We constantly see 18-wheelers on the road going about their necessary work of transporting vital goods that we need in our everyday life. These massive vehicles are absolutely crucial to the function of our society. However, 18-wheelers can also create the ever-present danger of being involved in a serious accident with other smaller vehicles on the road. And these accidents can result in life-changing injuries for victims.
Frequently, the cause of an 18-wheeler accident is negligence on the part of the driver. If you or your loved one has been involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler, you may find that pursuing fair compensation for damages can be very difficult without the assistance of a lawyer. The truck accident attorneys at Cellino Law, though, know how to investigate and pursue compensation from all responsible parties. We do the work while you concentrate on healing. Call Cellino Law (800) 555-5555 for a free consultation.
The Complexities of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Accidents involving big-rigs are vastly different from accidents that involve average-sized automobiles. For example, car accidents typically involve just two insurance policies, whereas accidents with 18-wheelers usually involve multiple parties and their insurance companies. Some of these parties may be the trucking company, the maintenance company, and the loading company.
Also, damages and injuries can range from mild to severe in car accidents. However, in accidents with 18-wheelers, damages, and injuries are almost always catastrophic. This is because not only are 18-wheelers larger in size, but they also generally weigh much more – about 20 to 30 times more than a car. Also, unlike cars that can usually stop rather quickly, a loaded 18-wheeler takes 20 to 40 percent farther to come to a stop.
Another difference is that commercial truck drivers must adhere to more laws and regulations than drivers of personal cars. Not only do both share the same state laws, but truck drivers are also obligated to follow regulations stipulated by the federal government. If an accident resulted due to a failure on the driver’s part to follow any of these regulations, he or she could be found liable.
These are just a few examples that highlight the various differences between commercial truck accidents and car accidents. There are other factors that can make pursuing compensation very complicated after suffering a trucking accident, such as a more extensive investigation to find all liable parties. This is why you must have the assistance of a very experienced lawyer in order to file a successful claim.
Driver-Related Causes of 18-wheeler Accidents
In most cases, commercial truck accidents are caused by driver error or negligence. Some common examples are:
- Fatigue or drowsiness: 18-wheeler drivers are only permitted to drive a certain number of hours each day. However, in an effort to meet a deadline, a fatigued driver may continue on despite the risk.
- Distracted driving: Eating, adjusting the GPS, and manipulating the radio are all forms of distracted driving. Cell phone usage, which is very common, is an especially dangerous form of distracted driving since it repeatedly diverts the driver’s attention away from the road for a lengthy period of time.
- Wide turns: When making a turn with an 18-wheeler, a driver needs to be especially careful so as not to hit other vehicles. If a driver fails to properly maneuver the truck and an accident occurs, he or she could be found liable for damages.
- Blind spots: There is a risk of a big-rig merging into a lane already occupied by a car due to the limited vision of the truck driver. This is why it is so important for a driver to make sure that his or her seat and mirrors are adjusted appropriately to compensate for any blind spots.
- Reckless driving: Since the number of hours a trucker can drive in a day is limited, he or she may speed in an effort to cover more ground. Other forms of reckless driving include aggressive lane-changing, tailgating, failing to yield, and driving while intoxicated.
Environmental and Other Common Causes for Collisions
These are just a few examples of negligence on the part of the driver. Some other common causes of 18-wheeler accidents include:
- Inclement weather: In some cases, bad weather conditions can create dangerous roads for big-rig drivers. Snow, sleet, and tropical rains can make roads slick and slippery. These hazards can cause an 18-wheeler to hydroplane into other vehicles or to be unable to stop in time to prevent an accident.
- Mechanical failure/faulty parts: A faulty part can sometimes be the cause of a truck accident. The maintenance company may be found liable if there was a failure to provide the necessary maintenance needed to keep the truck in a safe operating condition. If a faulty part was the cause, the manufacturer could be liable for damages.
- Improper loading of cargo: When cargo is improperly loaded, this can result in a rollover accident. Overloading cargo can make the tires blow out, which can cause the driver to lose control and leave hazardous debris on the road. The same is true with cargo that has not been secured.
Once a truck accident occurs, an extensive investigation needs to be done to discover the cause of the crash. A team of experienced lawyers will know how to gather evidence and analyze the facts to find the cause (or causes) of the accident and hold the responsible parties liable for resulting damages.
Common Injuries From 18-wheeler Accidents
Victims of accidents involving commercial trucks typically suffer devastating injuries. Common juries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Severe scarring
- Burn injuries
- Fatal injuries
Types of Compensation You May Be Entitled to Receive
If you sustained life-changing injuries or lost a loved one in an accident with an 18-wheeler, a truck accident lawyer with Cellino Law can help you pursue fair compensation for your damages and losses.
Compensation may include:
- Present and future lost income
- Present and future medical expenses
- Household renovation for disability
- Pain and emotional suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Compensation for wrongful death
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Cellino Law
If you or your loved one has suffered an accident with an 18-wheeler, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation for the damages you have suffered. After all, it only makes sense that the person who changed your life should pay for your losses so you can recover.
However, don’t make the common mistake of speaking with an insurance adjuster before speaking with a truck accident attorney. Insurance company adjusters are experienced in using tactics to reduce the amount of your claim or to get you to quickly agree to a lower settlement. If you must speak with insurance companies, never admit fault, and never discuss your injuries.
Additionally, trucking companies generally have a team of lawyers on hand to protect the interests of the company. It really doesn’t make sense to try to fight against adjusters and lawyers on your own. The commercial truck lawyers at Cellino Law stand ready to help you! We have over 60 years of experience – and the resources to assist with your claim.
Our lawyers are available 24/7 to offer injury victims a free consultation. Call (800) 555-5555 to speak with a member of our personal injury team!