Why Do I Need a Lawyer for a Truck Accident?
According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Commission, one out of every eight fatalities on the road involves a collision between a personal vehicle and a commercial 18-wheeler. In 86 percent of the cases, the person killed is the driver or passengers of the other vehicle. Collisions with commercial trucks also cause a high percentage of serious injuries every year.
Factors Involved in Truck Accidents
There are many unique factors at play in a collision between a personal vehicle and a semi-truck that puts the driver of a car, motorcycle, or pick-up truck at a serious disadvantage.
Some of these include:
- The truck driver may be driving long distances on very little sleep;
- The likelihood of mechanical failure is higher due to the numerous parts required to keep the commercial truck running smoothly;
- The driver may be carrying so much cargo that it puts the 18-wheeler over its weight restriction;
- Speeding, use of alcohol or drugs, and failure to yield right of way to smaller vehicles on the part of the driver.
Determining Liability is Challenging
While negligence is definitely a factor in all of these situations, it is often difficult to determine who is actually at fault. For example, the sleep-deprived driver may have chosen to drive knowing the risk it entailed. Perhaps he or she hadn’t slept in more than a day, but decided to drive anyway so as not to get behind schedule. The driver’s immediate supervisor may have also ordered him or her to keep driving despite protests that it was not safe. The same situation often plays out when commercial loads are overweight.
The situation gets even more challenging when it comes to mechanical failure. The fault may lie with the manufacturer, the mechanic, or the trucking company itself for not requiring higher safety standards. It is also important to keep in mind that trucking companies expect personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. They prepare for the inevitable legal action by hiring a team of experienced and aggressive attorneys to defend them, even when they know they are wrong. It should come as no surprise that many people involved in an accident with a truck feel intimidated by the company’s lawyers.
MANY TIMES THE TRUCKING COMPANY’S LAWYER COMES TO THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT! Shouldn’t you have someone looking out for you?
Don’t Go it Alone
If you’re struggling with medical expenses, lost wages, or expenses related to the loss of a loved one, you do not need the stress of dealing with the insurance companies and trucking companies. Not only will a Harrell, Smith & Williams help gather evidence in your case, we will aggressively fight the other party for your right to full and fair compensation in light of your injuries or emotional trauma.