The last thing that you expect to happen when you are zipping down the highway on your way to wherever is to be hit by a tractor-trailer, but these accidents happen more often than you might think. Tractor-trailers might drive a great deal of business across the roads of the United States, but they also cause many accidents and injuries to drivers behind the wheel of much smaller and more vulnerable motor vehicles. In this article, we’ll explore accidents involving tractor-trailers, how they happen, what damages you might be entitled to, and how a lawyer can help.
Connecting with an attorney as soon as you can after you’ve received medical care from your tractor-trailer accident will take the stress of figuring out your damages and negotiating a settlement, so you can focus on getting past your accident while we do what is necessary to ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.
An experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer is ready to answer any questions you might have. If you have a valid case and choose to hire our firm, we will handle the legal process on your behalf, including all communications and negotiations with insurance companies. You can focus on recovering from your accident while we focus on recovering your full damages.
Large Trucks Have Higher Weights and Running Heights Than Regular Motor Vehicles
A glance at a tractor-trailer makes it very apparent that if your car, SUV, or even sizable truck were to collide with it, you will experience a great deal more damage than the tractor-trailer. In one year alone, 5,096 large trucks and buses were in fatal crashes in America.
During that same year, 499,000 police-reported crashes involved large trucks, and 55 percent of fatal large truck accidents involved truck tractors pulling single semi-trailers. Truck crashes are so deadly because semi-trucks are so much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles.
Due to the higher operating height and significantly greater weight of large trucks, if you are in a passenger vehicle and struck by a tractor-trailer, the likelihood of you experiencing injury or even death is higher than for the truck driver.
Tractor-trailers are massive machines that carry tons of weight, and when they move at any speed, it is difficult to stop or maneuver through changes in road conditions or emergencies.
When a tractor-trailer hits you, your vehicle will likely suffer significant damage, and the accident might also injure your body and ability to work. This is where your truck accident attorney comes into play and can help you get what you deserve.
Driver Errors and Fatigue Cause Many Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Due to the greater height and weight and lesser maneuverability of tractor-trailers, their drivers must abide by a higher standard than other drivers. Tractor-trailer drivers must get commercial driving licenses, and their employers are not allowed to make them work without sufficient rest periods between their shifts to ensure they do not drive while fatigued.
When you collide with a tractor-trailer, knowing how long the driver worked and what they did before the accident can support your case. You need to know if their cargo loading practices are proper. This kind of information is not always easy to collect without the help of an attorney.
In some instances, truck drivers won’t share information about what occurred before the crash because employers instructed them not to. If you have been in an accident with a tractor-trailer, recovering compensation for your damages will depend upon whether or not you can demonstrate that the truck driver was at fault for the accident.
When a truck driver won’t share information with crash investigators, your attorney can step in and ensure that the evidence you need is collected to support the best possible outcome in your case.
Mechanical Failures Can Lead to Accidents
Even when a truck driver is doing their best to operate the vehicle safely and responsibly, mechanical errors completely out of their control still happen. Of the many fatal truck accidents that happen each year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that around 6 percent of fatal truck accidents involve vehicle-related factors.
When a manufacturing or mechanical error has caused the accident, you may be entitled to damages from the vehicle or part manufacturer that caused the accident. This kind of evidence must be collected quickly before the vehicle continues operating so you can establish its relevance to your accident.
Contacting an attorney as soon as possible helps to provide you with the evidence you need to support your case. Attorneys who handle truck crash claims have tools and resources to investigate the cause of your accident to prove liability in your claim.
Reach out to a Truck Accident Lawyer Now for More Information
Being in an accident with a tractor-trailer can put the brakes on your personal life and keep you out of work in the short or even long term. When you suffer an injury in an accident and the other driver or a mechanical failure was to blame, you may seek damages for all of your losses.
Your damages should include not only the short-term costs associated with your injuries, like emergency medical care and lost wages from missed days of work but also the long-term costs. These include ongoing medical care, treatment, or rehabilitation, as well as any impact on your earnings ability from the day of the accident through your working life.
Calculating these amounts takes experience and insight into how the civil justice system works, including insurance companies, your local court system, and case precedents. Our truck accident lawyers have the knowledge you need to make the most of your case, so please reach out for a free case evaluation today.