Our nation’s economy relies on the swift movement of goods throughout the country, and much of this is by truck, with 72 percent of our freight hauled by large semis. But according to data from the American Trucking Association, we are now experiencing a significant shortage of truck drivers, causing large trucking companies to scramble to find new hires to get goods out and delivered on time.
Large commercial trucks require drivers with specialized skills and commercial driving training and experience. But because of the intense pressure to get cargo where it is going within tight schedules, driver shortages add to delays and slowdowns, meaning money for those who contract for shipments. When drivers are not trained and prepared, or when they are overworked and fatigued, this can result in disastrous semi-truck accidents involving many innocent people.
If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, you may feel physically, emotionally, and financially overwhelmed and have many questions. Our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to answer them for you.
How Does A Semi-Truck Accident Differ From A Car Accident?
A loaded commercial truck can weigh in at 80,000 pounds. When you add this to a vehicle traveling at high highway speeds, it can easily cause grave damage to anything it hits.
Because of their sheer size, those who typically suffer the most injuries and fatalities are not the truck drivers but the drivers and passengers of the other smaller and lighter vehicles.
What Steps Should You Take Immediately After a Truck Accident?
You may think it is just known what should be done when involved in an accident. Though this may be true to some extent, you can be confused and unsure of what to do when you are in an accident.
Here is a list of six steps you should take immediately after a truck accident:
Call 911 — After a semi-truck accident, your first priority is the safety and physical condition of anyone involved. If you or someone else has been injured, let the 911 operator know and emergency services will be dispatched to the scene. In addition, a police officer will investigate the accident and give his opinion of liability (ie. who is at fault). Make sure to get the police report report/item number prior to leaving the scene.
Document any evidence at the scene — Take photos and make notes about the scene of the accident, including any particular weather, road conditions, or anything that may have contributed to the accident.
Gather information from the other involved parties — If you are able, you should get as much contact information as possible from the other drivers involved in the accident. This would include a copy of their driver’s license, phone number, license plate, registration and insurance card, etc.
Gather contact information from witnesses — In an accident where liability is disputed, witnesses can play a critical role in your claim. If there were bystanders who witnessed the accident, get contact information from these individuals as they can be difficult to locate afterward.
Do not give any statements that may work against you (such as admitting fault or liability). It is better to say nothing than to say something that may be harmful to a potential case.
Contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you hire an experienced attorney, the sooner we can start working on your case and the better your chances are for the best results.
Being prepared with a list of what to do ahead of time can help when abruptly faced with the consequences of a truck accident.
If you need a Motorcycle or Truck Accident Attorney, call us for a free initial consultation:
What Compensation Can You Get From A Semi-Truck Accident?
Accidents involving large commercial trucks can result in serious injuries and tragic fatalities. If you or a family member have been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and other damages, including:
- Any medical costs, including emergency services, hospitalizations, surgeries, doctors’ visits, prescription medications, medical equipment, physical therapy, or other costs associated with your injuries
- Lost wages when you are temporarily unable to work due to your injuries or recovery
- Property damages, including any damage to your car
- Future potential medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity if the accident makes it impossible for you to return to your former employment
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If the accident has resulted in a fatality, family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim for compensation.
How Are Truck Accidents More Complex Than Passenger Vehicle Accidents?
Accidents involving a large commercial vehicle are usually far more complicated than accidents involving only passenger vehicles.
Typically, semis are owned by companies or owner-operators and fall under the strict guidelines of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While this federal agency has enacted tight regulations on the industry, many carriers and drivers often find ways around them in order to meet deadlines.
Consequently, truck accidents must be thoroughly investigated, consider multiple possible points of liability, and often require extensive negotiations with large commercial vehicle insurance companies.
Getting the Assistance Of An Experienced Louisiana Truck Accident Attorney
Because of the complex nature of semi-truck accidents, it is never advisable to face them alone. At the Law Offices of Chip Forstall, we have dedicated our careers to accident victims and their families.