Truck accidents, especially those involving 18-wheelers, often result in catastrophic injuries and even death. The size disparity between passenger vehicles and massive commercial trucks put car occupants at an inherent disadvantage. If you or a loved one suffered harm in a truck accident, contacting an experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and pursue maximum compensation. This guide will provide an overview of legal issues pertaining to truck crashes and how a qualified attorney can assist truck accident victims.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
While no two truck crashes are exactly alike, statistics reveal certain patterns when it comes to causes:
- Driver Fatigue – Drowsy driving is rampant in the trucking industry, with drivers pressured to meet tight delivery schedules. Fatigued big rig drivers are slower to react and have impaired judgment.
- Speeding – Truckers paid by the mile have an incentive to drive faster than the speed limit. Higher speeds make trucks harder to control and stop.
- Impaired Driving – Truck drivers sometimes drive under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications. Intoxicated driving greatly increases accident risk.
- Distracted Driving – Actions like texting or talking on the phone divert the truck driver’s attention and lead to delayed reactions.
- Poor Maintenance – Lack of proper maintenance checks and worn or defective parts can cause catastrophic truck failures like tire blowouts or brake failure.
- Dangerous Driving – Truckers might take unnecessary risks like tailgating, improper lane changes, or ignoring traffic controls.
- Jackknife Accidents – Long trailers can swing out and cause the truck to jackknife across roadways. This often happens during quick evasive maneuvers.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Due to their massive size, colliding with a semi-truck can inflict devastating trauma. Some most frequent truck accident injuries include:
- Head and brain injuries like concussions, skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage causing paralysis
- Broken bones and fractures requiring surgery
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Amputation of limbs
- Severe lacerations and crush injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Sadly, many truck accidents result in a wrongful death because occupants’ bodies cannot withstand the violent impact forces.
Why Hire an 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney?
Truck crash cases involve complex legal and insurance issues best handled by a skilled lawyer. An experienced attorney will:
- Investigate the accident to pinpoint liable parties and establish theories of negligence
- Manage communication with insurance companies to avoid victim manipulation
- Determine all available avenues for compensation
- Negotiate strongly to obtain a favorable settlement
- Be prepared to file a lawsuit and argue your case in court if needed
- Deal with liens and claims from medical providers and other parties
Additionally, most truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis so you pay nothing upfront. The attorney receives a percentage only if your claim succeeds. This removes financial barriers to legal help when injured victims need it most.
FAQ – 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers
What compensation can I recover after a truck accident?
You may recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills, lost income, loss of future earnings capacity, and other measurable losses. Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress, disfigurement, and reduced quality of life.
How long do I have to file a truck accident claim?
Each state sets legal time limits called statutes of limitation. These generally range from 1 to 3 years for truck accidents but can be very complex with exceptions. Contact a trucking attorney immediately to avoid missing your deadline.
How much does hiring a truck accident attorney cost?
Most work on contingency meaning legal fees come from a portion of settlement funds. Initial consultations are often free too. This removes upfront costs when injury victims can least afford them.
How can a lawyer prove the truck driver caused my accident?
Experienced attorneys utilize accident reconstruction experts, trucking regulations, inspection/maintenance records, driver logs, and eyewitness testimony to build a strong liability case pointing to the trucker’s negligence.
Can I recover punitive damages to punish the trucking company?
If extreme negligence or willful misconduct by the trucking company substantially caused the crash, courts may award additional punitive damages as a punishment and deterrent. However, punitive damage standards are very strict and differ by state.
Take Action After a Truck Crash
The best step you can take after a serious semi-truck collision is to seek legal counsel from a qualified 18 wheeler accident attorney in your area. They will protect your interests and maximize your rightful compensation. Do not leave your recovery to chance – contact an attorney today for a free case review.