Statistics show that one out of every eight traffic fatalities involves semi-truck accidents. That is nearly 5,000 truck-related fatalities every year. Many fatalities could be avoided if passenger vehicles and truckers would follow these simple tricks of the road.
Passenger vehicle drivers take note
- Trucks maneuver differently than cars. You should be extra alert when approaching. They cannot stop as quickly, and require much more distance to turn.
- Truckers are trained to warn you when they are about to make a change. Watch those blinkers and brake lights! Stay back away so the trucker can make his move without crushing you.
- Avoid blind spots. If you can’t see their mirrors, they cannot see you. Statistics show that nearly one-third of all semi-truck accidents occur because a car got into its blind spot. Don’t be the next one!
- Don’t cut them off. If you are approaching your exit and a trucker is in your path, lag behind it and get over. If you try to swerve in front of it and get off the road, he may have to hit his brakes. This can cause the large load to sway, taking the truck out of the control of the wheel and even if you get out of the way, there may be a wreck for which you are responsible.
- Understand how a truck turns. Even if the truck appears to swing left, he may in fact be swinging wide to turn right. If you try to pass on the right to get past, there is a good chance that you will broadside the cab. The wait is worth the time to avoid an accident.
Truckers Be Safe
- Take care of yourself. Eat well, stay fit, and get enough rest. Long hours on the road can make any driver weary, so stop once in awhile just to enjoy the countryside and get some fresh air. Also, don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt before you get back on the road. It could save your life.
- Slow down in work zones. Highway construction can wreak havoc on a truck drivers schedule and their nerves. Take your time and expect delays, uneven roadways, and directional changes. Also, watch out for those workers in orange vests!
- Keep your distance. Don’t depend on passenger vehicles to know your limits and stopping distance requirements. Make concessions for uneducated motorists, and anticipate hard braking situations. Drive defensively.
- Maintain your vehicle. Vehicle inspection is your responsibility. Check brakes, identify safety defects, and get repairs before risking your life and the lives of others on the road.
Some semi-truck accidents seem to rise up out of nowhere regardless of caution. If this should happen to you, be sure to call the professionals at Litster Frost to help you navigate the legal traffic jam in which you find yourself. Be prepared, stay safe, and give us a call today. Don’t be another statistic.
When a personal vehicle is involved in an accident with a truck, the damage tends to be far more extensive than in a collision with another comparatively small vehicle. The size mismatch alone often causes devastating injuries to all those involved. Further, the trucker’s insurance company will frequently dispute the scope and length of medical treatment needed causing a long, drawn out process for innocent drivers who only want to be made whole for the harm the driver of the truck caused them.
Litster Frost dedicates our Boise practice to helping drivers who were injured in truck accidents and other auto accidents. We’ll help you through the insurance claims process and battle the insurance company in court if needed. We will also fight to help you receive full compensation for any additional injuries, lost wages, or other harms that insurance doesn’t cover. Find out what you may be entitled to receive by scheduling a free consultation now.
Damages Caused By Truck Accidents
It seems like at least once a month there’s a news story of a truck accident on I-84 causing serious or even fatal injuries. Those who survive face a long and difficult road to recovery. In addition to physical pain, the injured often have to struggle to pay their normal bills while they’re out of work as well as medical bills while they wait for the insurance claim to settle.
Knowing this, insurance companies often push injured parties to a fast cash settlement before the doctors are even sure of the extent of their injuries or the long-term care that will be needed. Even if you are currently in serious need of cash, you must understand that signing an insurance settlement may waive your right to pursue additional compensation from the insurance company, the truck company, or any other parties. This may be true even if you later find that the true costs of care are exponentially larger than the settlement amount.
How You Can Recover For A Truck Accident
The good news in a truck accident claim is that a full monetary recovery is often possible if you’re willing to stand up for your rights. There are multiple potential sources of compensation that you can seek to recover from:
- Your own car insurance policy
- The truck’s insurance policy
- A lawsuit against the truck driver (they may be an independent contractor)
- A lawsuit against the trucking company (it may or may not be the same as the driver)
- A lawsuit against the owner of the cargo (they may have pushed the driver or trucking company to act unsafely)
- A lawsuit against the truck manufacturer if there were safety issues with the truck
While the party you may bring a claim against depends on the specific facts of your case, it’s often to your benefit to bring a claim against all possibly responsible parties in case a single party isn’t able to pay your claim in full.
How to Prove a Truck Accident Claim
If you have a truck accident claim, there are several types of evidence you must gather to prove your claim.
First, you must gather statements from the other driver or drivers, testimony from other witnesses including their contact information, any photos of the accident scene you are able to take with your phone after the crash, and the police report made after the crash.
Second, trucks are typically required by law to use tracking devices and many trucking companies use these not only to comply with the law but also to give them data and to monitor their drivers. The most important device is a black box that may show the truck’s speed, location, braking, and steering. Much like a black box in an airplane, a truck’s black box may be able to pinpoint the cause of a wreck without a doubt. Other devices may also monitor additional data such as the number of hours the trucker had been driving, the weight of the truck’s load, and other relevant information.
Finally, trucks are required to comply with extensive federal regulations and to maintain logs to document their compliance. These regulations include the following:
- Maximum number of hours of driving
- Mandatory rest periods
- Weight limits
- Proper securing of loads
- General safe driving practices
Any violation of a federal regulation will become a critical fact in a truck accident claim. Most of these regulations were established to promote safety. In a personal injury claim such as a truck accident claim, safety violations provide evidence to establish negligence. For example, if the driver was over his hours limit, it can be reasoned that his fatigue was at least partially responsible for the crash.
Why You Need A Boise Lawyer to Help in Your Truck Accident Claim
Truck accident claims combine a high-stakes need to recover major financial losses with a complex legal process. Unlike a fender bender between two cars where you may be able to take the other driver to small claims court, with a truck accident case, it can be difficult to identify all of the potentially responsible parties to bring to court. Further, you may be under strict deadlines to file insurance claims and any needed court papers at a time when you may still not be physically or mentally up to the task. Finally, having to file multiple claims against multiple parties can mean more lawyers on the other side trying to prevent you from recovering.
Our firm is a dedicated personal injury firm that focuses on helping injured motorists like you recover. We start our process by offering a free consultation to help you determine what your case is worth. If you decide to retain our firm, we never take a fee unless and until you’re able to receive compensation for your injuries. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact our office now.