An accident involving a semi-truck or 18-wheeler can be one of the scariest accidents there is. The size alone can instill fear in all of us. Once the dust has settled, it’s time to sort out the damages and start the healing and repair. That’s where we can help. Hospital, vehicle and injury costs can add up quickly. You deserve a team that can help get you the compensation you not only need immediately, but for any long-term requirements.
What Makes Semi-Trucks Dangerous
Many factors contribute to the hazardous nature of big trucks.
Tractor-trailer trucks are the largest vehicles on the road. In Texas, a truck and trailer combination may be up to 59 feet long, with some exceptions for combinations up to 82 feet in length. The average mid-size sedan is 14.7 feet. Due to the size difference, collisions between a passenger vehicle and semi-truck can have catastrophic consequences.
Even when empty, a commercial truck weighs several tons. When loaded, it could weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is about 400 tons. The average mid-size sedan weighs two tons, making them approximately 200 times heavier than most vehicles on the road.
Passenger vehicles have a rear window, enabling them to see the traffic behind the car. Semi-trucks do not have that feature, and drivers rely on mirrors to see the vehicles behind them. As a result, 18-wheelers have significant blindspots. This means they may be unable to see the traffic directly behind them, or in the passing lane.
The heavier the vehicle and the faster its speed, the more time and space it needs to stop. If an 18-wheeler is traveling at 55 mph on drive pavement with good brakes, it could take more than 200 feet to stop. This distance increases when hauling a heavy load and in poor travel conditions.
A semi-truck accident lawyer can thoroughly investigate your crash and utilize forensic investigations and other professionals' expertise. They work to establish who is responsible for the collision and negotiate a settlement or go to trial when necessary.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Thousands of truck accidents occur every year. Some of the most common contributing factors include:
- Overloaded trucks
- Improper maintenance
- Inadequate driver training
- Hazardous weather conditions
Trucking companies typically have their own team of attorneys that refute negligence claims aggressively and deny responsibility. An experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer understands how to fight back and ensure your rights are protected.
What To Do After an 18 Wheeler Accident
After an 18 wheeler accident, it’s important that you stay calm and follow this procedure. Once you’ve checked everyone for injuries, call 911. In some states, you are legally required to call the police even if it’s a minor fender-bender. The police officers will document the scene and fill out an accident report. This report will help you with your claims process so make sure you obtain a case ID from the police officer evaluating the scene.
In order to gather full information about the accident, it’s important that you yourself also document the damage done to any cars or vehicles with pictures. Also take pictures of the accident scene as best you can. Exchange information with the other driver, such as full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and the type of vehicle(s) involved in the accident.
If the authorities do not arrive at the scene, it is even more imperative that you obtain as much information at the scene as you can in order to avoid any issues with filing your claim.
Big truck accidents are complex. There are often multiple vehicles involved and devastating injuries. A semi-vehicle accident injury attorney at Campos Law Group can help you handle the aftermath of your crash.
Our Staff Is Here For You, 24/7
We’re here to help you get the financial compensation you deserve after an accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in an 18 wheeler accident, call us at (512) 650-1000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free case evaluation.