If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision involving a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer, the expertise of a truck accident attorney is paramount to securing just compensation. These large vehicles contribute to an alarming number of injuries and fatalities on the road annually, with approximately 5,000 deaths and 120,000 injuries.
When a passenger vehicle meets a loaded cargo truck on the road, the aftermath is usually devastating due to the massive weight disparity. Moreover, victims often face difficulties in acquiring due compensation as many trucks operate under big corporations.
The Unique Safety Challenges of Semi-Trucks
- Blind Spots: Semi-trucks have vast “no zones” or blind spots, particularly on their sides and rear, often making parts of the road invisible to them.
- Acceleration & Braking: With greater acceleration and stopping distances than regular cars, semi-trucks are prone to rear-end collisions, especially during merges
- Hazardous Cargo: Trucks transporting dangerous goods, including explosives or corrosive agents, can result in catastrophic outcomes upon collision.
- Driver Fatigue: Federal regulations dictate the hours a trucker can drive without rest. Still, not all abide by these rules, increasing risks on the roads. With lenient regulations, truck accident rates have risen yearly.
Truck Accidents: A Statistical Overview
The American economy relies heavily on trucking. The American Trucking Associations report that over 7.4 million people work in the trucking sector. As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 2.7 million registered tractor-trailers in 2016. That year also witnessed over 500,000 reported large truck collisions, with 119,000 causing injuries and 4,213 resulting in fatalities.
Main Causes of Truck Accidents:
- The truck is traveling too fast for the conditions;
- The truck is following the vehicle in front too closely, resulting in a rear-end collision;
- The truck is not in a roadworthy condition;
- The truck’s brakes are worn or otherwise incapable of stopping the truck in time to avoid a collision;
- The truck driver is fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel from not taking the required rest periods;
- Driver inattentiveness or distraction;
- Drug use, especially to keep the driver awake;
- Making an illegal maneuver;
- Failing to yield the right of way before entering a roadway or making a turn;
- The driver losing control of the truck due to such things as a shifting load or inclement weather conditions such as rain, snow, or high winds.
Understanding Truck Regulations
The FMCSA regulates trucking, maintaining standards from weight limitations to obtaining a CDL. Both federal and state laws play roles in determining fault in truck accidents. The expertise of a truck accident attorney is essential when dealing with complex legal scenarios, especially when multiple parties could be held accountable
How Much Can I Recover in a Truck Accident Case?
Victims might be entitled to substantial compensation due to the higher insurance policies required for commercial truck drivers. Additionally, the distinction between truck drivers being employees or independent contractors can significantly influence the outcome.
Determining Fault After a Truck Crash
While trucks can be at fault, regular drivers also have responsibilities on the road. Depending on the state, victims might still claim damages, considering comparative or contributory negligence rules.
What to Do If You Are in a Truck Accident
If involved in a truck collision:
- Ensure everyone’s safety.
- Call 911 for emergencies.
- Exchange details with the truck driver.
- Document the scene and gather witness details.
- Seek medical attention and maintain records.
- Avoid direct communication with the trucker’s insurance.
- Consult a TorkLaw Truck Accident Attorney.
At TorkLaw, our skilled truck accident attorneys can assist you in navigating the intricacies of truck accident claims, ensuring you receive the maximum entitled compensation. Contact us now at 888.845.9696 for a comprehensive, free consultation.
Q: What does a truck accident lawyer do?
A truck accident lawyer is a legal professional specializing in representing individuals who have been harmed in accidents involving large vehicles, due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another. TorkLaw’s truck accident attorneys focus on helping victims recover compensation for their losses, which often include extensive medical expenses, lost wages, and significant pain and suffering due to the typically severe nature of truck accidents. They navigate the unique complexities of trucking laws and regulations to ensure that victims receive the justice and compensation they deserve.
Q: How can a truck accident lawyer help?
A truck accident lawyer can help by providing expert legal advice, conducting thorough investigations, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing you in court if necessary. They specialize in understanding the complexities of truck accident cases, ensuring you receive fair compensation for damages and injuries sustained.
Q: How much does a truck accident lawyer cost?
At TorkLaw, our truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no upfront costs. Our fees are a percentage of the settlement or verdict we obtain for you. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything. This approach ensures our interests are aligned with yours, focusing on securing the maximum compensation for your case.
Q: When to consult a lawyer for a truck accident?
Consult a lawyer for a truck accident as soon as possible after the incident. Early consultation with TorkLaw ensures that evidence is preserved, witness statements are collected timely, and your legal rights are protected from the start. Prompt legal advice can be crucial for a successful outcome in your case.
Q: What kind of compensation can I anticipate following a truck accident?
Factors like medical expenses, lost earnings, emotional distress, and property damages are considered. Every case is distinct, so a detailed discussion with an attorney is essential.Factors like medical expenses, lost earnings, emotional distress, and property damages are considered. Every case is distinct, so a detailed discussion with an attorney is essential.
Q: If I’m partially to blame, can I still file a claim?
Absolutely. California operates under the “comparative negligence” principle. This means you can still claim compensation, though it might be adjusted based on the extent of your responsibility.