Due to the monstrous size of a large truck compared to a passenger vehicle or motorcycle, accidents involving large trucks are usually very serious, involving catastrophic injuries such as brain or spinal cord injuries and, often, loss of life. Large trucks include semi trucks, 18 wheelers, dump trucks, tractor trailers and others.
Drivers of large trucks have specialized skills and training and must be licensed in order to work in their field. Because they are licensed professionals, truck drivers are held to a higher standard of care just as lawyers, doctors and engineers are for their work. When they fail to act under this due standard of care and cause harm to another person they may be liable to pay for damages, including punitive damages.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the US Department of Transportation, each year in the United States approximately 4,671 people are killed in large truck accidents and another 106,400 people are injured. Statistically, when the truck driver is at fault for causing the accident, only 4% of the fatal crashes were caused by vehicle related factors such as bad brakes or tires. Overwhelmingly, when the truck driver is at fault, the cause of the accident is generally due to some kind of human error or negligence. Common critical reasons for these accidents include:
Critical Reason for Truck Accident
Accidents Caused Per Year
|Poor Driving Decision (i.e. overcompensation)||11,106|
|Driver Impairment (Alcohol, Drugs, Medication etc.)||2,335|
|Falling asleep at the wheel||3,755|
|Driving too fast for road conditions||3,786|
|Inattention (i.e. day dreaming)||1,966|
|Internal cab distraction (i.e. reaching for something)||3,487|
|Failure to check mirrors||4,145|
|External Distraction (i.e. sign for the Waffle House)||1,082|
|Source: ”Large-Truck Crash Causation Study: An Initial Overview.” – NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis|
What to do if you’re in a truck crash
If you are involved in a large truck accident, here are some important steps you should take immediately if you are able:
- Call the police to the scene of the accident to prepare an accident report
- Get the name of the driver, truck number and license plate number, and the name of the owner of the truck company
- Get insurance information for the truck driver including insurance company, policy number, and phone number for the insurance company
- Get names and phone numbers of any witnesses that have stopped
- Take photographs of the accident and vehicle damage
- Do not talk about who may have been at fault or apologize or say you are okay as this may be used against you later
- Seek immediate medical attention at a hospital even if you feel “okay”
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer right away
Can I deal with the insurance company myself?
Truck companies often have teams of attorneys available day and night and they usually reach the scene of a truck accident beforethe police even arrive. They may try to speak to you, asking seemingly innocent questions such as “are you okay?” The answers to these questions may be used against you later to try and downplay your injuries and potential damages.
If you are able to stand and speak you may be feeling very lucky and relatively “okay,” but that doesn’t mean you’re not seriously injured. Adrenaline itself can delay realization of just how hurt you really are. Regular people in an accident are not typically thinking about details like this, but the defense attorneys are and they will try to take advantage of you in your vulnerable situation.
Hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer immediately is critical to protect your ability to get the compensation you deserve. Phoenix truck accident lawyer Lew Moore has experience fighting against the largest trucking insurance companies such as: AIG, Liberty Mutual All State, State Farm, Farmers Insurance, Progressive, and others. He is tenacious and knows every detail in how to handle your claim to get you the compensation you are owed.
Moore Injury Law always works on a contingency fee basis which means if you don’t get paid, we don’t either. We always offer a free consultation so please call us at 602-899-HURT.