Important Information If You Have Been Involved In A Truck Accident
Did you know that one out of every eight automotive accident fatalities involve large trucks such as big rigs, tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles? Did you also know that four percent of all injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes are caused by large trucks? When a commercial truck is involved in an accident, 86 percent of fatalities and 77 percent of those injured are the drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicles involved in the crash.
Since 1992, accidents have increased by 10 percent. Although the number of accidents involving commercial trucks continues to rise, not much is being done to improve driving safety regulations. Given the large size of the trucks, the lengthy hours that drivers are on the road and the failure of some drivers to abide by speed limits in order to meet deadlines, it is no wonder that statistics show that every 16 minutes, a crash or collision occurs.
In the aftermath of an accident, victims can be left confused, scared and traumatized. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident involving a semi, 18-wheeler or any other commercial vehicle, you have rights and help is immediately available to you. You need an acclaimed and aggressive truck accident lawyers to represent your interests following the accident and we are here to help you find one.
On our site, you will find links to truck accident attorneys in your home town that will fight for your rights and work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. The majority of accidents are caused by human error, mechanical failure, intoxication or even the company’s own mistake in failing to maintain current inspection standards for its vehicles. Regardless of the reason behind the incident, you can rest assured that with the legal counsel of an experienced truck accident lawyers and attorneys, you and your loved ones will find justice for your injuries, losses and property damage.
Through our site, you can be connected to only truck accident lawyers in your area that will stop at nothing to secure you the benefits that are rightfully yours. Feel free to browse our website for detailed information on each paralegal, such as their background, case history, education and success stories, so you can choose the semi accident attorney that best suits your individual needs. You can also find helpful information regarding truck accidents, statistics and other informative articles so you can learn more about incidents involving commercial vehicles, how to stay safe and what you can do to protect your rights.
With our help, you will be on your way to working with an elite lawyer in no time. Give one of our featured legal professionals a call today and schedule an initial consultation. Most first-time visits are free, so contact the offices of a leading accident lawyers right away to discuss your options and file a claim.
The repercussions of a truck accident can take a heavy toll, whether you were the driver, a passenger in another car, or a bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And it’s not only physical problems that these accidents can bring. Depending on the seriousness of the crash, those involved can wake up in a lengthy process of emotional recovery, high financial costs, and legal issues that they must address, all at the same time.
If this happens, it is in your best interest to contact professional truck accident lawyers to represent you. At USAttorneys, we can connect you with the best lawyers in your area. You can use our website to find legal that suits your needs and budget and meets your expectations.
What We Do
We understand that it can be stressful to find the right team to represent you. After the accident, you’ll need to decide quickly on who you’re going to trust with your case, because the more you wait, the more your odds for success will decrease.
But, how can you choose when every attorney in town advertises himself as “the best.” If the simple act of scratching the surface of the complicated legal process makes your head spin, then you’ve come to the right place. Our website acts like a search engine designed specifically to help clients find proper legal representation in their area.
But how are we different from a regular search engine?
As the victim of a trucking accident, you can’t have any lawyer represent you. From court hearings to insurance company meetings, the particularities of this event can be hard to navigate if you lack the knowledge and experience.
That’s why we won’t connect you with just any lawyer; we’ll connect you with the one best suited to represent you and your case.
USAttorneys can help you find the right legal representation for a trucking accident, no matter where you live. The truck accident lawyers on our site have years of experience handling such cases and can defend you successfully or get you the compensation you deserve.
Here’s how the process works:
Search and select your hometown;
You’ll be instantly redirected to the profile of the best legal team from your area, where you can read more about their practice, and contact them for a consultation if you wish;
Why You Need a Lawyer
Tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, box trucks, FedEx trucks, UPC trucks, delivery trucks or other – whenever a large vehicle with a commercial purpose is involved in a collision, the incident is always followed by a lengthy legal process, regardless of which side you are on (the truck driver or another vehicle driver, victim or person at fault).
This lengthy process involves gathering the necessary documentation for the case, talking to witnesses, appearing in a court hearing or going to insurance company meeting. In all fairness, it can all be very tedious, which is why the best advice we could give you is to call a professional to represent you.
The lawyers you can find on USAttorneys have years of experience under their belt in successfully representing people involved in trucking accidents. Whether you’re seeking compensation, are facing criminal charges, or are having difficulties with your insurance company, the lawyers available on our platform are up for the task.
Here’s what we can do:
Gather a paper trail of the events leading to the crash and its repercussions;
Talk to witnesses;
Represent you in court hearings;
Meet with insurance representatives;
Negotiate a fair settlement.
It’s essential to have the right team of legal experts by your side, as truck accidents have their set of unique challenges that can be hard to handle even by other lawyers if they don’t know the ins of this specific niche.
Trucking Accidents versus Regular Auto Accidents
There are some major differences from a legal standpoint between a regular vehicle accident and a commercial truck accident that bring to light several unique legal challenges.
These differences constitute the main argument for why you must hire a truck accident lawyer with sufficient experience in tackling such cases.
When it comes to a car accident, the lawyer representing either party has to collect all relevant evidence after the crush: CCTV footage, witness statements, police reports, photographs of the vehicles involved, medical files, etc.
However, when a commercial truck is involved, the evidence necessary for the case differs:
Information on the truck driver: qualification, training, experience, employee files, inspection records, alcohol, and drug tests;
Information on the truck: maintenance history, documentation, and registration, data from the GPS tracking systems;
Information on the cargo (if applicable): dispatch instructions, delivery documents, trip envelopes.
In a regular vehicle accident, the only people involved in the legal process that may follow are the ones directly involved in the crash. However, a commercial truck means more parties may be liable.
Whether it’s a semi-truck, a tractor-trailer or an 18-wheeler, several other parties can be held accountable for the crash. Truck accident lawyers know what questions to ask to get you an advantage in court:
Who is the trucker’s employer?
Who owns the truck?
What is the relationship between the company and the hired driver?
What the truck loaded at the time of the accident?
If the truck was loaded, who handled the cargo?
Who handles the truck maintenance?
3. Legal Definition
The general term “truck” can refer to several different types of vehicles, but it’s important to understand what constitutes a truck under the law.
The U.S. Department of Transportation defines a commercial truck as any vehicle that has one of the following characteristics:
A gross combination weight of 26.001 or more pounds including a towed unit;
A gross vehicle weight rating of 26.001 or more pounds;
Designed to transport 16 or more passenger (driver included);
Used to transport hazardous materials. In this section, the U.S. Department of Transportation disregards the size of the vehicle, as long as it meets this requirement.
However, it’s worth noting that individual state laws might have other definitions by which they abide. That means that it’s possible for some states to have a broader range of vehicles fall under the ‘”truck category,” while others only view specific characteristics as relevant for defining a truck.
Large vehicles are harder to control than regular-sized cars. They may take longer to stop, need more space to maneuver, and require a unique skill set from the driver.
Moreover, truck accident cases bring into discussion some physics component, which are different in a truck wreck than in a standard vehicle collision. All these aspects can significantly influence the way in which the case is handled.
5. Rules and Regulations
While the evidence gathered by the attorney plays a crucial role in a trucking accident case, so do the rules and regulations specific to the trucking world.
For instance, a typical car accident will have attorneys focusing on the causes of the crash, then turn to the state’s driving laws to see if their client was within legal regulations or not.
In a trucking incident, the customary state driving laws do not apply, as they have specific regulations for this category.
Federal trucking laws do exist, and they govern truck and trailer weight, impose hours and service standards, as well as safety guidelines. However, states are free to impose laws that tackle these issues as well. That, in itself, brings to light a significant problem of crossing state lines.
If the truck did not cross state lines, then the authorities can impose both federal and state regulations. However, if the truck does cross state lines, the issue becomes increasingly complicated, mainly when state laws and federal laws differ significantly from each other.
Trucking accidents are complicated, and the team representing you must have the specific know-how of state and federal trucking laws.
The lawyers available at USAttorneys who specialize in trucking accidents can successfully represent your needs as they have the right expertise. In their many years serving clients involved in trucking accidents, they have obtained a unique insight into trucking laws, as well as the particularities that specific truck types can bring to a case.
Additionally, the attorneys available on our platform collaborate with teams of experts witnesses that can come in and present the scientific facts of your case, or refute those of your opponent.
Go on www.truck-accident.usattorneys.com and find the best legal representatives near you.
Why Truck Accidents Happen and What Are the Consequences
There is no single reason why truck accidents can occur, but some common reasons may include:
A distracted driver who is using their phone while driving, or not keeping their eyes on the road;
Trucks exceeding their imposed truck speed limit or truck weight limit;
Fatigue or other health conditions of the driver.
Whenever a truck collides with a car, motorcycle or even pedestrian, the authorities and representations of both parties must investigate the events that have led to the crash to find who is at fault for the incident, and accountable for damages.
Some possible repercussions of trucking accidents are:
Loss of employment;
Long-term injuries or pain;
Long-term emotional distress;
In some cases, trucking accidents have even resulted in death.
To make matters worse, insurance will most likely not cover all of the losses and expenses caused by the truck accident. The trucking company will most likely try to minimize the payments by attacking the suing party’s claims.
What to Do in Case of a Truck Accident
1. Call for Help
If you are in a condition to do so, get out of the car and call the proper authorities (such as the police and paramedics), and get a medical check-up even if you don’t think your injuries are serious.
Call 911 to report the accident. Many states require you to report such cases right away. Do not leave the scene of the accident before the police arrives, as in many states that is a crime.
You can give a statement to the police on the spot, or after you’ve had proper medical attention if you’re injuries are serious. It’s important to have this report for your insurance claim or other legal actions, so be sure to recount as many details of the incident as possible.
2. Be Careful What You Say
Tell the truth, but be careful how much you say right away, regardless if you caused the crash or not.
Here are some things to avoid:
Admitting guilt or expressing belief that you caused the accident;
Talk to the other driver directly about the facts of the crash.
Anything you say to the police or other people present can be added officially to the case, through reports or witness testimonies. Your words, even if you say them under stressful situations and are most likely in shock, can be used in a legal case against you and damage it.
3. Gather All Evidence
Though your legal representative will build the case, you can help this process by gathering anything related to the incident that might help:
Medical files, treatment prescriptions and anything related to your injuries;
A copy of the police report for your accident;
Photographs of the cars and the truck wreck;
Create a detailed list of all extra expenses you’ve had because of the crash;
Keep track of any changes in your social or professional life that occurred because of the wreck (such as losing your job, not being able to participate in family events because of injuries, etc.)
A written and signed statement of the accident; though you’ve already made one for the police, you may be able to remember more things about the wreck once some time has passed.
A list of eyewitnesses.
How to Choose a Truck Accident Lawyer
While time is of the essence, it’s important not to make any rash decisions. The entire process will most likely take months, possibly years to finalize. The outcome depends much on who you choose to represent your interest.
Here are some of our tips for hiring great representation:
1. Do thorough research before taking any decision. Don’t settle on the first team that crosses your path. Check for references, success rates, or past cases they’ve had to make an informed decision.
2. Ask for a free consultation from the firm you’re considering to get a better sense of how they would handle your case.
3. Consider your financial situation. Most likely, you won’t be able to afford to pay the representation fees up front, so find a firm that works on a contingency.
Once you find a team you’re happy with, be sure to remember the following:
1. Be completely honest with them. Remember, a lawyer’s job is to represent your best interests, not judge you. If you want to get a fair compensation or penalty, then you need to tell them everything there is no know about your situation.
2. Ask to be continuously updated at all times. A good lawyer won’t make any critical decision without you knowing it. However, for your peace of mind, ask your attorney to check in with you regularly to give updates on your case.
Subhead: Common Trucking Accident Questions
After you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, it’s only natural to have a lot of questions about your situation. From our experience, some common queries our clients have are:
1. What Do I Do at the Scene of the Accident?
The moments after the rucking wreck will most likely be extremely chaotic. It’s important to remain calm and composed at this time, and wait for the authorities to arrive.
Either you, a bystander or a passenger from another vehicle will make a call to report the crash. It’s essential you don’t leave the scene of the accident until the police gets there. They may ask to take your statement right there or, if you need medical attention and have to go to the hospital right away, they will follow up for a comment once you’re in the clear.
2. I Don’t Have a Lawyer yet, But Someone from the Insurance Company or a Representative from the Other Party Called Me. What Should I Do?
Apart from the police statement, avoid discussing your accident with lawyers or people from the insurance company if you don’t have an attorney yet. Refuse to give a comment and let them know your legal representative will contact them at another time, even if you don’t have one.
Remember, your case doesn’t depend on the facts alone, but also on the state and federal laws, and insurance policies. Because you don’t have experience with the legal process, it’s very easy to make mistakes. Even the smallest slip can hurt your chances of getting a fair settlement.
3. Who Is Sued in a Trucking Accident?
The party that can be sued is only determined once it is clear who is responsible for the trucking accident.
The liable party determined after the investigation can be anyone from the driver of either vehicle to the trucking company, the owner of the truck, the mechanical team, etc.
4. How Fast Do I Have to Take Legal Action after a Trucking Wreck?
The answer here depends on each state’s statute of limitations, which is a specific timeframe set by every state that starts from the date of the accident. For instance, if a state has a statute of limitation of one year, then you must file a lawsuit within a year of the crash.
However, even if the state you are living in (or the state where the accident took place) has a more generous statute of limitations, it’s essential to move forward with any legal actions as quickly as possible. Otherwise, it might be harder for your truck accident lawyers to gather the necessary evidence or find the witness needed to win your case.
5. How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?
We understand that this experience will significantly affect your financials, which is why a lot of the lawyers available through our platform work on a contingency-fee base.
In short, that means you won’t have to pay your legal representation upfront. The attorney will get their pay from the settlement they’ve negotiated or after they’ve won the trial.
6. Can I Do This without a Lawyer?
Regardless of the position you are in right now, such as facing trial or trying to negotiate a settlement, we strongly advise you hire a professional to represent you.
Trucking accident cases are extremely difficult to navigate if you do not have the right legal background. Even other lawyers who lack trucking law knowledge will have a difficult time representing you.
The best shot you have for a successful outcome in all of this is to go with a team that has first-hand experience in handling these cases.
Get the Best Representation for the Job
If you’ve made it this far, we’ll assume you didn’t just read this text for the fun of it. We can only imagine what you’re going through right now, but the best advice we can give you at this time is to contact an attorney for all your legal troubles.
Our website puts you just a few clicks away from the best possible truck accident lawyers in your area. Focus on your recovery and spending time with family, and let the professionals tackle this issue and get you what’s fair.
Access USAttorneys today!