Best 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers
18 wheelers can cause tremendous damage because to their large size and weight. If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18 wheeler truck accident, you need to know your legal options.
What is an 18 Wheeler Truck ?
A semi-truck or tractor-trailer, commonly known as an 18 wheeler truck, is a big commercial vehicle used to transport goods across great distances. These vehicles are made up of a tractor unit that pulls a trailer with a total of 18 wheels, hence the name.
Understanding 18 Wheeler Truck accidents ?
18 wheeler truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Understanding the typical causes of these accidents, from driver recklessness to technical problems, is essential for determining blame and pursuing compensation.
It’s crucial to speak with a knowledgeable 18-wheeler truck accident attorney who can help you navigate the legal complexity if you’ve been in such an accident.
Frequency of 18 wheeler truck accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 4,889 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes in 2019. Approximately 71% of these crashes involved 18 wheeler trucks. These accidents also account for a significant number of serious injuries.
In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published the most recent data on fatal truck accidents and truck-related injuries. 4,014 persons lost their lives in heavy truck accidents in the United States in 2020, according to a research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in May 2022.
The report went on to say that, out of the 4014 fatalities, 608 deaths—or 15%—were truck occupants. It is clear that there was a 28 percent increase in truck accident fatalities in 2020 when comparing these numbers to the historically lowest rates for heavy truck accidents in 2009. During the same time period, there was a 35 percent rise in the fatalities of truck occupants.
One startling discovery was that occupants of passenger vehicles were responsible for 97% of fatalities in collisions involving heavy trucks. Because of this, the risk profile for passengers in small cars and trucks engaged in truck and car accidents is much higher.
Semi-trucks involved in accidents:
2016 – 4,251
2017 – 4,657
What injuries occur most frequently in truck accidents?
The drivers engaged in truck accidents frequently get severe injuries. As a result, all motorists should make an effort to avoid trucking accidents, follow traffic laws, and adhere to all safety regulations.
Some of the most frequent wounds sustained by truck drivers in collisions with heavy trucks include the following:
- Back Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries
Causes of 18 wheeler truck accidents
Several factors contribute to 18 wheeler truck accidents, some of which highlighted below.
Equipment failure, such as brake failure or tire blowouts, can also result in accidents. For 18 wheeler vehicles to operate safely on the roadways, proper maintenance is essential.
Accidents can, however, result from improper maintenance or mechanical issues. Problems with the vehicle’s steering, brakes, or tires can result in the driver losing control, which can lead to crashes and significant casualties.
Fatigued driving is another major issue, with drivers often driving for long hours and failing to take adequate breaks. Driver weariness is a major cause of 18 wheeler truck accidents.
Truck drivers are frequently subjected to demanding schedules and long hours on the road, which can result in sleep deprivation and weariness. Fatigued drivers are more likely to make mistakes, lose focus, and have shorter reaction times, which increases the likelihood of an accident.
Exceeding Speed Limits
Speeding is also a common cause of accidents, with drivers often prioritizing delivery times over safety. Some truck drivers frequently speed and drive recklessly, endangering themselves and others on the road.
The sheer size and weight of 18 wheeler vehicles makes quick maneuvering and stopping difficult. The risk of an accident increases dramatically when drivers exceed the speed limit or participate in aggressive actions such as tailgating and improper lane changes.
Distracted driving is a another significant problem in the trucking industry, with drivers using their cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.
Because cellphones and other electronic devices are so prevalent, drivers may participate in activities such as texting, talking on the phone, or using GPS navigation systems while driving.
Taking their eyes off the road for even a few seconds can result in a disastrous disaster.
How to reduce Truck accidents ?
Sufficient Sleep for Drivers
Accidents are more likely to be caused by tired drivers. Companies should make sure that drivers get enough sleep and adhere to the Hours of Service Rules.
Testing for Drugs and Alcohol
Drug and alcohol testing for drivers can aid in reducing collisions brought on by substance abuse. To ensure compliance, businesses should have a clear policy and test their drivers frequently.
Safety in Loading and Unloading
Safe freight loading and unloading is essential for avoiding accidents. To assist drivers in properly securing and managing their loads, businesses should offer training and resources.
Promote Safe Driving Methods
Encourage truck drivers to obey traffic laws and regulations, to drive at safe speeds, and to prevent distractions while on the road. Companies can give drivers with training and resources to assist them in developing safe driving practices.
Periodic Vehicle Maintenance
Regular vehicle maintenance and inspection can help prevent accidents caused by equipment failure. Companies should ensure that all trucks are in good operating order and that any necessary repairs are completed as soon as possible.
Technology of Vehicles
Using technology, like as collision avoidance systems and electronic logging devices, can assist reduce accidents and enhance trucking industry safety overall. Businesses should think about investing in these technologies to improve the safety of their operations.
Legal Considerations in 18 wheeler Truck Accident Cases
If you’ve been involved in an 18 wheeler truck accident, you have legal options. It’s essential to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries.
Some legal options include hiring an experienced attorney, seeking compensation from the trucking company, or filing a lawsuit.
Federal Guidelines for the Trucking Sector
Comprehensive federal laws that are intended to ensure road safety are applicable to the trucking industry. Aspects like driver qualifications, allotted driving time, cargo security, and vehicle upkeep are governed by these laws.
When pursuing a legal action involving an accident involving an 18-wheeler truck, it is crucial to comprehend these restrictions and their repercussions.
Liability in 18 wheeler truck collisions
Liability determination in crashes involving 18 wheeler trucks can be difficult. The truck driver, trucking business, maintenance provider, and even the producer of the subpar truck parts could all be held liable.
An adept 18 wheeler truck accident attorney can evaluate the collision’s facts, compile evidence, and pinpoint the at-fault parties.
Benefits of hiring an 18 wheeler accident lawyers
Hiring an attorney who specializes in 18 wheeler truck accidents can provide several benefits. These lawyers have knowledge and experience in dealing with the laws and regulations specific to the trucking industry.
They also have experience in negotiating with insurance companies and can investigate the accident to determine liability. With their advocacy for your rights, these attorneys can ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Understanding and Experience Handling Cases Relating to Truck Accidents
Specialized expertise and experience are needed to successfully navigate the legal environment around 18-wheeler truck accidents.
You can have a legal expert on your side who is familiar with the nuances of trucking laws, regulations, and industry practices by hiring an 18 wheeler truck accident lawyer who focuses on these kinds of cases.
Investigation and Evidence Gathering
A thorough investigation and evidence collecting are required to build a compelling case for an 18 wheeler truck accident. An expert attorney will work hard to collect critical evidence such as accident reports, witness testimony, black box data, and surveillance film.
If necessary, they will also work with accident reconstruction experts to reconstruct the sequence of events and determine liability.
While many 18 wheeler truck accident lawsuits are settled through discussion, some may necessitate litigation. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, you will be represented in court by an expert lawyer who will make a convincing case and advocate for your best interests.
They will guide you through the legal procedures, present evidence, and argue on your behalf in order to obtain justice and reasonable recompense.
Insurance Company Negotiation
Dealing with insurance providers can be intimidating, especially when they try to reduce or deny your claim entirely. 18 wheeler accident lawyers will manage all discussions and negotiations with insurance providers on your behalf.
They will fight for your rights, secure a fair assessment of your damages, and seek maximum recompense.
Finding the Best 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers
When choosing an 18 wheeler accident lawyers, it’s essential to look for experience and qualifications. Conduct research and read reviews from previous clients to ensure that the attorney has a successful track record of handling similar cases.
You should also schedule a consultation with 18 wheeler accident lawyers available in your region to discuss the specifics of your case and determine if the attorney is the right fit for you.
When looking for assistance, you may hear the term “personal injury attorney” bandied around. A personal injury attorney handles injury claims, but they also have particular types of situations that they deal on a regular basis. Finding someone with the necessary trucking experience is critical.
Extensive Knowledge about Trucking Accidents.
Look for a lawyer who has handled trucking accidents before. This is more than someone with car accident experience would do; the injuries and damage from trucking accidents are far worse than the damage from most car accidents.
The trucking business is governed differently from the passenger automobile industry. Trucks have a unique set of risks, and several parties may be engaged, including drivers, trucking firms, repair facilities, and owners. In particular, inquire about the attorney’s experience with transportation accidents.
Compatibility with attorney
It is critical that you feel comfortable speaking with the attorney. Your lawyer will be a member of your rehabilitation team and will have access to a great deal of sensitive information. You want someone you can tell everything to and trust that they will understand and be on your side.
If you feel that the attorney is talking down to you throughout the appointment, this is a good sign that they aren’t the right attorney for you.
Find a lawyer with trial experience. Some attorneys will concentrate on obtaining speedy payouts from insurance companies. This demands the least amount of effort from them.
You want someone who is prepared to invest the resources necessary to get you what you deserve and has the experience to fight for it and win in court, if necessary.
Personal injury lawsuits are typically taken on a contingency fee basis by attorneys. This means that rather than charging you an hourly rate, the attorney will receive a cut of the money you win in a settlement or at trial.
The proportion that the lawyer receives normally starts at around 33%, but it will increase if the case goes all the way to court or a trial to account for the extra work the lawyer does on your behalf. You don’t owe any legal fees if your attorney is unable to recover any money.
Transparency in the Case/Trial
You should have a thorough idea of what is going on when speaking with the lawyer. Lawyers that use legal jargon and fail to simplify the language may not be a good fit for you.
Also, inquire about the procedure for keeping you updated on the status of the case. Many attorneys use paralegals and assistants to handle regular aspects of the case, such as document collection, so you’ll most likely be talking with the office personnel as well as the lawyer.
While it may not be necessary to alert you of every detail, you want an attorney that makes it a habit to keep clients up to date on the status of the case.
What is the Legal Process for 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuits
Consultation with an attorney Lawyer: The first step is to meet with a lawyer who will examine the merits of your case and lead you through the legal process.
Investigation and Evidence-Gathering: To substantiate your claim, your attorney will carry out a careful investigation. Obtaining accident reports, witness accounts, and any other pertinent documentation is part of this process.
Discovery: Information and evidence pertinent to the case are exchanged between the parties. This might entail depositions, document requests, and written interrogatories (interrogatories).
Deal-making negotiations: Your attorney will negotiate throughout the process with the opposing party or their insurance provider to get to a reasonable settlement that pays you for your damages.
Suing: Your attorney may bring a lawsuit on your behalf if negotiations fail to produce a just settlement. The formal legal process is started in this way.
What compensation is included in 18 Wheeler Truck Accident Cases.
Economic damages are intended to compensate for actual financial losses in an 18-wheeler truck accident case. Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, property damage, lost pay, and impaired earning ability are examples.
A skilled attorney will painstakingly evaluate your economic damages to guarantee you receive fair recompense.
Punitive damages may be assessed in circumstances involving excessive negligence or willful misbehavior.
These damages are intended to punish and deter the at-fault party. They go beyond simply compensating the victim and are meant to send a clear message that such behavior will not be accepted.
Physical, Mental and consortium Losses
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate for intangible losses caused by an 18 wheeler truck accident. These may include physical and mental discomfort, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
Non-economic damages need knowledge to value, and a professional lawyer will push for adequate compensation based on the impact of the accident on your life.
What to Do After an 18 wheeler Accident
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do is think about your health and wellbeing. Call for immediate emergency medical aid if you or any other accident participants are hurt. It is advised to get a medical checkup even if you don’t appear to have any injuries, as some injuries may not show symptoms right away.
Law enforcement to contact
Inform the authorities or the highway patrol about the collision. They will reach the scene, evaluate the circumstances, and compile a formal accident report.
This report will include crucial information and be an invaluable source of support for your insurance claim or any future legal actions you might pursue.
If it is safe to do so, gather evidence at the accident scene and record it. Take pictures or videos of the involved vehicles, the damage done, the skid marks, the traffic signs, and any obvious wounds. This documentation can be useful for insurance claims and for supporting your legal case.
Talk to the other party to the accident and exchange contact, insurance, and car information. All individuals involved, including any witnesses who may have been on the scene, should have their names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information gathered.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance provider as soon as you can. Give them precise, in-depth details on the incident. When filing a claim, adhere to their instructions carefully and deliver all necessary paperwork as soon as possible.
Consult 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers
You might want to think about getting legal assistance from a knowledgeable 18 wheeler accident attorneys. They have experience with issues involving huge vehicles and can offer helpful direction at any stage of the procedure.
An attorney will defend your rights, guide you through the legal system’s intricacies, and aid in your pursuit of just reparations for your losses.
Maintain all accident-related evidence, such as witness accounts, photographs, medical records, and the accident report. This proof will be essential to proving your case and assigning blame. To support your case, provide your attorney with these evidence.
Avoid Talking About Your Case in Public
Don’t talk about your case or the accident on social media or with anybody other than your attorney. Public remarks you make could be used against you by insurance companies or adversaries.
It is better to keep your communications about your case private and let your lawyer handle them.
Pay Attention to Medical Advice and Record Your Damages
Attend all required medical appointments, and adhere to your doctor’s treatment and rehabilitation recommendations. Keep track of all of your medical costs, including bills, medication costs, therapy charges, and any additional fees that may be incurred.
These documents will make it easier to determine the magnitude of your losses and the amount of money to which you may be entitled.
Keep in mind that every accident situation is different, and the appropriate course of action may change depending on the facts. You can be confident that you’ll get individualized advice that is catered to your particular circumstance by speaking with an experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyers.
Some of the best Lawyer for 18 wheeler accident
Note: Above Lawyer firms list is based on the available ratings and having 1000+ reviews. It is advised to look for lawyers in respective area for your convenience.
Engaging a truck accident lawyer provides various advantages, such as thorough investigation, knowledge of transportation rules, efficient negotiating, and expert representation.
When dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident, having a legal representative who will fight diligently on your behalf, preserving your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve is critical.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you are not at fault for an accident, it is preferable to hire legal counsel and work with the other party’s insurance company to reach a settlement or court decision. You can hire a lawyer to represent you if you believe that your own insurance company is not handling your case fairly.
Your case will be handled by a truck accident lawyer throughout the settlement or trial process. They locate the responsible parties, collect evidence, and interview witnesses. They negotiate with the insurance company after they have enough information. If discussions fail, they will take your case to trial on your behalf.
It can take some time to compile the appropriate documentation. The next step is for the lawyer to negotiate with the insurance provider; however, insurance providers are notoriously tardy in this regard. Parties must be served and court dates must be scheduled if the case proceeds to trial. The schedules of numerous parties are involved, and all of this takes time.
When there is important information to convey, such as a settlement offer, you should hear from your attorney. In general, your attorney should keep you updated on the status of your case every few weeks. Each attorney is unique and has their own communication style.
Yes, Mental discomfort comes under Non economics damages. It may include physical and mental discomfort, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
It depends based on the lawyer and their firms.
However, in most of the cases your attorney will work on what is referred to as a contingency fee arrangement. This arrangement means that the attorney will only collect a fee if they make a positive recovery on your claims. Lawyers may collect varying percentages, ranging from 20% to 40%, depending on various factors.