Semi truck accidents and accidents in the trucking industry at large can be caused by any number of factors. Whether it’s driving too fast, an overtired driver, or the sheer size of their vehicle versus other vehicles on the road, unfortunately around 98% of all semi-truck accidents yield at least one fatality. Given that a semi-truck weighs an average of 80,000 pounds and a car weighs around 5,000 pounds, this isn’t totally surprising. But what happens if you or your loved one is in a semi truck accident that leaves you or loved one with serious injuries or if the accident causes a death? It’s natural that you would want recompense for the emotional and physical injuries sustained. The best step is to get in touch with a truck wreck attorney and see how he or she can assist you.
What are Some of the Reasons That Trucking Accidents Occur?
Commercial truckers on the road face a lot of pressure to make deadlines and move cargo. However, lots can happen on the road: bad weather, traffic jams, a flat tire, and more, that can set a trucker behind schedule. When that happens, they’re often pressed to make up for that “lost time,” which can lead to unsafe driving conditions. According to the United States Department of Transportation, almost a quarter of semi-truck accidents were because a driver was driving too fast for the road conditions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that almost 15% of truck accidents were because of driver fatigue.
In other cases, truck drivers can be at risk for the same sorts of things regular drivers are prone to. Bad weather conditions or distracted or aggressive driving can all lead to accidents. Unfortunately, since trucks tend to be much larger and heavier than the average vehicle, this often means the scale of the accident is much bigger as well.
What are the Steps if I’m In a Truck Accident?
Make sure everyone is safe. If it’s clear that there are serious injuries, call 911 immediately before doing anything else. Follow basic first aid training until emergency personnel are on site. If at all possible, make sure evidence of the accident is collected, such as skid marks, scuffs, and even parts of the vehicles themselves, if they’re totaled.
Likely, you will have to exchange information, such as insurance information and contact information, especially if serious injuries or deaths occur. If you’re hiring a personal injury lawyer or a more specialized truck wreck attorney, you want to make sure they have all the information they need. No one should leave the site unless cleared to do so by the authorities.
If there’s been a wrongful death or severe injuries, it’s in your best interests to employ a truck wreck attorney as your defense. They’ll help level the playing field and make sure that the right paperwork is filed and that your case is as strong as possible.
Why Should I Look Into Hiring a Truck Wreck Attorney?
Truck wreck attorneys have better access and resources to making sure that your case is strong. Preservationists, for example, may be retained to collect evidence from the scene before it vanishes due to traffic or weather conditions. They’ll know the ins and outs of the legal responsibilities and obligations — and know what the other party’s responsibilities are as well, which can help if you’re claiming they’ve shirked those responsibilities.
A truck wreck attorney is also working off prior experience as well and will know what’s in your best interests. In some cases, mediation or arbitration might be the way to go; in other cases, you may want to take it into court. Having someone at your side who is experienced, knowledgeable, and levelheaded throughout the process can make it all much easier.
If you’ve been in a truck accident, don’t delay. Get in touch with an attorney immediately to see what the next steps are that you should take.