Tens of thousands of people are injured in 18 wheeler accidents each year. Over the last ten years, accident rates have increased even though new legislation has been implemented to improve trucker safety. This increase is frequently ascribed to desperate trucking businesses making sacrifices to fulfill deadlines, fill seats, and save money.
The sheer size and speed of semi-trailer trucks and 18 wheelers make them dangerous. Large truck accidents continue to occur even with the transportation industry’s standards being stricter. Numerous issues arise in huge truck accidents, making it imperative to speak with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer immediately.
An expert lawyer can help people through complex legal procedures, from handling injuries to handling liability and insurance claims.
Read Also: What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do in 2024
Why Do 18 Wheelers Present Such a Risk?
Weight and Speed in Combination:
A typical consumer automobile weighs 1.5 tons, whereas a typical loaded tractor weighs an incredible 40 tons, or over 27 times the weight of an average car. The potentially disastrous outcome can be seen by imagining a 40-ton truck colliding with a little automobile at 60 mph.
Compared to cars, large trucks need a lot more stopping distance. For a passenger car moving at 65 mph, the stopping distance is 316 feet; nevertheless, a 40-ton truck requires 525 feet. The requirement for longer stopping distances is further highlighted by the air brake systems’ intrinsic brake lag.
The front, two sides, and back of an 18-wheeler are its four main blind spots. Due to the truck’s height and bulk, it can be difficult for drivers to see smaller automobiles in these spaces, which puts smaller cars at grave risk, particularly when truck drivers fail to check their blind spots.
Regularly, semi-trucks move hazardous materials. Drivers must complete specialist hazmat training following strict laws because certain compounds, such as flammable, explosive, radioactive, or poisonous objects, might cause serious injury if released.
Not every eighteen-wheeler has an enclosed trailer; others have open flatbeds that need to be tied securely to carry cargo. This kind of negligence can result in mishaps that cause harm or even death. Raw materials, machinery, auto components, and other items may be included in unsecured cargo.
Reasons for 18 Wheeler Accident:
The trucking business frequently pushes the boundaries when it comes to drivers working more hours than is permitted. The FMCSA states that drivers are only permitted to work 11 hours a day or 60 to 70 hours a week. Drivers are often pushed to the brink of weariness and exhaustion despite laws.
As the need for truck drivers grows, hiring inexperienced candidates could occur. Furthermore, there is a rise in the number of novice drivers on the road as a result of fake trucking license instances.
When driving alone, there is a greater chance that you may become distracted by things like eating, talking on the phone, changing radio stations, or taking in the surroundings. Because 18-wheelers have a large stopping distance, even small diversions can cause serious accidents.
The FMCSA requires stringent maintenance guidelines, which include inspections of tires, fuel systems, brakes, lighting, and other components. On the other hand, some trucking companies might take shortcuts, which could result in mishaps brought on by poor upkeep, such as damaged tires or brakes.
Under the Influence:
Operating an 18 wheeler while intoxicated is very dangerous. Driving ability and response time can both be hampered by one drink. Drinking alcohol after work can make drivers feel hungover or inebriated when they’re behind the wheel.
Bad Weather Condition:
18 wheeler accidents can be caused by a variety of bad weather conditions, including strong winds, snow, ice, rain, and fog. Truck drivers must pay extra attention in inclement weather due to the wide blind spots and longer stopping distances.
Sometimes shippers overload or poorly load trucks, which results in unbalanced trailers. When a truck makes a sudden turn, it may topple over and loose objects may fall out, hitting other cars and creating collisions.
When pressed for time to make a deadline, some drivers overspeed their trucks. Trucks can lose control and jackknife when they stop suddenly.
Producers may be responsible for mishaps brought on by flaws. It’s not always accurate to blame the driver because the real problem could be with the truck or a component.
Kinds of Compensation to Which You Could Be Eligible:
A truck accident lawyer can support you in your pursuit of just compensation if you were involved in an 18-wheeler accident and sustained life-altering injuries or lost a loved one.
This compensation may include lost wages, medical costs, home modifications to accommodate your disability, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and wrongful death benefits.
How 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer Can Help:
Following an 18-wheeler accident, an attorney can offer priceless support.
- Make a 911 call.
- Seek medical assistance, even if the wounds appear little.
- Remain there till the police show up.
- Information Acquisition:
- Gather the phone numbers, addresses, and names of all those engaged.
- Take pictures of the injuries and the scene of the accident.
- Refrain from taking responsibility.
- Legal Advice:
- Seek legal advice before sharing specifics with others.
- Speak with your insurance provider.
The intricacy of cases involving 18 Wheeler Accidents:
Large amounts of evidence are needed to determine culpability in truck accidents, which creates special legal difficulties. The challenge is in confronting transportation corporations, who frequently refuse to acknowledge their responsibility. These businesses have skilled attorneys on hand who are prepared to refute allegations and reduce payouts.
Compiling extensive evidence is crucial to countering such tactics and ensuring just compensation for damage sustained. Those who are aware of the risks, reasons, and legal ramifications of 18 wheeler accidents can confidently handle the fallout and pursue the compensation they are legally entitled to.