Driving anywhere can be a risk, because even if we’re paying attention and driving defensively, other drivers around us may not be driving as safely as we do. This makes it all the more dangerous when we drive near large trucks like 18-wheelers because large trucks can’t stop or maneuver like smaller cars can, and they have much larger blind spots.
Accidents involving large trucks cause much greater damage and are often far more deadly as they can easily create a multi-vehicle accident. It’s important to know what courses of action are available if you’ve been involved in a large truck accident, and that information is easier to access and understand when you talk to experienced lawyers like our team at Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC.
Large Truck Crashes Are Dangerous
A lot of car accidents are caused by distracted drivers, who may also be speeding, fatigued, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When large trucks are involved, the following types of accidents can be quite disastrous:
- T-bone accidents (also called side-impact or broadside crashes)
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Jackknife accidents
- Truck rollovers
- Sideswipe accidents
- Wide-turn accidents
Truck drivers are known for driving long hours trying to meet their quotas, which increases the chance that they won’t react as quickly. It is imperative to drive more safely around large trucks than around other smaller vehicles, not only for your own safety but for the safety of those around you as well.
Large trucks and 18-wheelers are all over our major roads, and if you drive a lot, especially on the highways and interstates, you’ll encounter dozens of them every day. Being patient, never tailgating or pulling too close in front, and staying visible are some ways to drive safely when you’re on the road near large trucks.
Small Car Drivers Are at Greater Risk
When a semi-truck accident occurs, the percentage of other drivers injured is far greater than that of large truck drivers. Large truck data from the National Safety Council (NSC) states that, in 2021, 5,700 large trucks played a role in fatal accidents, and 117,300 large trucks were involved in crashes that caused injuries. Other drivers made up 71% of those injured in large truck accidents in the United States, compared to truck drivers at 27.1%.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows there were 938 fatal crashes in 2017 in Mississippi alone, with 10.4% of those involving large trucks. Additionally, of these crashes, 18% of the people killed were truck drivers and truck occupants, while 72% were occupants of other vehicles. Injuries from truck accidents are often severe and life-altering:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Loss of life
These are just a few of the ways people’s lives can be damaged from accidents with large trucks, and this doesn’t consider things like property damage or lost wages.
Settlements From Large Truck Accidents
A personal injury claim against a trucking company can be made for many reasons, and most of the time, it’s possible to get a settlement for anything from your medical bills to emotional trauma or PTSD from the incident itself. There are a number of variables that factor into settlements, or compensation, from large truck accidents:
- Circumstances of the accident
- Percentage of fault
- Severity of injuries
- Value of property damage
- Other possible damages
- The truck driver’s insurance policy
If the truck driver has the biggest percentage of fault in your accident, then you might receive more compensation. And if the truck driver works for a company, that company can pay out compensation as well. Keeping lots of documentation and hiring a good truck accident attorney is the best way for you to get the most compensation possible.
One thing to remember is that Mississippi law states that the statute of limitations on filing a truck collision case is three years. If your loved one was killed in an accident with a large truck due to negligence, you can file a wrongful death suit against the truck driver, their company, and anyone else who could be held accountable for the accident.
What Can I Do To Help My Case?
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, especially a catastrophic one involving a large truck, it can be hard to maintain your composure or remember all the facts of what happened, especially if you’ve been hospitalized. It’s important to hire an experienced truck accident attorney, keep records of all communications, and stick to the facts of the accident.
There is a lot involved when it comes to personal injury litigation, and it can be confusing if you’ve never had to do it. Hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer in Jackson like those on our expert team at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC can help you through the litigation process to get the compensation you deserve.