What Do I Do If I’m Hit By a Commercial Truck?
By Chris Dixon
Accidents are never easy to deal with, but commercial truck crashes are often more complex and severe than standard passenger vehicle accidents. If you or someone you love has been hit by a commercial truck, it’s vital to consult a lawyer immediately about the accident. An attorney can protect your rights and ensure that your case has the best chance of recovering the most damages.
Most Common Types of Commercial Truck Accidents
There are many different ways that a commercial truck accident can happen, whether it’s caused by drugs and alcohol, driver fatigue, failure to maintain, or another negligent driving behavior, commercial truck accidents are a common occurrence. Some of the more common types of commercial truck accidents that occur in the U.S. include:
- Rear-End Accidents – if a driver is fatigued or distracted while driving, the commercial truck could cause a rear-end accident. In the U.S., texting and driving is one of the main causes of distracted driving for commercial truck drivers; a truck driver is 23.2 times more likely to get into a crash when compared to CDL drivers that don’t text and drive
- Jackknife Accidents – “Jackknifing” can be hazardous to other drivers on the road. If a commercial truck’s cargo is improperly balanced, the driver attempts to make a sharp turn too quickly, or they are distracted and lose control of their vehicle, this can cause a commercial truck to “jackknife” in the middle of the road, potentially so quickly that other drivers might not have time to react
- Turning Accidents – commercial trucks can take up to two lanes to make a full turn and have many blind spots. If a truck driver or passenger vehicle driver isn’t careful when turning, this can result in a severe crash
- Speeding Crashes – 17% of large truck accidents that happened in 2016 involved speeding as a factor
- Bad Weather Accidents – it can take the average commercial truck 20 to 40 percent longer than passenger vehicles to come to a complete stop. If roads are slick, it can take even longer for large trucks to stop which heightens the chance of a bad weather accident
If you are hit by a commercial truck, know that you are not alone. A truck accident lawyer can defend your case’s best interests and ensure that you are protected from the truck driver’s insurance agent. Your lawyer’s job is to make sure that you and your family are taken care of and that your claim against the commercial truck driver that hit you has the best possible chance of winning.
If I’ve Been Hit By a Commercial Truck, What Should I Do?
Similar to passenger vehicle accidents, the quicker you act after a commercial truck accident, the better. If you have been hit by a commercial truck, it’s vital to get examined by your physician immediately. Injuries caused by commercial trucks are often severe and expensive to treat, so the more evidence you have that confirms your injuries, the better. A police report is an equally essential piece of evidence to obtain from the accident, as it can be powerful proof of what happened in the crash.
Other evidence that is useful to collect after a truck accident includes contact and insurance information from the other party, witness reports, and other information that you think could be useful to your lawyer. Trucking companies are insured by large insurance companies that will do everything possible to deny your claim or get you to accept the lowest settlement possible, but with significant evidence and an experienced lawyer by your side, you could recover adequate compensation for your damages from the accident.
What Type of Damages Can I Claim If I Am Hit By a Commercial Truck?
The average commercial truck plus its cargo weighs upwards of 70,000 pounds. If a passenger vehicle is hit by a commercial truck, this can cause permanent and sometimes fatal injuries. If you or someone you care about has been hit by a commercial truck, you could be eligible to recover compensation from both the truck driver that caused the accident and the company that they work for. Any medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, or pain and suffering damages that you experienced because of the accident could be recovered with a valid commercial truck accident claim. While settlements vary greatly, commercial truck drivers that are hauling freight are required to carry liability and cargo insurance, the amount of which can range from $300,000 to $5,000,000.
If you are unsure of what damages you are eligible to claim for your accident or how to file an insurance claim, an attorney can guide you through the process. Your experienced attorney can determine what damages you should claim for your suffering, help you write a detailed demand letter that includes them, and assist you with filing an insurance claim against the commercial truck driver that hit you. If the truck driver’s insurance company offers a lower settlement than your lawyer feels that your case deserves, they can negotiate with the other party’s insurer for a higher settlement.
How Can a Lawyer Help with My Truck Accident Case?
Commercial truck accidents can be traumatizing and leave victims with severe physical, mental, and financial damages. If you or someone you love has been hit by a commercial truck, you should consult a lawyer as soon as you possibly can. Despite the fact that you were injured by the commercial truck, if evidence isn’t gathered quickly by your lawyer or a loved one, and you don’t have an attorney to protect your rights, partial blame for the accident could be placed on you. If you need a lawyer after being hit by a commercial truck, contact the Dixon Injury Firm. Our attorneys offer free consultations so that you won’t have to worry about paying for our services during this trying time and are available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns that you might have regarding your case.