Semi-trucks or eighteen-wheelers are the large vehicles that move commercial, industrial, agricultural, and retail products around the country via our system of interstates. There is no question that our modern consumer culture requires these vehicles to maintain the standard of living that is a major risk for people out on the roads.
If you or a loved one have been injured or if someone you love has been killed by an accident involving a professional truck, you should look into hiring an attorney as soon as possible.
Trucks are regulated, but still dangerous
Given their size and the fact that they are often barreling down the road at seventy miles an hour or even faster, eighteen-wheelers and semi-trucks can become a serious threat in seconds. From their difficulty turning to their blind spots and longer stopping times, these large trucks can quickly become the most dangerous things on the road if there are inclement weather conditions or the driver is in any way compromised.
There are federal and state laws on the books regulating speed, mandating breaks and creating other safety standards for professional truckers. Unfortunately, as many are paid by the mile or by the load with on-time bonuses, truckers often have incentives to violate these rules and laws, particularly those that mandate breaks or time off.
From driving much too fast to intentionally misrepresenting their breaks and rest times to even texting or reading while driving these dangerous vehicles, there are many ways a truck driver can become compromised, leading to an accident.
How to respond to a truck accident
The first and most critical step if you’re involved in an accident is to remove yourself from any immediate danger and contact emergency first responders. Once you have ensured your safety and the safety of any other people in the vehicle, it’s important to document what happened, from your experience of the crash to the layout of the accident. Cellphones are incredibly useful for this task, as they allow you to take photographs and even record video of the aftermath of an accident.
If anyone is hurt, medical treatment should be sought as soon as possible to minimize the risk of severe injury or complications.
Why legal advocacy is crucial
An attorney should also be consulted as soon as possible. In cases involving professional truckers, payment for medical bills can often be delayed as insurance companies battle over who’s really responsible for covering the costs incurred. From emergency medical attention for head injuries and broken bones to therapy for traumatic stress or anxiety that develops as a result of the accident, there are likely to be quite a few medical bills that accrue.
An attorney can advocate more effectively for you with the insurance companies, from your medical and car insurance to the insurance provider for the trucker involved in your accident. If there are ongoing issues, an attorney can also provide guidance about the best way to cover your medical expenses, as well as any lost wages or, heaven forbid, funeral expenses. If you’ve been in an accident involving a professional truck driver, working with an experienced personal injury attorney can save you a lot of stress and frustration.