Trucking Accident Attorneys

Ensuring the safety of commercial trucking is a significant concern in the United States, particularly as the presence of commercial vehicles and delivery trucks on the roads continues to rise.

According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2021 witnessed a concerning number of crashes involving large trucks. The statistics reveal that there were a total of 494,000 reported crashes involving these large truck vehicles. Of these incidents, 5,149 tragically resulted in fatalities, and another 110,000 involved injuries. These figures underscore the critical importance of stringent safety measures and regulations within the trucking industry to mitigate the risks and enhance the safety of all road users.

If you have tragically lost a loved one in a truck accident, our professional and compassionate team is here to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Trucking accidents can be highly complex, particularly when it comes to determining fault. Factors such as the time of day and the truck driver’s hours on duty can significantly influence this determination.

Our qualified accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you secure the compensation you deserve. Being involved in an accident, especially with a large big rig, is a frightening and traumatic experience. Trucking companies may attempt to minimize their liability, but our attorneys will fight vigorously for maximum compensation on your behalf, whether it involves an individual trucker or a trucking company.

Our qualified accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you secure the compensation you deserve. Being involved in a large big rig accident is a frightening and traumatic experience. Trucking companies may attempt to minimize their liability, but our attorneys will fight vigorously for maximum compensation on your behalf, whether it involves an individual trucker or a trucking company.

Top Reasons Why Truck Accidents Happen

Truck accidents are a serious concern on our roads, often resulting in severe injuries, fatalities, and significant property damage. Understanding the primary causes of these accidents is crucial for improving safety measures and reducing the incidence of such tragic events. Here are the top ten reasons why truck accidents happen:

  1. Driver Fatigue: Long hours on the road without adequate rest can lead to driver fatigue, which significantly impairs reaction times and decision-making abilities, increasing the risk of accidents.
  2. Distracted Driving: Truck drivers using mobile phones, eating, or engaging in other distractions while driving can lose focus on the road, leading to accidents.
  3. Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions reduces the driver’s ability to react in time to avoid collisions.
  4. Impaired Driving: The use of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications can impair a truck driver’s motor skills, judgment, and reaction times.
  5. Poor Weather Conditions: Rain, snow, fog, and ice can make roads slippery and reduce visibility, making it difficult for truck drivers to maintain control of their vehicles.
  6. Improper Loading: Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo can cause a truck to become unbalanced, leading to rollovers or loss of control.
  7. Mechanical Failures: Brake failures, tire blowouts, and other mechanical issues can cause trucks to malfunction, leading to accidents.
  8. Inadequate Training: Drivers who lack proper training in handling large trucks or specific types of cargo may not be equipped to deal with the challenges of the road.
  9. Aggressive Driving: Tailgating, erratic lane changes, and other aggressive driving behaviors can increase the likelihood of collisions.
  10. Violation of Traffic Laws: Running red lights, failing to yield, and other traffic law violations by truck drivers can lead to dangerous situations and accidents.

Truck accidents pose a significant threat on our roads, often leading to severe injuries, fatalities, and substantial property damage. Identifying the main causes of these accidents is essential for enhancing safety and can play a crucial role in your case.

Why should I hire a trucking accident attorney?

Trucking accidents can be devastating, resulting in severe injuries, fatalities, and substantial financial losses. Navigating the aftermath of such an accident can be overwhelming, particularly when dealing with complex legal issues and insurance claims. Hiring a trucking accident attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. An experienced attorney offers invaluable expertise in complex laws, conducts thorough investigations, and has the negotiation skills necessary to secure fair compensation. They understand the full extent of damages, handle all legal procedures, and can effectively prove liability.

  • Expertise in Complex Laws: Trucking accident cases often involve intricate federal and state regulations. An experienced attorney can navigate these complex laws to build a strong case.
  • Thorough Investigation: Attorneys have the resources to conduct a comprehensive investigation, gathering crucial evidence such as driver logs, maintenance records, and black box data to determine liability.
  • Negotiation Skills: Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. A skilled attorney can negotiate effectively to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
  • Maximizing Compensation: A trucking accident attorney understands the full extent of damages you may be entitled to, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future rehabilitation costs.
  • Handling Legal Procedures: Navigating the legal system can be overwhelming. An attorney manages all legal paperwork, filings, and court proceedings, allowing you to focus on recovery.
  • Proving Liability: Determining fault in trucking accidents can be complex, often involving multiple parties such as the driver, trucking company, and manufacturers. An attorney can help establish liability and hold the responsible parties accountable.
  • Contingency Fee Arrangement: Many trucking accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay unless they win your case. This can provide peace of mind and access to quality legal representation.
  • Experience with Insurance Companies: Attorneys experienced in trucking accidents are familiar with the tactics used by insurance companies and can effectively counter them to protect your interests.
  • Time and Stress Management: Handling a legal case while recovering from an accident can be stressful and time-consuming. An attorney takes on this burden, allowing you to focus on healing.
  • Access to Expert Witnesses: Attorneys often have access to a network of expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists and medical professionals, who can provide crucial testimony to support your case.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Trucking Accident?

In many cases, the trucking companies are held liable for negligence in a trucking accident. The company that hired the driver could also be held liable for negligent hiring, failing to inspect driving logs, failing to train their drivers, etc. Establishing evidence of any of these factors is important when making a negligence claim against the trucking company.

The trucking company could be held liable through something called vicarious liability. This holds the employer liable for the actions of their employees, although the truck drivers themselves may also be liable for any actions leading to the accident.

Besides the trucking firm, other parties like the maintenance company could also be held responsible in the event that the truck had not properly been maintained, if that failure contributed to the accident.

The truck manufacturing company could also be held responsible in a product liability lawsuit if there was a defect that caused the accident. Product liability lawsuits hold manufacturers and retailers accountable for manufacturing a product that has either a design defect, manufacturing defect, or warning defect. For more information, contact our team today.

What Causes Trucking Accidents?

  • Driver inexperience
  • Speeding or careless driving
  • Truck driver fatigue
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Mechanical failure
  • Drunk driving/Driving under the influence
  • Equipment failure or defects
  • Loading cargo improperly 
  • Poor weather or road conditions
  • Distracted or inattentive driving
  • Failure to spot a vehicle in the blind spot
  • Having too much cargo or an imbalanced trailer load
  • Other third-party drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, etc.

Fatigue and Distracted Driving Can Play a Huge Role in Truck Accidents

Driver fatigue is a huge issue in the trucking industry, and for drivers on the road as a whole. In a national study, many truck drivers across the country average less than 5 hours of sleep a day. This puts them at risk for feeling drowsy at the wheel, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Another study comparing over 100,000 truck accidents concluded that over 10% of the truck drivers involved in the accidents were fatigued.

To combat this issue, the government has enacted a number of laws to limit the hours which truck drivers can drive. These regulations include:

  • Drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours straight;
  • Drivers may only drive 11 hours in any 14-hour period, and must take 10 hours to break after 11 hours of driving;
  • Drivers can not operate a commercial truck more than 60 hours in a 7-day period;
  • Drivers may drive no more than 70 hours in an 8-day period and take a 34-hour break before starting their next work week after hitting that limit.

How Do Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents?

With larger average loads and longer operation hours, commercial trucking vehicles can lead to accidents that are more destructive, cost more in medical bills, and have higher chances of fatalities when compared to a typical car accident.

  • More Property Damage in Truck Accidents – Since commercial loads can sometimes range up to 100,000 pounds in weight, these vehicles can slam into other objects with tons of force behind them. 18-wheelers take longer when slowing down and turning when compared to normal cars, so commercial truck collisions often involve momentous force. With millions of dollars at stake in a typical truck accident, the insurance policies for commercial truck drivers tend to be much higher in premium and payout amounts. Compared to standard vehicle insurance plans, truck coverage policies can be over 40x larger.
  • Severity of Injuries in Trucking Accidents – Commercial trucking vehicles are much larger & heavier than average cars. This difference can create disastrous crashes for other vehicles that are lower to the ground, leaving them crushed or mangled and occupants severely injured or dead. Death, paralysis, and serious injuries of the spine & brain are the most common injuries suffered from trucking accidents.
  • Cost of Medical Bills – With injuries in these types of accidents being more severe on average, the cost of medical care for survivors also tends to be higher than with passenger vehicle accidents. Drivers of other vehicles involved in these accidents often suffer crippling injuries that require long-term care, costing thousands or even millions in care as a result.

Common Trucking Accident Injuries

  • Head and Brain Injuries: These include concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and skull fractures. Such injuries can lead to long-term cognitive impairments, memory loss, and personality changes.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can result in partial or complete paralysis. Victims may experience loss of motor function, sensation, and chronic pain.
  • Neck and Back Injuries: Whiplash, herniated discs, and other back injuries are common in trucking accidents. These injuries can cause chronic pain and mobility issues.
  • Broken Bones: The force of a trucking accident can cause fractures and breaks in the arms, legs, ribs, and other bones, often requiring surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
  • Internal Injuries: Damage to internal organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys can occur, leading to internal bleeding and requiring immediate medical intervention.
  • Burns: Fires and explosions are risks in trucking accidents, potentially resulting in severe burns that necessitate long-term treatment and skin grafts.
  • Lacerations and Abrasions: Deep cuts and scrapes can occur from shattered glass, metal debris, and other materials, leading to significant blood loss and scarring.
  • Amputations: In severe cases, limbs may be crushed or severely damaged, necessitating surgical amputation.
  • Chest Injuries: The impact can cause broken ribs, collapsed lungs, and damage to the heart, often requiring emergency medical care.
  • Psychological Injuries: Beyond physical harm, trucking accidents can lead to emotional and psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
  • Death: Tragically, the severity of trucking accidents can result in fatalities. The loss of life is the most devastating outcome, affecting families profoundly and leading to significant emotional and financial burdens.

These injuries highlight the importance of seeking immediate medical attention and legal representation following a trucking accident to ensure proper treatment and compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions Lawyers get from Trucking Accidents

What should I do immediately after a trucking accident?

After a trucking accident, ensure you and others are safe, call emergency services, seek medical attention, document the scene with photos and notes, and obtain contact information from witnesses. Contacting a trucking accident attorney early can help preserve crucial evidence and protect your legal rights.

How can a trucking accident attorney help with my insurance claim?

A trucking accident attorney can assist in negotiating with insurance companies, ensuring all necessary documentation is submitted, and advocating for a fair settlement. They are familiar with the tactics insurers use to minimize payouts and can effectively counter these to secure the compensation you deserve.

What types of compensation can I recover from a trucking accident lawsuit?

Compensation from a trucking accident lawsuit may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, impairment of earning capacity, and punitive damages. An experienced attorney will help identify all potential damages to maximize your recovery.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a trucking accident?

The statute of limitations for filing a trucking accident lawsuit varies by state but is generally between two to four years from the date of the accident. Consulting with an attorney promptly ensures you meet all legal deadlines and preserves your right to compensation.

What evidence is crucial in a trucking accident case?

Crucial evidence in a trucking accident case includes driver logs, maintenance records, black box data, witness statements, police reports, and any available video footage. An attorney will gather and analyze this evidence to build a strong case for liability and damages.

How long does it typically take to resolve a trucking accident case?

The duration of a trucking accident case can vary widely depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the extent of the injuries, the willingness of the parties to negotiate, and court schedules. Some cases may settle in a few months, while others could take several years to resolve, especially if they go to trial. An attorney can provide a more accurate timeline based on the specifics of your case.

Contact a Trucking Accident Attorney with Years of Experience

If a truck driver is at fault for an accident causing injury, the victim or their family may be able to recover funds for everything from medical bills to loss of wages. While you focus on healing from your injuries, we will take the necessary steps to pursue maximum compensation for you and your family.

Different types of compensation you could recover for your trucking accident injuries include:

  • Impairment of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Emotional and physical pain & suffering
  • Loss of wages
  • Healthcare & medical costs
  • Punitive damages

An experienced accident attorney can help you build a winning case to get the compensation you & your family deserve. Contact us today at (213) 884-4881 or to get the representation you need today.