Trucks are the largest vehicles on the road, and when traveling alongside them at high speeds, it can feel quite daunting. Driving is what truckers do for a living, and there are many rules and regulations to keep all of us safe.
Unfortunately, truck accidents can still happen. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, call on an experienced legal team like Hoffman Law Firm to handle your case.
Read on to learn more about the dangers of truck accidents.
Why Truck Accidents Are Dangerous
There are a few different factors that can cause truck accidents to be more dangerous than passenger car accidents. It’s important to be aware of what makes these accidents different to help you stay safe on the road.
On average, trucks are 70 to 80 feet long and weigh in at around 40 tons, compared to a 10 to 14-foot long, 5,000-pound passenger car. The size difference alone can lead to injuries and severe damage in what typically would be a minor accident.
Due to their size and weight, trucks take longer to stop. There are very specific rules regarding how far trucks are required to be from vehicles in front of them. Because reaction time can be difference between life or death, truck drivers should always avoid being distracted by their cell phone.
Trucking companies often require their drivers to stick to a strict schedule which can lead to rushing to meet deadlines or drowsy driving. On top of drowsy driving, a truck may feel compelled to partake in risky driving behaviors as their jobs depend on making these delivery deadlines.
In some cases, a truck may be carrying hazardous cargo. This could be any flammable material, heavy cargo, or an oversized load. In the event of an accident, unsecured cargo, or flammable material can increase the severity of an accident.
What to Do If You Are in A Truck Accident
Any type of traffic accident can be serious, but unfortunately due to the size, schedules, and loads of trucks, truck accidents run the risk of being severe. Here are a few ways to help protect yourself and your family if you’ve been in a trucking accident.
Stop Your Vehicle and Assess for Injuries
As soon as the accident occurs, stop your vehicle, and remain on the scene. Assess yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If you are able, pull your vehicle to the side of the road to remove yourself as a safety hazard in the roadway.
Once you’ve assessed yourself and passengers for any injuries, call 911 to report the accident. This will prompt the police and emergency first responders to head to the scene, tend to any injuries, and create a report of the accident.
Seek Medical Help
Even if you don’t believe you were hurt in the accident, seek medical attention from the first responders on the scene. Some injuries may not show up immediately following the accident and can become more serious overtime. It’s important to get checked out as soon as possible and have documentation of your medical attention.
Document the Scene
Document the scene for your own records. Take as many photos as possible of any property damage of both your vehicle and the truck, any injuries you endured, the road conditions, and the surrounding area. Also, write down everything you remember about the accident as soon as you can while it’s still fresh in your mind.
Gather Contact Information
Get contact information from the drivers and/or truckers involved and any witnesses at the scene. Having the contact information for witnesses can be helpful for you and your legal team, so you have someone else to back up your story.
Hire an Attorney
Before talking to your insurance company or insurance adjusters, talk with an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the claim. Your attorney will give you advice on how to handle the insurance company and what documents or paperwork to sign or not sign.
Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries
A serious trucking accident can lead to heaping medical bills, pain, and suffering from both physical and emotional damages. In most trucking accident cases, you may be entitled to economic damages or non-economic damages, depending on the details of your case. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, transportation to medical appointments, funeral expenses, and other healthcare expenses, like the cost of medication or physical therapy. These damages are all aspects of your case that can be quantified and backed up with documentation.
Non-economic damages are emotional and psychological damages like pain and suffering that are not easily measurable. Non-economic damages also include loss of consortium, permanent scarring or disfigurement, or mental issues such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression.
Contact Hoffman Law Firm Today!
Any type of car accident can be scary, especially when you’ve collided with a semi-truck on the road. That is why our team at Hoffman Law Firm is here for you. Let our experienced attorneys handle your trucking accident case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Located in Charleston, SC, we support accident victims throughout the Palmetto State.
Our personal injury lawyers here at Hoffman Law Firm have extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases. We have established a reputation for success, as well as great service! To meet with a member of our team, schedule your free consultation today.
Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation right here in the Lowcountry, including these practice areas: