Tractor-trailers are essential to moving goods across the country. Trucks move 70 percent of all goods around the United States. While it may not be convenient to share the road with these behemoths of the highway, coexistence is usually mutually beneficial.
But, what happens when this coexistence sours from an accident and injury?
Tractor-trailer accidents are an unfortunate reality for drivers in the U.S. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2018, there were approximately 499,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks. One hundred seven thousand of these crashes resulted in injuries and 4,415 in fatalities.
You shouldn’t have to live in fear when driving down the road that a trucking company or driver’s negligence will end in medical bills, loss of mobility, the inability to work and other financial burdens.
If you’ve been injured in a tractor-trailer accident due to no fault of your own, click the chat bubble to start a chat with us or fill out a contact form.
Keep reading to learn more about tractor-trailer accident lawsuits.
What Is a Tractor-Trailer Accident?
A tractor-trailer accident is another phrase used for a semi-truck collision. Tractors are the truck part of the rig, and the trailer is the container or haul the truck pulls behind it. A tractor-trailer accident involves both the semi-truck and the trailer it’s pulling, resulting in significant damage.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
Trucking accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Our blog on semi-truck safety regulations covers some of the hazards that cause trucking accidents.
For a brief recap of that article, here are some of the common causes of tractor-trailer accidents:
- Driver fatigue: Truckers can drive up to 11 hours on the road in a single day. In one National Sleep Foundation poll, 60 percent of adults drove drowsy, and 37 percent of drivers fell asleep at the wheel. There is an abundance of exhausted drivers on the road.
- Poor weather conditions: Slick road conditions and lower visibility can make it more difficult to drive safely. Semi-trucks are no exception. Trucks take longer to brake than sedans or other passenger vehicles. When visibility is reduced and the road is slick, this gives drivers less time to see oncoming hazards and less traction to stop.
- Speeding to meet deadlines: Like most jobs, truck drivers must meet certain deadlines to deliver their haul. Some trucking companies incentivize drivers to exceed the deadline, which may influence their decision to speed.
- Influence of drugs or alcohol: Driving under the influence isn’t acceptable in any circumstance for any driver. It’s especially damaging if the driver is operating a large tractor-trailer that can cause substantial damage.
- Quick braking: As mentioned earlier, truck drivers need more room to brake. If another driver cuts a trucker off or they are affected by one of the causes above, they may brake too quickly, resulting in a wreck.
Filing a Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit
If a wreck has injured you with a semi-truck, the trucking company will try to downplay your injury and the costs associated with the risk. It may be in your best interest to file a tractor-trailer accident lawsuit to recover damages for lost wages, medical bills and property damage.
While the Missouri statute of limitations for auto accidents allows you to file a suit up to five years after the date of the accident, it’s best practice to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. But most states have a shorter statute of limitations.
While you may want to handle the case yourself, recovering compensation for an auto accident involving a commercial vehicle is complicated. A personal injury attorney who deals with tractor-trailer accident lawsuits knows the ins and outs of the law and can get you maximum compensation.
For more information on what you need to take following a truck accident, check out our blog “Advice from a Personal Injury Lawyer: 6 Steps to Take After a Truck Accident.”
A quick round-up of things you need to cover when seeking compensation for your injury include:
- Contacting the police – This should be the first step you take after the accident. Alerting the authorities is critical as a police report and expert testimony are paramount to winning your case.
- Getting medical care – You need to take care of any injury you sustained from the accident. A doctor or medical care specialist will be able to give you an assessment to understand the scope of your injury. They will also give you their estimated timeline and steps to recovery.
- Contacting a personal injury lawyer – Getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is your way of letting the trucking company’s insurance know you are serious about the case and won’t settle.
- Gathering evidence – While you have serious injuries, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or family member to help you gather evidence. From photos from the accident and location to gathering witnesses, the more evidence you have, the more you can build your case. Your injury lawyer will work to gain access to other forms of evidence like logbooks, black boxes and surveillance cameras.
Don’t Wait: Contact Tolbert Beadle
We’ve heard it too many times: Innocent drivers getting less-than-fair compensation from insurance companies who want to end the case quickly. You shouldn’t have to deal with the fallout of a semi-truck accident alone.
Contact Tolbert Beadle today. Our experience in commercial vehicle accident lawsuits all over the United States can get you the maximum compensation for your loss. You shouldn’t have to suffer from the poor decisions of another driver or trucking company pushing their driver to the limit.
Fill out a contact form, start a chat or give us a call today to see how we can help.
Want to see how we’ve helped others get back on the road to recovery? Check out our results page to get a glimpse of how we’ve delivered well-deserved compensation to individuals like you.