Being in a car accident involving a truck is often a devastating experience. Your life will literally change in a second, particularly if one or more members of your vehicle have been killed or seriously injured in the accident.
When a 15-ton truck or delivery truck crashes into a car, the odds are stacked heavily against those in the car. As a result, they will undoubtedly incur a variety of physical or mental traumas. At the very least, being in an accident with a truck will typically leave the passengers in the car severely distressed and in need of medical, legal, and financial help.
Large trucking companies now employ rapid response teams of accident lawyers, investigators, and reconstructionists. These rapid response groups start planning a case immediately after a major truck accident has caused serious injury or death.
These groups of lawyers and consultants often arrive at the scene of a terrible truck accident before the police do. The stakes during a catastrophic accident or death case are very high, and experienced truck accident lawyers will tell you that these quick response groups will be really aggressive in pushing the limits of the law to avoid liability for crashes. what caused
Serious truck accident cases are completely different, and it is important to discuss the case with an experienced truck accident attorney. Crucial evidence that could have revealed a violation of important security rules can be destroyed.
As an example, log books that can show speeding or driving for hours in a fatigued state can be legally destroyed by the company shortly after a crash if they do not receive notice to preserve the evidence. Data from black boxes, or electronic information recorders, which can prove crucial facts, can be erased if the company is not notified to preserve it.
Statistics About Truck Accidents
In 2016, 4,317 people were killed in truck accidents in the US. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5.4 percent more fatalities than in 2015, the highest number since 2007. 722 were occupants of large trucks, 466 were non-occupants, and 3,129 were occupants of other vehicles.
Additionally, nearly 16 percent of all large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding conviction, compared to nearly 19 percent of passenger car drivers involved in fatal crashes.
Common causes behind a truck accident
Truck drivers are at the forefront of big and really powerful vehicles which means they need to exercise extra caution while on the road, however this is not always the case. When a huge truck driver is negligent, a resulting accident is much more likely to have devastating results. Examples of such negligence may include:
There are state and federal laws that specify how much a transport truck must weigh. However, this is often not just a number; there are also laws that indicate how the load is distributed on each axis. These rules are in place to ensure that the truck is still driven safely while protecting the physical integrity of the road.
Unfortunately, drivers and/or trucking companies may try to increase profit by loading additional goods on the truck. This will cause problems with overall handling and also with braking, increasing the chances of an accident.
Large truck drivers are required to follow Hours of Service (HOS) rules, as set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to make sure they don’t drive longer than is safe. When a driver becomes drowsy, their response time slows, they are much more easily distracted and careless and will even nod at the wheel.
This unfortunately does not stop some drivers, or transport companies from putting pressure on their drivers, to break the rules in order to make deliveries faster. Faster deliveries mean more cash and some may imagine that it is worth putting everyone’s life on the road in danger, when in reality they are not simply risking the safety of other drivers and passengers on the road, but also their own. own safety.
Accident under a truck
A truck is bigger, heavier, and higher than other vehicles. As such, there is a chance of crashing under a truck. As a result of this, trucks are equipped with undertrailer guards at the rear and on the edges. Unfortunately, these undertrailer guards do not always fit correctly, they can also be made of poor quality materials, they can also break or not fit at all. Regardless of the reason behind a secondary collision, if the protections are not up to snuff, the trucker or transportation company could also be held, at least partially, responsible for the victim’s losses.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured, or if a loved one has been killed in a major crash as a result of the negligent or reckless actions of the trucker and/or trucking company, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. It is vital that you take all necessary steps to ensure the best physical, emotional, and financial outcome for you and your fellow passengers.
Here are seven steps to take if you have been involved in a truck accident:
First: Contact the authorities
Immediately after the accident, whenever you can move and it seems safe to do so, contact the police or state patrol. It is essential that you summon one of the city or state authorities to be present to care for injured or potentially injured persons, as well as to take witness statements and gather evidence as to the causes and nature of the accident.
Second: Get the truck driver’s insurance information
Whether or not you can contact an authority immediately, be sure to request driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle license plate information from the truck driver. These will be important items to have on record. Remember, even if you, your passengers, and your vehicle appear to have escaped unharmed from the accident, it is always important to document the event. Some of the effects of the accident may appear later.
Third: Do not admit fault for the accident!
Some people who have just suffered the shock and emotional trauma of a truck accident feel the need to immediately discuss their experience with others. It is very important that, while you are at the scene of the accident, you avoid admitting any degree of fault regarding what happened. Unless you’re an attorney, you probably aren’t aware of all the possible ramifications involved in determining fault in an accident.
Even if you feel you were partially at fault, it is generally your right to refrain from making statements that could be incriminating to the police or other drivers. Simply provide your contact and driver information, and ask authorities if you can leave the scene. If the answer is no, ask that you be given the opportunity to have a lawyer of your choice present during any questioning, and do not answer questions after that point.
Fourth: Check your car and the surrounding area for damage
If you have a camera at the accident site, be sure to take as many pictures as possible. Get pictures of the truck you collided with, your car, and any relevant surrounding items such as telephone poles, other cars, etc.
Specifically, take pictures of the accident scene, tire tracks or skid marks, and any damage to any of the vehicles. Cell phones with cameras have made this easy to accomplish. It is best to share those photos only with your lawyer, until the lawyer tells you to provide them to anyone else.
Fifth: See a doctor
Once you leave the scene of the accident, your first stop should be at your doctor’s office or a nearby hospital, depending on the severity of your injuries. If you feel you cannot drive, call for an ambulance or have a friend or relative drive you so you can receive immediate medical attention.
If you do not immediately feel that you have been injured, you may find that in the days or weeks after your accident, you begin to experience pain in your body. If this is the case, be sure to visit a doctor and report your problems at that time.
The longer you wait to seek medical attention after the accident, the more difficult it will be to justify a personal injury claim, in the event that you or any passengers are injured in the collision. It is safest to seek medical attention immediately, because you may be injured and not be able to tell it due to increased adrenaline or even shock.
Sixth: Notify your insurance company
In California, or any other state for that matter, you must notify your insurance company as soon as reasonably possible after you’ve been in an accident. Different insurance policies have different “Duties After Loss” provisions and requirements. It is best to send a letter notifying them in writing of a claim as soon as possible, even after you have called to report the collision.
Once your immediate medical needs have been taken care of and you have properly documented the accident, notifying your insurance company should be your first priority. You may share the details of your accident with your insurance company as reasonably requested. It is almost never a good idea to give any statement, recorded or not, to the trucker’s insurance company.
Seventh: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is always advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. There are many possible ramifications of being involved in a car accident with a truck, including those that can affect your long-term health, finances, and mental well-being.
In most cases, your attorney will conduct their own thorough investigation to determine your legal position as a result of the accident. Your attorney will want immediate access to any documentation you may have made of the accident. Your attorney acts as your ally to ensure that you receive fair compensation and that your legal rights and financial situation remain in the best possible condition as a result of the accident.