The best lawyer for an 18-wheeler accident

The best lawyer for an 18-wheeler accident

18 WHEELER ACCIDENT ATTORNEY: GET THE HELP YOU DESERVE 

Driving 18 wheelers or semi-trailer trucks has its inherent risks. The sheer size and speed at which these trucks operate can cause significant damage on the roads. 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,862 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2018. Singles (which includes 18-wheelers) accounted for 55% of these large truck fatal crashes.

When a large truck accident occurs, many complications arise. That’s why you should consult with an 18 wheeler attorney immediately after the incident. From injuries to liability to insurance claims, an 18 wheeler accident attorney can help guide you through the legal process.

WHY ARE 18-WHEELERS SO DANGEROUS?

What exactly makes 18 wheelers so much more dangerous than an average vehicle? Let’s explore a few reasons:

  • Combination of weight and speed: While the average consumer car weighs 1.5 tons, an average loaded tractor weighs 40 tons. That’s nearly 27 times heavier than your average car. Now imagine the 40-ton truck traveling 60 mph crashing against a small vehicle— 18 wheeler truck wreck lawyer the consequences can be disastrous. 
  • Stopping Distances: Large trucks need much more time to stop than a car. It takes an average passenger vehicle traveling at 65 mph 316 feet to stop under ideal conditions. In contrast, it takes 525 feet to stop for a 40-ton truck traveling at the same speed. Additionally, large trucks have to deal with brake lag. Due to how air brakes work, there is a lag time between when the driver hits the brake and when the brakes are applied. This means 18 wheelers require even more stopping distance.
  • Blindspot: 18 wheelers have four large blindspots – the front, the two sides, and the back of the truck. Due to the truck’s size and height, drivers can have a difficult time spotting 18 wheeler truck accident attorney smaller cars when they are in these areas. Driving in these areas can be extremely dangerous for small vehicles, especially when the truck driver fails to check their blind spots.
  • Hazardous material: Semi-trucks carry hazardous material all the time on American roads. Due to more stringent regulations, drivers require specialized training to become a hazmat driver. Hazardous material could include items that are flammable, explosive, crash lawyers 18 wheeler radiological, or poisonous. These materials can cause significant damage to people and the environment if released in the open.
  • Unsecured cargo: Not all 18 wheelers have enclosed trailers. Some semis have an open flatbed, which requires the driver to secure the cargo properly. If the driver was negligent in tying down the cargo, loose debris could cause accidents resulting in injuries and even deaths. Some common types of unsecured cargo can include raw materials, industrial tools, car parts, and more.   

As you can see, there are many risks when driving an 18 wheeler. Failing to mitigate these risks can result in an accident. If an accident occurs due to another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. An 18 wheeler accident lawyer can advise on the best path forward in this situation.

COMMON CAUSES OF 18 WHEELER ACCIDENTS

Determining the cause for an 18 wheeler accident is not always obvious. The truck driver may not always be the primary party responsible for the crash. Often, there are multiple factors contributing to the cause of an accident. Here are some of the most common causes of 18 wheeler accidents. lawyer for 18 wheeler accident

Driver Inexperience

Drivers are required to undergo extensive training before obtaining their Commercial Drivers License (CDL). The requirements for each state vary, but in general, drivers must pass a written exam, get a learning permit, and pass a driving test. 

With the increasing demand for truck drivers in the industry, companies may be knowingly or unknowingly hiring under-qualified drivers. In addition, trucking license fraud cases where trucking schools are issuing fraudulent licenses can increase the number of inexperienced drivers on the roads

WHAT TO DO AFTER AN 18 WHEELER ACCIDENT

It can be overwhelming to figure out what to do after an 18 wheeler crash. Here are some basic steps to take following your accident.

1. Move to Safety

If the accident was minor and the car is drivable, move your vehicle to avoid a secondary collision. If it is safer to remain where you’re at or if you’ve sustained significant injuries, remain seated until help comes. Call 911 to inform authorities of the accident.

2. Exchange Information with the Truck Driver

Exchange details with the truck driver, including their name, contact information, license, registration, and insurance information. You should also obtain their trucking company name and any relevant contacts. 

Limit your conversations with the truck driver. Never discuss issues of fault. Even a simple apology can be used against you.

3. Document the Scene

If you can, document the scene through photos. Take pictures of the damage, debris, injuries, and the surrounding environment. Ask witnesses for their contact information. Nearby businesses may also have video footage of the incident.

4. Seek Medical Attention

An accident with an 18 wheeler can be serious. Seek medical attention immediately. It’s a good idea to visit a doctor even if you don’t notice any symptoms. Symptoms like whiplash can arise a couple of days after the incident, so it’s important to get a checkup right away.

5. Consult with an 18 Wheeler Lawyer

Crash victims sometimes mistakenly give accident statements to insurance companies without consulting an 18 wheeler injury lawyer. It is not in the insurance company’s best interests to hand out money. Trucking companies backed by their insurance companies will aggressively defend every claim. Let an experienced lawyer deal with insurance companies. Doing so may give you the best chance of receiving compensation for your injuries.

HOW AN 18 WHEELER ACCIDENT ATTORNEY CAN HELP

Sorting out the aftermath of an 18 wheeler accident is not easy. An 18 wheeler accident law firm can help you with your case while you recover from your injuries.

They’ll address questions such as:

  • Who’s at fault? There are a number of parties who could potentially be at fault in an 18 wheeler accident. It could be the truck driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, another driver, or a third-party entity. Determining who is negligent is a key factor in receiving compensation. A lawyer will help identify the negligent parties to build your case.
  • How much compensation can I get? Major injuries can result due to an 18 wheeler crash. It’s up to an experienced lawyer to ensure you are getting the compensation you need to recover. This includes enough money to cover your medical treatments, car damages, loss of income, legal fees, and pain and suffering costs. 
  • How to negotiate with insurance companies? It is in the insurance company’s best interest to settle quickly. And, most often, they will try to lowball you an offer. Most people do not have the expertise to negotiate with large insurance companies. An 18 wheeler accident attorney understands the tactics used by insurance companies as they deal with them all the time. They’ll level the playing field, so you can get the maximum settlement possible.

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