Were You Injured in a Semi Truck Accident?
Recent statistics show one out of nine U.S. traffic deaths resulted from a collision involving a large truck. Of the fatalities that came from crashes involving large trucks, 74 percent were occupants of another vehicle, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
When a passenger car gets in an accident with a big truck, the odds are against the people in the car. Because of the truck’s size, injuries are more severe.
If you or a loved one have suffered the tragic consequences of being in a truck accident, you need a lawyer you can trust to look out for your best interests and guide you through this difficult time. The Heuser & Heuser law firm has spent 30+ years helping accident victims in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, along the Arkansas Valley, Pikes Peak, and elsewhere on the Front Range. We know how to handle truck accident cases and we will make sure you have answers for all of your questions.
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What Causes Truck Accidents?
Professional drivers and the trucking companies who hire them must adhere to very strict safety regulations. Truckers are required to complete specialized training that should make them safer drivers. Many times an accident occurs because the driver or his employer broke the rules.
Many truckers drive too many hours without a break and create a deadly hazard on the highway. Government regulation for hours-of-service compliance is continually changing to be more effective because truckers find new ways of skirting the rules.
Even as they handle 30-ton behemoths, truck drivers will risk being distracted by talking or even texting on a cellphone. The practice is so prevalent that the U.S. Transportation Department issued a rule that specifically prohibits texting by interstate commercial trucks and bus drivers.
Another danger is careless or inexperienced truck drivers who fail to account for the additional distance required to stop a big truck. A semi hauling a loaded trailer requires 20 to 40 percent more distance than passenger vehicles to come to a complete stop.
Injuries from Truck Accidents
Every type of auto accident is dangerous, but trucking accidents are particularly harmful because of the size of the vehicles involved. There is a wide range of injuries that you can suffer when your vehicle is struck by a truck, and learning about a few of these injuries is the best way to make sure you’re prepared to respond when one of these wrecks occurs.
Some of the most serious injuries related to truck accidents are those suffered by the back and neck. While these injuries may only cause minor pain in some circumstances, they can also be long-lasting injuries that affect your ability to live your life for years to come.
Because trucks are such large and powerful vehicles, it’s also likely that you will suffer broken bones in your accident. Broken bones are extremely painful and can take months to heal, meaning these trucking accidents injuries are also a major concern.
When it comes to long-lasting effects from trucking accidents, head injuries are the most concerning. Even if your head was not struck during the accident, it’s still possible to suffer a brain injury. Brain injuries can result in symptoms such as cognitive and motor impairment, and even vision problems. In the most severe brain injuries, these symptoms may not ever improve.
If your car accident has resulted in one of these serious injuries, it is vital that you get help from a high-quality attorney. Your attorney can assist you in pinning down liability for your injuries and how they occurred and can determine a fair settlement amount.
Steps to Take After the Wreck
Because truck accidents are so traumatizing, it can be hard to know how you should act once your accident has happened. When your car has come to a complete stop, there are several things that you need to do to protect both yourself and your legal rights.
First, if your car is still functional, you need to pull your vehicle to the side of a road to prevent further accidents. Make sure that you stay at the scene of the accident, as this is a legal requirement in every state.
Second, you should move a safe distance from your vehicle in case there are any leaks that may potentially cause a deadly fire. Once you are in safe location, you should call for medical assistance and also need to let the police know about your wreck so that they can send an officer to the scene. The police officer will compile an accident report that can be an important piece of evidence in your trucking accident lawsuit.
Lastly, and most importantly, you need to make sure that you are recording the scene of the accident to help with your case. Take photographs of both your vehicle and the truck involved, and make sure to document the weather conditions. If there are witnesses, get their contact information in case you need to contact them later for a statement. Once you’ve documented the scene, you should call your insurance company to let them know that you’ve been in a wreck so that they can schedule a claims adjustment.
After a Truck Accident
Insurance Adjuster Tactics
Companies that insure big trucks want to avoid paying for the damage inflicted by their policyholders. They send insurance adjusters to the scene of a wreck to look for evidence to use in trying to deny an insurance claim. The adjuster will try just about anything to lower the claim or not pay it at all. Learn more about insurance adjuster tactics.
Hopefully, you and/or your loved ones have escaped serious injury or worse, but be sure to get appropriate medical treatment right away.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
Next, you need to consult a truck accident lawyer like those with Heuser & Heuser who can help you recover the money damages that will allow you to get your life back to normal.
Heuser & Heuser, L.L.P. is an experienced personal injury law firm in the state of Colorado with offices in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. The Heuser brothers have more than 30 years of legal experience in practice areas such as auto accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, and workers’ compensation. To schedule a consultation with one of our practicing attorneys, please give us a call at 719-520-9909 or complete our inquiry contact form.