Despite the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report that the use of seatbelts among the truck drivers has risen by 9% compared to the previous year, there’s has not been much change in the 18 wheeler accident today.
In 2014 alone, more than 438,000 truck accidents were reported to the police. 111,000 people sustained injuries while 3,903 persons died in the fatal traffic crashes, according to NHTSA. Eight-one percent of the crashes involved multiple vehicles. Of total accident victims, 73-percent were in other vehicles at the time of the accident.
Major Causes of the Big Truck Accidents
The culprit in most cases is negligence blamed on the truck drivers and trucking companies. Other motorists, pedestrians and bicycle riders are rarely to blame. The causes include the following;
- Sleep deprivation due to long hour driving
- Overloading of the trucks
- Poor or lack of maintenance of the trucks (non-functional brake light, bad tires, steering wheels, faulty trailer hitches and pumps).
- Negligence on the part of drivers
- Unsecured loads
- Untrained drivers/inadequate training
What after a Truck Accident?
Immediately after the accident, be sure to record any key information that can help in the lawsuit if you can. Take photos of the accident scene, plate numbers, the company name, and logo. If impossible, record the information after seeking medical attention.
Seek medical attention soonest possible even if there are no visible injuries. That will ensure internal injuries are attended to. It’ll be easier to link the injuries to the crash with medical records as proof of treatment.
Who’s Liable for 18-Wheeler Accidents?
In an 18 wheeler accident today, the driver is not the only culprit. Your accident lawyer will take the case and look at it critically to identify the party responsible for the accident. In such an accident, the following parties may be found culpable;
- The driver
- Owner of the truck (individual or company)
- The trucking company that is the company involved in leasing the trucks
- Truck manufacturer, spare parts, and tire makers included
- Loaders of the cargo
Factors Influencing the Claims & Compensation after a Truck Accident
Some aspects of the case that will impact the settlement of the lawsuit include the injuries or fatalities, property damages, the police involvement, insurance, the resulting medical bills and the rights & legal responsibilities of the parties involved.
Do You Need To Hire Experienced Lawyers for Your Lawsuit?
Trucking companies are slick and will employ all manner of tricks to evade the blame. Also, insurance companies will hire the best lawyers to represent them so they can find a reason not to compensate. An experienced lawyer understands the legal laws and will fight for your rights in a court of law, so you’re compensated.
Get Experienced Attorneys to Represent You
Have you been in involved in an 18 wheeler accident today? Schechter McElwee Shaffer &Harris lawyers are here handle your case. Call us 24/7 at 713-364-0723 for a free evaluation of your case.