediately cause you pain or discomfort.
Tell the doctor what happened and every injury you have, even if you think it is minor.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
Prompt investigation of the accident scene is crucial. Certainly, the truck company will quickly dispatch its own investigators right after it learns of the accident to collect evidence. This evidence can quickly disappear.
In fact, you will need someone on your side who will save it.
For instance, skid marks should be measured. In addition, accident debris, as well as oil, gas, and radiator fluid stains at the wreck scene should be photographed.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will have experts who can collect and document evidence. Investigators will also get police reports, motor carrier records, witness statements, photographs, and safety logs.
Indeed, most tractor trailers have “black boxes” which contain vital information about the truck. This includes the speed of the truck, when the driver applied the brakes, etc.
Your attorney can have the black box analyzed to get important information which may help your case.
The sooner you hire a truck accident law firm, the sooner they gather the evidence necessary to support your personal injury suit.
What Are Your Damages in a Commercial Truck Accident Case?
As in any personal injury case, an injured party can sue for various damages in a commercial truck accident case:
- Medical expenses-You may recover all your medical expenses (even those insurance may have covered);
- Damages to your car;
- Lost wages-If you miss work because of your injuries, you may recover those lost wages;
- Pain and suffering-This type of damage is subjective but is widely recognized in personal injury law. Therefore, you can tell the jury how badly your neck hurt from your back injury from the collision. In addition, you can testify about how you had to go through physical therapy for weeks and how it hurt for months;
- In short, that is pain and suffering;
- Future medical needs-If the accident with a construction truck caused a traumatic brain injury or partial paralysis, you may need medical and physical therapy treatment for the foreseeable future. As a result, the jury may compensate you for that;
- Loss of consortium-If a truck accident killed or severely injured your spouse, the jury can compensate you for the loss of consortium. That is the loss of the affection, advice and companionship spouses show each other.
If a Large Truck Accident Injures You, You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
If a truck accident has injured you, a close friend or a loved one, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who handles truck accident cases. We will investigate the accident and determine who caused the accident.
- Additionally, we will gather all necessary evidence to support your claim.
- We will negotiate a settlement for you from the insurance companies for the at-fault parties.
- If the insurance companies are not being reasonable, we’ll prepare your case for trial.
- In short, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at our Hammond office at 219-200-2000 or online at alexmendozalaw.com for a free consultation.