Most truck drivers and passenger vehicle drivers follow the rules of the road and respect each other on the highway. However, it’s inevitable that collisions between the two will occur, with passenger vehicles receiving the most damage because of the weight of the large truck.
The Federal Highway Administration issued a report in July 2004 which focused on who was mostly at fault for car-truck collisions. The report concluded that truck drivers were more likely at fault for rear-ending and sideswiping passenger cars and causing accidents when making right and left turns. Drivers of passenger vehicles were mostly at fault when it came to head-on and angle collisions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the U.S. government agency that regulates the trucking industry, released its Large Truck Crash Overview report in October. The FMCSA defines “large trucks” as trucks with a gross weight of over 10,000 pounds. The report showed that after a decade of decline, large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 3 percent, from 3,494 in 2010, to 3,608 in 2011. Speeding played a role in fatalities for both trucks and passenger vehicles and distracted driving was the second most common factor for truck drivers.
While everyone has something to lose in an accident, truckers who cause accidents could see an end to their commercial driving career.
Reasons for a trucker’s dismissal
Trucking companies understand when their employees are involved in accidents due to inclement weather. But, truckers who cause their employers to lose money due to fatal accidents or losing the load they were hauling are more likely to be fired. Trucking companies report accidents to their insurance companies which send out representatives to investigate the accident and interview the parties involved.
Depending on the severity and number of accidents in which truckers were involved, truckers may also lose their commercial drivers license, without which they cannot drive a truck.
Meanwhile, vehicle drivers and passengers may lose their lives or become permanently injured because of a trucker’s negligence. Receiving compensation from a trucking company, even when the trucker is at fault for the accident, is not an easy process. This is why accident victims turn to personal injury lawyers for help.
Why is a personal injury lawyer necessary?
A personal injury specialist such as a Jackson County truck crash lawyer, can help victims recover their losses, both economically and physically. Depending on the severity of the injury, accident victims may have to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses or rehabilitation services.
Because insurance companies are not willing to fully compensate victims for their losses, personal injury attorneys contest the initial settlement offer and negotiate better settlement terms on behalf of their clients. If necessary, lawsuits are filed on their clients’ behalf.
Personal injury attorneys also advise their clients against making statements to insurance adjusters representing the trucking company before first getting legal advice. Insurance investigators can take the victims’ statements and use it to blame them for the accident or deny their claim. What accident victims may not realize is that they are not legally obligated to answer an insurance adjuster’s questions.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck and have questions on whether you are entitled to compensatory damages, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your claims to determine whether you have a case.
Jennifer Alston has experience with semi-truck drivers, being that her mother used to drive trucks across the nation. Searching the web for a Jackson County truck crash lawyer, she found an experienced lawyer who represents victims of these types of accidents and provides long-term results.