After a commercial trucking accident, the results can be disastrous, especially for car drivers. You have a considerable height and weight difference that can make these accidents particularly bad. Even when the accident happens at a lower speed, the damage can be astronomical. You have five leading factors when it comes to car accidents:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Total cost of medical expenses
- Lost wages and unable to work
How Many Truckers Die in Accidents?
Trucking can be a dangerous job because you work in some of the most treacherous weather conditions, and you deal with the road for up to 14 hours per day in some cases. Every year, an estimated 700 truck drivers die in road accidents. That doesn’t include the ones who get severely injured in an accident, and they can’t go back to work. If this is your situation, you need to know how to get compensation after you have been injured in an accident.
Hire a Lawyer Right Away
You shouldn’t even hesitate to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Having a lawyer on your side will help to defend your rights. 18-wheelers have a unique set of legal issues that can impact the outcome for what type of settlement they receive. You have a unique set of circumstances facing these individuals. As a semi-truck driver, you have to follow a unique set of regulations, and having a lawyer who specializes in this field can help you to do that more easily. Semi-trucks have a requirement to carry a higher insurance limit, and other parties could have to pay their share in the accident.
Snapping into action right from the start with a lawyer can give you one foot up because you don’t know what the other party is planning. Evidence starts to fade as soon as the accident has ended. Getting a lawyer right away can help you to understand your rights and how to best proceed with getting fair compensation.
Never Admit Fault
Even if you believe that you were at fault in the accident, no good can come from you admitting that you caused the accident. This can hinder your chances of getting fair compensation. Let the police do their job and investigate who was at fault. Another thing that you can do during a highly emotional time is to misread the facts and believe that you were at fault when you weren’t. However, if you admitted that you were at fault to the other accident victim and the responding police officer, this can hinder your chances for fair compensation because the insurance companies will play this information against you to the fullest. Even if you weren’t at fault, they can make it seem like you were so that you receive lower compensation than what you could’ve had.
Multiple Defendants in the Lawsuit?
In some cases, multiple defendants will be involved in the lawsuit. All of them may be responsible for paying the plaintiff’s compensation. Sometimes, they will sue the trucking company involved in the accident, which is why you need to have the proper insurance to cover you from this type of liability.
Never Sign Anything without Your Lawyer Present
You should never agree to any compensation or to sign a release from liability ever from the insurance companies. They will sometimes use this tactic as a way of getting out of paying. The insurance company tricks the individual into signing a release, and this frees them from having to pay as much compensation. You need a good lawyer to defend you from these tricks. Never sign anything without their counsel.
Along with not signing anything, you should also never agree to give a statement without your lawyer present. This is because something that you say in innocence could be taken out of context and used against you, hindering your chances at fair compensation. These people are not on your side.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
You have a few different reasons that these accidents happen, and some of the reasons for it include:
- Driving too fast
- Not stopping at a stop sign
- Driving right through a red light
- Negligent driving
- Following behind too closely
Truck accidents also have unique reasons for why they occur, and some of the reasons for them happening include:
- Use of prescription drugs
- Brake problems
- Unfamiliarity with the road
What Injuries Happen the Most Often in Trucking?
Because trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, the injuries from these accidents are never pretty. People rarely walk away without any injuries whatsoever. Some of the injuries that a person may encounter include:
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Amputation of arms and legs
- Paraplegia or Quadriplegia
- Traumatic brain injury
Who Do They Hold Liable?
With trucking accidents, in some cases, there is so much devastation that figuring out who caused the accident can be severe. If the truck driver wasn’t following federal regulations like they had an overloaded trailer, or they failed to get their rest, they could be held liable in the state and federal courts. Some of the others that they can sue for liability includes the truck manufacturer and the company that owns and ships the cargo. Through an investigation, they can determine who is liable for it.
The reason for the accident could be because of how the truck failed, engine failure, improper brakes, and improperly installed tires.
What Can You Do if You Were in an Accident?
For anyone who has been involved in a trucking accident, there isn’t a magic formula that will say exactly how much compensation you receive. Some of the things to take into consideration for determining the settlement, however, include:
- Medical treatment
- Prescription reimbursements
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
To avoid an accident in trucking, you have to stay alert and always be aware of your surroundings and what is happening around you. Please use caution than to become a victim in a trucking accident. Eliminate distractions like texting and cell phone use. This can be just as dangerous or even more dangerous in a truck than what it can be inside of a regular vehicle. Also, keep your distance and don’t act overly aggressive as a truck driver.
Getting fair compensation after you have been involved in a commercial trucking accident means that you have to take measures to protect yourself. You should hire a lawyer to keep yourself in the know on your rights. After you have been injured, you want a professional legal team on your side that fights for you. You can’t expect the other parties to play fair, which is why the court system was set up in this way. You will want to give a report of the accident right away and visit the doctor immediately. Don’t wait because otherwise, the insurance company will try to attribute this to something else.