Nearly 90,000 people in the U.S. are injured every year in truck accidents. When an accident occurs involving a commercial truck, 86 percent of the fatalities and 77 percent of those injured are the drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicles.
Victims of such accidents frequently suffer debilitating, if not fatal, injuries. In most instances, they will miss a substantial amount of work time and accumulate huge medical and hospital bills. So, how can they receive sufficient compensation to pay their bills and cover their lost wages?
They will have to prove that the truck driver or the trucking company was negligent. Common factors in truck accidents include:
- Brake problems;
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, etc.);
- Drug and/or alcohol use;
- Driver Fatigue;
- Driver Distraction (texting or talking on cell phones); and
- Poor Training.
Commercial truck and tractor trailer accidents are often more complicated than normal car accidents – and far more costly. To compound matters, finding the negligent party or parties can be difficult. Often a truck’s tractor may be owned by a separate company than the truck’s trailer. This means that two separate companies may be responsible for your injuries. Other parties may be liable. For example, if the truck was improperly loaded, the company responsible for loading the truck could be liable.
To win your case in court and receive the compensation due to you, it makes sense to hire an experienced truck accident attorney. In almost all truck crash cases, an investigation will be needed. Analyzing the truck in its post-accident condition, reviewing the black-box data, securing expert witnesses, reviewing the police report, deposing witnesses to the accident, and communicating with the trucking company’s insurance carrier are all functions that an attorney can do on your behalf.
Victims of truck crashes are frequently traumatized by the experience and do not think clearly at the scene of the accident. Experts suggest the following steps be taken by accident victims:
- Call 911 and request that police and medical personnel come to the scene.
- Get medical attention. Many ailments don’t make themselves known until hours or days after the accident, but be sure to see a physician as soon as you can.
- If safe and at all possible, take photos of the accident.
- Get contact information from all witnesses.
- Make sure a police report is filed.
- Complete your medical treatment.
- Call an attorney.