With commercial trucks moving more than 11 billion tons of freight every year, the better part of the population of the U.S. is used to sharing the road with semi trucks. There are roughly 15 million commercial trucks across the country and of those, 13% would be classified as a big rig. Semi trucks, tractor trailers and 18 wheelers all fall into this category. These numbers should mean that it is not surprising to learn that road accidents and personal injury court claims involving these large trucks occur with startling regularity.
The attorneys of the Action Legal Group have found that when a crash occurs between a semi truck and a motor vehicle, it is not a surprise to consider that it is the occupants of the smaller vehicle who incur the most injuries. Nearly all big rigs weigh between 20 – 30 times that of even a large sedan on the road. In 2015, almost 70% of the deaths in collisions involving a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle were not the driver of the truck. The fatalities were instead people riding in cars that share the road with semi trucks.
Personal injury court cases have revealed that any vehicle the size of a tractor trailer, requires additional braking space and plenty of room to maneuver. Depending on the weight and size of its load, it can take up to an additional 40% more space for one of these large vehicles to safely stop. Due to this, it is often assumed that the semi truck driver Is to blame when there is an accident which causes an injury or death. The commercial truck accident attorneys have discovered that while distracted and tired big rig driving does make up a significant portion of the problem, statistics have shown that nearly three quarters of accidents involving big rigs are caused by drivers of passenger vehicles that are on the roads with the trucks. It is necessary to give these big rigs the space and time they require to operate safely.
Surprisingly, when you consider the number of trucks on the road every day and the mileage they accrue, there are far less truck accidents than those involving the average passenger car. Statistics show that fewer than 9% of the total motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. involve trucks. The attorneys from the Action Legal Group explain that the problem comes when you look at the numbers on fatalities and injuries of those truck crashes. Though there are less accidents themselves, due to the sheer size and weight of these big rigs, these wrecks usually involve serious injury or even death.
When a commercial vehicle or tractor trailer is involved in a motor vehicle crash, there are layers in the claim best handled by a truck accident attorney. Liability can involve everyone from the semi truck manufacturer to a repair shop or even someone at the parent company. It could also involve the company who is shipping goods or someone else who was behind the wheel of another vehicle.
Important Questions to Consider with a Personal Injury Attorney
- Who is at fault in the commercial vehicle accident?
- Is the semi truck driver an employee or is he or she an independent contractor?
- What should I expect to receive from the trucking company?
- Does the truck driver possess a valid license to operate the vehicle?
- Was law enforcement called after the accident?
If you or a family member has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, it is vital to secure the best legal representation as early as you can. Even minor details matter in these cases. An avalanche of information and communications will be thrown your way and it is easy to get buried in everything that needs done.
It can be shockingly easy lose track of some details. Here are a few things our personal injury attorneys suggest you keep in mind.
Important Information to Know
- Get a copy of the police report detailing the semi truck crash
- Request that your insurance company complete a damage evaluation
- Keep records of any medical visits. Note the cost, date, time, and what was discussed.
- Make a list of any expenses that come out of your pocket due to the accident
- Never accept any sort of settlement or deal without consulting an attorney first
The reality of the situation is that as an accident victim you need a commercial vehicle accident attorney who knows how to navigate the post-collision process. This needs to be someone who cares for your family and your future. The attorneys of Action Legal Group can help. Our experts have years of experience navigating this sometimes lengthy and difficult process. Let us help you so that you can focus on what really matters: recovery.
Contact Action Legal Group today to see how we can help you.