Truck accidents can be devastating. The sheer weight of a truck crashing into a car, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist, can result in life-altering injuries. In most cases, truck accidents are ultimately the fault of the truck driver or the company that owns the truck.
There are strict requirements that truck drivers and companies must follow regarding how many consecutive hours a driver can operate the truck, how much weight the truck can carry inside a trailer, and the manner in which a truck can operate on a public highway.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines can cause a deadly accident. Due to the intricacies regarding the safe and proper operation of a truck, it is essential that you contact a truck accident lawyer who specializes in these types of accidents if you or a loved one were the victim of such a collision.
Truck Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, accidents involving trucks are common. According to Injury Facts, published by the National Safety Council, a total of 4,862 large trucks were involved in a deadly collision in 2018 alone. This is a 51% increase from 2009. An additional 112,000 trucks were involved in collisions that resulted in the injury of one or more parties. 9% of all motor vehicle accidents can be attributed to both commercial and non-commercial large trucks.
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Types of Trucks and Truck Accidents
There are many different types of trucks and truck accidents that you need to be aware of when driving in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. The most common types of trucks seen involved in collisions include but aren’t limited to:
- 18-wheeler trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Tanker trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Dump trucks
- Box trucks
- Delivery trucks
- Tow trucks
- Cement trucks
What Causes Truck Accidents?
There are many causes of truck accidents, most of which are entirely preventable. Truck drivers have stricter guidelines for obeying traffic laws, driving while intoxicated, and operating their vehicle while distracted by eating, texting, or talking on the phone or radio. Here are several common factors of truck collisions:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driver error
- Inadequate driver training
- Road hazards
- Inclement weather
- Poor judgement calls
- Passenger car errors
How to Determine Fault After a Truck Accident
In order to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, suffering, and other expenses either via an insurance settlement or lawsuit, you must first ascertain who is at fault for the collision. In some cases, there may be more than one party responsible for the accident.
One example is if the truck driver was speeding in an area where road construction was taking place and there weren’t adequate signs notifying drivers of the construction. In this case, both the truck driver and the city would be considered at fault and it’s possible both of them may be sued for damages.
Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident injuries are typically severe, life-changing, and in many cases, fatal. The most common injuries experienced by truck accident victims include but are not limited to:
- Wrongful death
- Head and brain injuries
- Whiplash and spinal cord injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Crush injuries
Generally, a truck accident causes similar injuries as a motor vehicle collision, however, the severity tends to be much worse.
Truck Accident Fatalities & Wrongful Death
Because truck accidents tend to be so serious, the rate of fatalities in such a collision is significantly higher than other types of motor vehicle accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2018, a staggering 4,136 individuals were killed in a truck accident. 67% of these deaths were individuals in a passenger vehicle, while 15% were motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. This is a 31% increase from 2009.
How to Prevent Truck Accidents
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and this is especially true of truck accidents. Since a truck collision can be serious and life-threatening even at low to moderate speeds, doing your best to prevent them is crucial.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, it’s important that you take action if you can to get the help you need. The following is a quick, helpful guide on what steps to take immediately following a collision with a truck:
- Check if anyone involved in the crash was injured and needs medical attention
- Call 911 if anyone is injured, or the police if there’s only vehicle damage
- Move your vehicle out of the road if possible
- Give authorities your account of the accident
- Go to the hospital or doctor’s office to get checked out, even if you feel well
- Comply with your medical treatment
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer
How to File a Truck Accident Insurance Claim
It’s a common misconception that to receive financial restitution after a truck collision you must file a lawsuit. On the contrary. Ideally, litigation in court can be avoided and you can negotiate a fair settlement agreement with your insurance company and/or the insurance carrier(s) of the truck driver and trucking company they operate for.
How to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit
If you are unable to successfully reach an adequate settlement agreement that provides you with the full and fair compensation you deserve, you may be able to continue to pursue your case by filing a formal lawsuit. Once this has been done, a few things will take place before you and your attorney meet with a judge and the representatives of the truck driver and/or trucking company to hear the verdict.
First, your lawyer will file a petition. Then, the process of discovery – where evidence on both sides is collected – occurs. After discovery, both parties will work towards negotiating a settlement agreement. If neither party can reach a consensus, the case then goes to trial.
What to Look for In a Truck Accident Lawyer
To obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain, and suffering, you need the help of a seasoned personal injury and truck accident attorney. However, choosing a lawyer can prove difficult. Here are some things to look for:
- A proven track record of successful truck accident settlements
- Extensive experience representing truck accident victims and their families
- A genuine interest in and empathy for your case
- Willingness to provide detailed answers to your questions
- Honesty and transparency
Contact Experienced Salem Truck Accident Attorneys Mazow | McCullough, PC Today
Were you or a loved one hurt in an accident with a truck through no fault of your own? We can help. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we understand the challenges that truck accident victims and their families face after a collision.
We’re committed to providing our valued clients with comprehensive legal support and zealous advocacy from the beginning of their case to the final verdict. Contact us today to schedule your initial truck accident consultation by calling (978) 744-8000 or toll free at (855) 693-9084.