Legal Remedies to a Truck Accident Resulting in Injuries and Losses
Did you know that in America, a person dies every 15 minutes due to a truck accident? In fact, there are about 500,000 trucking accidents every year in the country alone. Of that number, about 1% of the victims die.
Traffic laws are different when it comes to big rigs or commercial trucks. The reason is physics. Commercial trucks weigh an average of 80,000 pounds while a passenger automobile weighs only 3,000 pounds. Because of the disparity in size, accidents involving big trucks can become very damaging.
A truck driver will have limited to zero visibility along the truck’s blind spots. Acceleration and brakes are also limited. Trucks are also prone to jackknifing, especially during sudden brakes and turns. The driver is not liable for jackknifing if due to unforeseen road conditions or to avoid obstructions on the road.
Truck drivers require a license and specialized training. The drivers are representatives of a trucking or shipping company; therefore, they share in the drivers’ liability for negligence.
Are passenger vehicles free from blame?
Passenger vehicles should know that there are actions that should be and should not be done when sharing the road with big commercial trucks.
Passenger vehicles should not do any of the following:
- Drive left of center into opposing traffic
- Unsafe passing
- Drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Failure to stop for a stop sign or traffic light
- Follow too closely
- Drive over the speed limit
- Drive inattentively
- Drive in “no-zones.”
- Improperly merge in front of a truck.
If a collision should happen and it’s been found that the passenger has done any or all of the items above, then that could be a reason to put blame away from the truck driver.
On the other hand, a truck driver could be deemed liable for the collision if he doesn’t have enough training and if he has been driving while rushed or tired. The trucking company is responsible if it implements compensation systems that encourage fast driving.
What if you were involved in a truck accident?
In crashes involving big trucks, the driver and passenger of the automobile are often the ones with serious injuries. Take note of these do’s and don’ts following a collision if you wish to receive just compensation:
- Report the accident immediately, providing only the essential details of the crash.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- File and get a copy of a police report.
- File your insurance claim while providing just the necessary facts to the insurance adjuster.
- Do not admit fault because it can be a complicated and multiparty issue.
- Do not apologize for the injury you sustained.
- Do not provide any written or tape recorded until after talking to your lawyer.
How you act in the first hours or days following a truck accident is critical if you wish to receive sound compensation for your injuries and losses. Having an attorney walk you through your case will prevent insurance investigators, trucking companies, and others from downplaying your losses and giving you unfair compensation.