A staggering number of truck accidents happen annually. According to the most recent information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there are 1.9 truck accidents per 100 million miles traveled in the U.S. In 2019, more than 4,100 people passed away following collisions with large trucks.
How many truck accidents that happen annually change from year to year. However, one thing is certain: when truck drivers don’t follow traffic laws, they can cause serious damage.
Truck Accidents Account for a Fair Number of Traffic Accidents
Per the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2020:
- Large trucks were involved in nine percent of all fatal crashes.
- More than 4,800 trucks were involved in fatal collisions.
- Passenger vehicle occupants generally suffer more harm than truck drivers.
The same source also noted that 2019 was the worst year in terms of truck accident deaths. 2020 saw a five percent decrease in truck accident fatalities.
Large trucks pose a great danger when they are involved in motor vehicle collisions. If you or a loved one was involved in a collision with a large truck, you could be entitled to compensation from the liable party.
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Large Trucks Pose Unique Dangers on the Road
Why do so many truck accidents happen annually? Large trucks are, for lack of better words, large and heavy, often as much as 30 times as heavy as a passenger vehicle when carrying a full load of cargo. Besides size and weight, other dangers posed by large trucks include:
- Greater difficulty braking, especially on wet or slick roads
- Greater difficulty controlling them, with a more limited ability to swerve out of the way of other vehicles
- Fatigued drivers who work long hours
- Trucking companies that impose unreasonable delivery schedules
Truck Drivers Are Susceptible to Dangerous Driving Behaviors
Companies that employ unqualified truck drivers (or demand that their drivers skirt limitations on driving hours) may be liable when an accident involving one of their drivers occurs. Beyond these risks, the drivers of large trucks are just as susceptible to common dangerous motorist behaviors that increase the risk of accidents.
Some of these behaviors include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Engaging in distracted driving, such as texting, eating, drinking, or making a phone call
- Changing lanes abruptly or without signaling
These are just a few of the behaviors that could make a driver of a large truck, and possibly their employer, liable if they caused an accident. If you or a loved one was in an accident in these or other dangerous circumstances, you have legal options.
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You Can Partner with an Injury Lawyer on Your Truck Accident Case
When you partner with a truck accident lawyer, they can:
Determine Your Accident’s Cause
Determining and establishing how your accident happened is critical to recovering damages. By reviewing traffic camera footage, your medical records, and other relevant information, your lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your collision.
Determine Liability for Your Losses
Multiple parties could have caused your accident. For instance, if you were rear-ended by a semi-truck, both the driver and their employer could hold liability. That’s because trucking companies are vicariously responsible for their employees’ actions.
However, your case could include other liable parties. In another example, if the semi-truck malfunctioned and hit you, you could file a claim with the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Other liable parties in your case could comprise:
- Cargo loaders
- The truck’s owner
- Safety inspectors
- Government agencies
- Tractor-trailer dealerships
Pursue Compensation for Your Injuries
After determining your accident’s cause and liability for your losses, your lawyer will pursue:
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Emotional distress
- Coverage for your medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
You may recover other damages than those listed here, depending on your situation.
Determine Your Losses’ Value
To determine what you’re owed, your attorney will evaluate your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages comprise your financial losses, while non-economic damages relate to your quality of life.
Your lawyer will examine your injury-related billing statements, invoices, and receipts to determine what constitutes a fair settlement offer. They may even consult with experts, such as economists and healthcare providers, to learn about your anticipated losses. We want to recover everything you need both now and in the future.
File Your Insurance Claim
Your lawyer will file an insurance claim with the liable party to pursue what you need. All trucking companies must carry insurance, and generally, they carry more insurance than individual drivers.
Yet, not all insurance companies negotiate in good faith. The liable insurer in your case may deny liability or offer less than you’re owed. When you partner with a truck accident lawyer from our team, they can counteract any tactics that threaten your case’s progression. They can also protect you from bad faith insurance practices.
File Your Lawsuit
You have options even if the insurance company refuses to settle your claim. You can file a lawsuit against the negligent party and argue your case in court. You generally have four years to file a truck accident lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
To advance your lawsuit, your lawyer will take witness statements, manage your case’s paperwork, and advocate for your legal rights. You don’t have to worry about anything other than moving forward.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer to Fight for You
A lawyer can handle the legal duties required to pursue damages that you may be entitled to receive while you focus on your recovery. Some ways that a lawyer can help include:
- Initiating your legal case immediately to ensure that you fall within the statutes of limitation for your case
- Collecting all evidence of the defendant’s wrongdoing to use at trial or in settlement negotiations
- Handling all legal responsibilities from start to finish
- Protecting your rights throughout the legal process
As noted, if your case is successful, you may be entitled to compensation covering losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact an Accident Attorney Today
Our team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will go the extra mile for you. Call us today for a free consultation regarding your case.
We want to put our knowledge, experience, and resources to work for you.SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY NOW