18 Wheeler Crash & Truck Accident Lawyer
Legal Representation For Those Injured in an 18 Wheeler Crash or Truck Accident
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If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a traffic accident involving a large truck, such as an 18 wheeler, a semi truck, or a big rig, you are not alone. Every year accidents involving large trucks kill about 5,000 people and injure close to 115,000 persons. Because of the vast weight difference between a large truck (especially one that is fully loaded and has a full tank of gas) and the general passenger automobile, SUV, minivan, or pickup truck, the passengers of the smaller vehicle may suffer serious injuries, including death, even though the impact was relatively slight.
For aggressive representation after sustaining injuries in an 18 wheeler crash, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm straight away. We have an unparalleled history of holding truck drivers and motor carriers accountable for serious injury and a fatal truck accident.
There are over 15 million trucks in the United States, including 2 million semi trucks. Commercial trucks, such as 18-wheelers, pose a substantial threat to passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. They are large and heavy vehicles that are no match for any other car on a roadway or highway. Another significant danger that trucks pose is that they carry hazardous substances and materials that can be toxic and flammable. Their overall design does not allow for quick maneuvers and stopping.
Common Causes of 18 Wheeler Truck Accidents
Professional truck drivers are required to have specialized training in safety and follow specific regulations establishing the minimum safe conduct for both drivers and their companies. Unfortunately, drivers and truck companies frequently put profit ahead of safety, which threatens the well-being of the motoring public.
There is an endless number of factors that could cause a commercial truck accident, but some are more common than others. When an 18 wheeler crash is caused by a trucker’s negligence or the negligence of a trucking company, our firm can take legal measures to hold them accountable.
Truck drivers are under strict guidelines regulating hours of service and amount of sleep, but the pressure to meet deadlines or a misjudgment of fatigue level often leads to serious accidents. Although there are Hours of Service requirements for all commercial and 18 wheeler truck drivers, many drivers can avoid taking the necessary breaks and fall asleep at the wheel.
Commercial trucks far outmatch passenger vehicles in both size and weight. An accident between a passenger vehicle and a truck can prove disastrous. In the event of a fatal truck accident, our firm may be able to file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of the decedent’s family members.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented rules for how an 18 wheeler can be loaded as well as how much cargo a truck can carry at one time. When trucks are improperly loaded, cargo can shift during transport. Sometimes, imbalanced trucks can jackknife and cause serious traffic collisions.
Since commercial trucks are large, it takes them longer to come to a complete stop, which is often the cause of rear-end truck collisions. Not only do brakes have to be frequently maintained, but truckers have to take care to leave enough space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. Equipment failure can include defective tires or brakes, or design errors, including failure to install object detection systems or backing warnings.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
The weight and size of an 18 wheeler can lead to severe injuries, many of which may have long recovery periods and have significant effects on one’s quality of life. The aftermath of a truck accident tends to be severe, including permanent injuries or death. We work with your doctors and rehab specialists to document a claim to cover future needs, the economic impact, and pain and suffering.
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal Bleeding and Organ Injuries
- Seatbelt Injuries
- Wrongful Death
Types of Truck Wreck Cases We Handle
- 18 Wheelers
- Gravel Trucks
- Box Trucks
- Tanker Trucks
- Cement Mixers
- Construction Trucks
- Utility Trucks
- Delivery Trucks
- U-Haul Trucks & Trailers
- Dump Trucks
- Crane Trucks
- Garbage Trucks
- Commercial Trucks
Big Rig Safety Concerns
There are a number of safety concerns unique to semi trucks:
Enhanced Bling Spots:
These blind spots are known as “no zones,” and they are located around the sides and rear of the truck. To a truck driver, large portions of the road are completely invisible.’
Longer Acceleration and Stopping Distances:
Long stopping distances make it easier for semi trucks to get into rear-end accidents with the vehicles in front of them. Acceleration distances are not quite as dangerous, but they can pose serious problems with a truck is trying to merge with traffic.
Heavy Loads/Hazardous Material
The types of material carried by 18 wheeler trucks is often hazardous. This hazardous material can take many different forms, including explosive materials such as gasoline, corrosive agents, and even nuclear waste. In a collision, the presence of hazardous material can cause serious injuries and may also harm the larger environment.
Preserving Important Evidence After An 18 Wheeler Truck Accident
In case of a truck accident, immediately call 911. If possible, do not move any vehicles that were involved in the 18 wheeler crash and take photos of the accident scene for your records. Gather names and contact information for any witnesses, as well as the contact information and insurance information for the other drivers in the accident.
The most important aspect of an attorney’s work is proving your case. While you may know that the truck driver was at-fault, you must show such in court. A truck accident lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm can help by gaining access to the truck’s internal data systems, referred to as the “black box.”
Experience Matters: A Truck Accident Is Not Like A Car Crash
You can be assured that the trucking company and its insurance companies will be working hard to shift responsibility from the truck driver or the trucking company to the victim or someone else to try to escape responsibility for the truck accident, which is why it is crucial you choose a law firm with experience.
While almost every personal injury lawyer claims to have experience handling trucking accidents, the number of lawyers who have tried a trucking case is small.
Car accidents—despite popular belief—are nothing like truck accidents. In addition to the size of the vehicles and substantial differences in force and momentum, truck accident cases are won or lost based on the lawyer’s understanding of the technology that trucking companies and their drivers use to monitor the movement, speed, fuel consumption and driving activity of the trucks. A proper investigation is vital when it comes to an 18 wheeler accident claim.
Unlike in a typical auto accident case, a truck accident lawyer has to thoroughly understand the federal and state regulations that govern the companies and their drivers. The federal “hours of service” regulations, for example—which are designed to prevent truck drivers from driving while fatigued—dictate when, where and how long a driver can spend on duty before their required to go off duty for a legally specified number of hours. To determine if the driver is in compliance with those laws, the truck accident lawyer has to know how to review and “audit” the truck driver’s “logbook,” which federal law requires drivers to keep up to date at all times, even when they’re off duty.
Because trucking companies are also based all over the United States, truck accident lawyers not only have to be familiar with the laws in the state where the accident occurred, but they also need to understand the requirements of every state the trucking company operates and is headquartered.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?
In a truck accident, you typically have the option of filing a lawsuit against several different parties at once. Trucking typically involves more parties than driving does, so there are often several parties who may share varying degrees of responsibility for a trucking accident. Any, or all, of these parties, can be sued, and a good lawyer will try to expand the scope of the lawsuit as much as possible and include as many potential defendants as they legally can.
Parties which may be held responsible for a trucking accident include the truck driver, the truck owner, the team responsible for maintaining the truck or loading its cargo, the designer of the roads on which the accident occurred, the manufacturer of the the truck itself or any of its parts, or the truck’s lessee, if it was leased to someone, not its original owner.
Types of Damages
As with other types of accidents, there are a few different types of damages that you are allowed to collect in a truck accident lawsuit.
The three different types of damages are:
- Economic damages: Losses that can be strictly quantified, such as medical bills, damaged property, and lost wages;
- Noneconomic damages: Pain and suffering, for example.
- Punitive damages: Sometimes awarded by a jury for no other purpose than to punish an especially egregious offender.
Of course, the types of damages which you are eligible to collect will vary significantly based on the precise nature of your case and the quality of legal representation which you have.
Our History Of 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuit Success
Hear what our clients have to say about our team of 18 wheeler truck accident attorneys.
No Upfront Legal Fees or Court Costs
There are never any upfront legal fees that you will pay us as all of our work is on a contingency basis. This means we work for a percent of the recovery and are only paid if we collect money for you from the defendants. Additionally, we pay for all of the costs to litigate your case, such as the hiring of necessary accident reconstruction experts, court filing fees, etc. In essence, we incur the financial risk for you and only get paid after we recover compensation for you. A truck accident lawyer can add dramatic value to your case.
How A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help 18 Wheeler Crash Victims
If you’ve just been in a truck accident, you’re probably scared and shaken up. This is perfectly natural. By handing your case over to an experienced attorney, you can ensure that you receive the maximum amount of damages to which you are entitled.
Truck accidents are a big deal. If you were injured, or a loved one was killed, in an 18 wheeler crash with a commercial vehicle or large truck, The Carlson Law Firm can provide the assistance you require.
Don’t wait for your insurance company or the truck drivers insurer to dictate what happens with your claim. This is not a situation you will want to handle on your own because it can prove to be long, complicated and frustrating.
Our firm can help you establish negligence to get you the compensation that you deserve. A truck accident lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm will be your guide through the process.
Contact our firm for a free consultation; we care, we can help.