Commercial freight vehicles move over 10 billion tons of freight every year. A fleet of over 3.5 million truck drivers transport this cargo, traveling on highways across the country. Often, these drivers work for over 10 hours at a time. These long shifts leave many truck drivers overworked, fatigued, and at danger of falling asleep behind the wheel.
Every commercial freight trip is risky. Even one small mistake can have devastating consequences for the motorists who share the road with truck drivers. In fact, 4,678 people died in collisions with large trucks in 2019 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle motorists and occupants.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a large truck, our truck attorney attorneys are ready to represent you.
Continue reading to learn how a trucking accident attorney can help you recover compensation after a truck accident. Fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form or call 1.800.HURT.511 to connect with an attorney who will fight for you.
Trucks accidents are far more dangerous than collisions involving passenger vehicles because of the sheer size and weight of commercial freight trucks. Large trucks carrying heavy cargo can weigh over 80,000 pounds. That means any truck accident can have devastating, or even deadly, consequences for passenger vehicles on the road.
Commercial freight trucks also take a longer time to break. Loaded tractor trailers can take up to 40 percent longer to stop than cars, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Trucks take even longer to stop on wet and slippery roads.
Additionally, some trucks carry hazardous materials in their cargo, like gas or flammable liquids. This poses a danger beyond the risk of collision. After all, an accident with one of these trucks could lead to life-threatening fires or hazardous chemical spills on the roadway.
For all these reasons, truck accidents can cause severe and debilitating injuries, including:
According to a truck crash causation study by FMCSA and NHTSA, the four top causes of truck accidents are:
The study also found that half of all large truck accidents involved collisions between the truck and a passenger vehicle.
The risk factors associated with these crashes for truck drivers include: brake problems, prescription or over-the-counter drug use, traveling too fast for conditions, roadway problems, and fatigue, among others.
Fatigue, in particular, is a serious concern for overworked truck drivers. That’s why the FMCSA regulates the hours of service that truckers are allowed to drive in order, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Still, the NTSB has estimated that driver fatigue plays a role in over 30% of trucking accidents. That means that a worrisome number of truck drivers on the road are still overworked despite FMCSA regulations.
Every truck accident is different and the damages you can seek vary based on the details of your particular case. But generally, victims of truck accidents can seek economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover monetary losses associated with the truck accident, including:
Non-economic damages cover more abstract losses to a person’s ability to lead a meaningful and happy life following a truck accident. These type of damages, which can be far more difficult to quantify, include:
If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision with a large truck, it is vital that you contact a truck accident attorney.
Truck accident lawsuits are complex and need a thorough investigation to determine who is liable. It could be the truck driver, the truck company, or the manufacturer of the truck and its equipment, or other parties.
In some truck accident cases, more than one company may be liable for the accident. It takes a skilled truck accident attorney to determine if multiple parties share blame for your accident.
Truck companies are also required to hold more liability coverage than standard motorists. As a result, insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to minimize or deny your claim in order to avoid paying out the full compensation you deserve. You will need an experienced truck accident attorney on your side to fight for your best interest following an accident.
Fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form or call 1.800.HURT.511 to connect with a truck accident attorney who will fight to get you justice.
The most important thing to do after a truck accident is to seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 for help.
If you are able to, take photos and videos of the scene of the accident. Take photos or videos of your injuries, damage done to your vehicle, the roadway, and any other important details about the accident.
Get the name, phone number, driver’s license number and plate, and insurance information from the truck driver involved in the accident. If there are other private motorists on the scene, exchange information with them as well, as they may be important witnesses of the accident.
This information will be essential when you call an attorney. A truck accident attorney will review all the details of your case, as well as conduct further investigation into the accident, to determine if you have a viable truck accident claim.
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