Unique Dangers of 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
Extreme Size and Weight Disparity
18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, dwarfing the size of passenger cars and creating huge momentum forces during collisions. This size mismatch often leads to catastrophic injuries.
Higher Speeds Than Passenger Vehicles
Large trucks can travel at high speeds even while loaded with cargo. Their force at highway speeds contrasts the slower speeds of cars, exacerbating crash impacts.
Challenging Maneuverability and Blind Spots
The length and limited maneuverability of 18-wheelers increases risks, as does their extensive blind spots that can obscure cars around them. Their turning radius is also wider than cars.
Catastrophic Crash Impacts More Likely
Given an 18-wheeler’s weight, speed capacity, and maneuverability challenges, accidents involving them often lead to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, amputated limbs, third-degree burns, or fatalities.
How 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers Can Help
Proving Liability of Truck Driver and Company
Experienced attorneys prove the trucker acted negligently by speeding, driving recklessly, or violating regulations. They may also establish negligence by the trucking company for poor maintenance or driver training.
Conducting a Thorough Investigation into the Accident
Lawyers leave no stone unturned while investigating, using crash reconstructionists, gathering physical evidence, obtaining electronic records, and extensive witness interviews.
Identifying All Liable Parties and Negligent Actions
Lawyers explore liability of all potential parties like parts manufacturers, cargo loaders, vehicle inspectors, and others who may have contributed to causing the accident through negligence.
Calculating the Full Extent of Your Losses and Damages
Attorneys work diligently to account for every current and future cost resulting from the accident – medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, property damage, etc.
Navigating Complex Insurance and Legal Issues
Experienced lawyers guide clients through complicated insurance claim processes, identify all available compensation sources, and handle litigation if fair resolution becomes impossible.
Key Decisions After an 18-Wheeler Accident
Seeking Immediate Medical Evaluation and Treatment
Get thoroughly examined at an ER after any accident involving an 18-wheeler, even if feeling fine initially. Some injuries take time to manifest.
Reporting the Accident Fully and Accurately
File a formal police report onsite while facts are clear. Be sure to obtain a copy of the report later as evidence. Give specific, detailed statements.
Preserving Crucial Evidence Before It Gets Destroyed
Take ample photos and video depicting damage, skid marks, debris, road conditions, and even your injuries. This visual evidence is crucial later.
Consulting an Experienced 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney
Contact an attorney familiar with tractor-trailer cases immediately. Prompt legal help maximizes compensation.
Maximizing Your Injury Claim Settlement
Documenting Medical Expenses Fully
Keep extensive records of all diagnosis and treatment costs, both immediate and ongoing. Include hospitalization, surgery, medications, devices, therapy, rehabilitation, and projected future expenses.
Calculating All Lost Income and Future Earning Capacity
Provide pay stubs, tax returns, employment contracts, and other wage documentation so your lawyer can accurately calculate all lost pay – both past and future.
Accounting for Property Damage and Other Tangible Losses
Tally repair or replacement costs for your vehicle, valuables, equipment, and any other property that got damaged or destroyed in the accident.
Making Your Pain and Suffering Tangible
Detail how the crash injuries have negatively impacted your life and relationships so your lawyer can pursue appropriate pain and suffering damages on top of concrete expenses.
In summary, 18-wheeler accidents often benefit from experienced legal guidance to investigate fully, demonstrate negligence, deal with complex policies, calculate wide-ranging damages, and secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Trust an assertive 18-wheeler wreck lawyer to protect your rights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I give a recorded statement to the trucking company after an accident?
Do not provide any recorded statement until you have legal representation. Insurers often twist statements against victims. Let your lawyer handle communications.
How long do 18-wheeler accident cases typically take to resolve?
It varies case-by-case, but many settle within 1-2 years. Complex cases with extensive damages may take longer. An experienced attorney expedites the process.
What damages can I recover in an 18-wheeler accident claim?
You can claim medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of future income, and pain and suffering damages like emotional trauma if injuries are severe.
Can I recover damages if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Yes, most states have comparative negligence rules that allow recovering damages proportional to the percentage you were not at fault.
How much does hiring an 18-wheeler accident attorney cost?
Most work on contingency, meaning they only collect a fee percentage if they recover compensation for you. Initial consultations are free.