Like any other drivers, truck drivers can get into accidents while out on the road. However, accidents involving semi-trucks and similar large vehicles often result in far more damage and more severe injuries than is common in standard auto accidents. This is in large part due to the significant increase in the size and mass of the vehicle. If you get into an accident with a truck, it is highly likely that your vehicle will take the bulk of the damage, while the truck may only suffer minor damages. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind during the aftermath of the crash.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
In a trucking accident, either the truck driver, the other driver, or some combination of the two will be at fault in the accident. For truckers, accidents often result when the driver has been on the road for too many hours without a break. While the government does have laws in place regarding truck drivers’ driving time, that doesn’t mean that everyone always follows them. In the state of Florida, drivers must comply with the Florida Department of Transportation and not exceed over 11 hours on the road in a 24 hour period, with the maximum cycle in a day being 14 hours. Even when following the rules, it is still possible for the truck driver’s mind to wander, or for them to be too tired to fully focus on the road.
Automobile drivers can drive while drowsy or distracted as well, so those causes are not exclusive to truck drivers. In many cases, though, the automobile driver may not take into account the difficulty of driving a large truck or may misjudge the amount of time a truck will need to come to a stop in an emergency. It is best to always give trucks and other large vehicles with trailers a wide berth to allow them plenty of reaction time. Whenever possible, try to avoid changing lanes directly in front of a truck or slamming on your brakes.
Sometimes, accidents aren’t necessarily the fault of either driver, but rather due to a malfunction in the truck or other vehicle. For these types of accidents, you’ll need to determine whether the truck driver or the company they work for should have been responsible for the maintenance of the truck. Had the problem been fixed, the accident likely could have been avoided in the first place.
Insurance Complications in a Trucking Accident
When you are involved in an accident with another car, you and the other driver should always exchange insurance and contact details so you can follow up after the accident; this includes their company’s information as well. This process is usually relatively straightforward in a regular accident, as you’ll be dealing solely with personal auto insurance policies. In a trucking accident, however, it can be a bit more complicated.
Trucking companies vary in how they structure their businesses and insurance requirements. In some cases, the trucking company owns the trucks and employs the drivers directly, while in others the driver owns the truck and works as an independent contractor. Because of these varying arrangements, the insurance policy may be the trucker’s own, or the trucking company might provide it, so it’s important to get all of that information on the scene to help you out in the aftermath of the accident.
If you are dealing with the trucker’s own insurance, the process will be much the same as for a standard auto accident. If the trucking company owns the insurance policy, on the other hand, filing your insurance claim can be a bit more complex. You may run into complications if the trucking company tries to blame the driver for the accident, while the driver is blaming the company for an issue with the truck that may have led to the accident. In complicated cases like this, it can be helpful to have a personal injury attorney working on your behalf to help you get compensated for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.
The Aftermath of A Truck Accident
Assuming you’re not seriously or fatally injured, it’s best to get in contact with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Trucking accidents tend to be accidents with much more severe damage and more impact on you, your car, your day-to-day life, and may even cause post-traumatic stress when you’re driving. These cases can create the need for rehabilitation if the injury was severe.
Having a personal injury attorney from the start can help you ensure that none of those medical bills come directly out of your pocket. By having an experienced attorney on your side with knowledge and expertise in going face-to-face big auto insurance companies in the courtroom, you can be sure that you won’t be taken advantage of when you’re suffering from a personal injury. These insurance companies are notorious for settling as low as possible, and with truck accident law, you may need more compensation than a regular accident to get things back to normal after your accident.
Get Legal Help After an Injury in a Trucking Accident
If you are involved in a trucking accident, your first two steps should be to seek immediate medical attention for any injuries. Next, call a personal injury attorney who can assist with your case, and has had success with people in your same experience. Brevard County personal injury attorney, Andrew Pickett, and his team will gladly fight to get a settlement from the insurance company or go to trial, if necessary to cover your medical expenses and vehicle repairs, along with possible additional compensation, so you can get back to rebuilding your life and getting back to normal soon. Call me today to begin the process and review the details of your case. (321)-503-4014.