You Can Sue If You’ve Been Hit By a Semi Truck in Colorado Springs or Las Vegas. Know the Steps You Need to Take.
Car accidents involving semi-trucks are some of the most terrifying and uncontrollable scenarios on the road. Huge 80,000 lb vehicles are easily swayed by overcorrecting and oversteering. This can put both the truck driver and every other driver around them at risk.
Combined with the fact that most cars are not built to withstand the impact of semi-trucks, you can be seriously harmed if a trucker is negligent. Over 70% of all fatalities and injuries caused by semi accidents were in the vehicles hit by semis.
Why are semi-truck accidents so dangerous?
Due to the size and weight of a semi-truck, it takes about the length of two football fields for a trucker to bring their vehicle to a complete stop in perfect conditions. If you include other variables, such as poor weather conditions or driving above the speed limit, it will take even longer to completely stop.
Semi-trucks are held to a higher standard on the road in terms of their drivers and their specific maintenance regulations as well. If the trucking company does not properly maintain the truck’s wheels, brake pads, or engine, then this will further increase the risk to you on the road.
As you know, making small maneuvers in a car can have significant effects that are hard to course-correct. If you apply this to a vehicle that weighs more than 15x that of a standard sedan, you can understand how easy it can be to have a serious accident.
Some trucking companies also “encourage” their drivers to continue driving longer than they are legally allowed. This is due to pressures to decrease delivery times. Extra strain and tiredness reduce reaction times and puts the drivers at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. This culture of truck driving is a large factor in many semi-truck accidents each year.
Who is responsible for an accident with a semi-truck?
Both the truck driver and the trucking company have a legal responsibility to be safe while operating their truck on the road. Trucking companies need to ensure that their vehicles keep up with regulations. They also need to hold their drivers to a higher standard to drive safely and be conscious of the road.
So, you can bring suit against either, or both, the truck driver or the trucking company.
The truck driver may be liable for the car accident if they are not following their legal requirements. For example, truck drivers must hold special licenses, called a commercial driver’s license (or CDL), and take regular breaks from the road.
The trucking company is legally responsible to train their drivers sufficiently, make sure they have their CDL, and safely operate their vehicle. They also need to do their due diligence before hiring truckers. If their driver has a history of drunk driving or road rage, for instance, this person probably isn’t fit to be driving professionally.
It is important to speak with a personal injury attorney about an accident with a semi-truck as early as possible. Your attorney can start to put together a picture of who is at fault and who you can bring a lawsuit against, including inspecting the semi-truck that caused the accident and the black box. The longer you remain unrepresented, the harder it will be to access the evidence required to file a successful claim.
How can I claim compensation after a semi-truck accident?
Trucking companies typically carry a lot more insurance coverage than your everyday driver. Therefore, you have the potential to make a much larger claim if you have been in a semi-truck accident. But partnered with this is the much more complicated claims process. Leaving it to your insurance company (or making a claim yourself) is risky. The best way to successfully claim compensation after a semi-truck accident is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Due to the potential size of your claim, it is essential to speak with a personal injury attorney before doing anything. Your attorney will be able to give you guidance for your claim and the best way to move forward. If you do not have an attorney yet, you should call (888) 590-5510, or head to kimwelchlaw.com, and get in touch with Kim Welch and her team. We offer a free no-obligation consultation to help you make the best and most informed decision regarding your claim. We are available and ready for your call today.
How can an experienced personal injury attorney help with your claim?
When investigating semi-truck claims, there are areas that your attorney will look into on your behalf. To successfully file and win your claim, your attorney may look into physical evidence, including:
- The truck black box
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Driver’s logbook
- Vehicle maintenance book
- Employee records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- Police records for things like drunk driving. The normal blood alcohol level limit for driving in the USA is 0.08%; however, commercial drivers have a reduced limit of 0.04%.
Not only that, but there may be a need to investigate the trucking company themselves. With more and more online businesses offering next day or two-day delivery services, trucking companies often push their drivers to get their deliveries done faster. This could be by encouraging them to drive more quickly or continue driving when legally required to take breaks from the road. It is essential to look into company culture like this to establish fault.
Making a claim after an accident with a truck is not an easy task and should be exclusively reserved for personal injury attorneys. With that in mind, here are three immediate actions you should take if you have been in an accident with a semi-truck:
1) Check if you’re okay and call 911.
As soon as you can, check that everyone in your car is okay and then call 911 from a safe location. This may require you to move your vehicle. An investigation will be needed to determine why the accident has occurred, and it is essential to inform the police for this to happen. The police will also file a report–you need this for your claim.
2) While on the scene, create records.
As previously mentioned, it will take the length of two football fields for a truck to come to a complete stop in perfect conditions. You need to keep records of the driving conditions and your surroundings to help with your claim. For example, what was the weather like? Was the road wet? How many other cars were around? Things of that nature.
If possible, think about how the truck driver was behaving beforehand. Were they swerving all over the road? Did they seem distracted?
What about visibility? Did the accident happen at night time, or was there thick fog?
All of these factors are involved in a claim and keeping a record will be helpful.
Take photographs of all involved vehicles and the scene itself, including any property damage, if you can do so safely.
Even if you give this information to your personal injury attorney and they do not use it – that is better than needing this information but not having it. Be as thorough as possible. When in doubt, write it down or snap a picture.
Truck drivers, as with all drivers, need to adjust for all conditions when driving. If the roads are wet, they need to allow themselves a greater distance for braking. If it is late and they have been driving all day, they need to stop and rest. Failing to do so can be fatal or at least cause a very serious accident, which is why we need this information.
3) Speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Neglecting this too long can hinder your claim. Figuring out what happened and getting access to all of the evidence needed for your claim is a race against time.
If you have been in a car accident with a semi-truck, please call Kim Welch Law today. Kim Welch has experience in litigating both for and against insurance companies and can use her unique background to help you be compensated without the hassle of dealing with insurance companies yourself.
We pride ourselves on our client-first attitude, and we are available for your call at a time that is most convenient for you. You are our priority. This is why we offer a free initial consultation to better understand your claim and how to move forward with it. You can get in touch today by calling (888) 590-5510 or through our contact page.
We look forward to your call.