Tractor Trailer/Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are different from those involving ordinary passenger cars. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 3,660 people lost their lives in truck accidents in 2014. 68% of those victims were the occupants of passenger cars.
A crash involving a large truck is responsible for a death every 16 minutes in the U.S.
When comparing the difference in size and weight of the two vehicles, it’s obvious you’re more likely to suffer severe, life-altering injuries in an accident with a tractor-trailer. Both immediate and long-term medical care costs are bound to be more than the average family can afford.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or semi-truck, you should speak with our attorneys who handle truck accident cases. Not only will your attorney understand the hardships your family now faces, they understand the laws that apply to truck drivers and have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation.
Are There Special Laws for Truck Drivers?
Yes, specific laws govern trucking industry practices in all aspects. This includes how the truck is to be maintained, and how many hours a driver is allowed behind the wheel. Trucking companies must abide by federal and state regulations or risk losing their interstate carrier license.
Even with these laws in place, truck accidents still claim the lives of thousands of Americans every year. Tens of thousands more are often injured, as the weight and inertia of a truck can make a “low speed” accident severe.
A truck driver might be at fault for an accident if the driver:
- Drove at an excessive speed
- Was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Did not obey traffic signals
- Drove recklessly
Under federal laws, the driver’s employer may also bear responsibility for what has happened. A trucking company can be held accountable for:
- Failing to instruct a driver on safety protocol
- A driver who drives for more hours than the law allows
- A truck carrying improperly stored cargo
- A truck that violates weight restrictions
Dangers of Truck Accidents
Operator error is not the only risk involved with large trucks, the vehicles themselves may pose significant dangers to other drivers for several reasons.
Large trucks (and buses too) have big blind spots, also known as No-Zones. This means the driver of the truck has no way of seeing you, should your car be in one of these areas. As a general rule, if you can’t see the driver’s face in the side-view mirror, they can’t see you either.
The same holds true for both the front and rear of the truck. Large trucks need twice the stopping time as a passenger car. Inclement weather may increase this distance significantly
Following Too Closely
Commercial trucks have no rearview mirror, making it impossible to see who or what may be behind them. To ensure your safety, never tailgate or follow too closely to a tractor-trailer.
Trucks often carry dangerous cargo and hazardous materials. It’s possible that the shipper of the hazardous materials may also be held liable if you are injured in this type of incident. A truck accident attorney can help determine all parties involved to seek the compensation for your claim.
Driver fatigue is a significant factor in tractor-trailer crashes. Federal regulations limit time behind the wheel to 11 hours in one stretch and up to 77 hours per week. However, delivery date demands can cause drivers to push themselves beyond the legal limit. A truck accident attorney can investigate both the trucking company’s logs and the driver’s qualifications to see exactly what is to blame for your accident.
Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries
Injuries sustained in these kinds of accidents can include:
- Brain injuries
- Broken/Fractured bones
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
The costs of emergency treatment and long-term care associated with these injuries can be surprisingly high.
By enlisting the help of a truck accident attorney, truck accident victims and their families may be eligible for compensation to cover:
- The costs of hospital stays, emergency room visits, ambulance rides
- The cost of future treatments or rehabilitation
- Income you lost because you were unable to work
- The physical and emotional suffering brought on by this ordeal
Compensation such as financial recovery is specific to each case. But one thing is certain; if The Flood Law Firm represents you, we will pursue the fullest amount of compensation possible to help you cover your expenses and provide for the best possible future.
Get a Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, contact The Flood Law Firm today to speak with an attorney about your rights and your options. We want to hear what happened, and we want to help.