Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer

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There is no doubt that tractor-trailers are among the most dangerous vehicles on the road today. Their size, velocity, and weight make stopping and maneuvering very difficult. Add in exhausted drivers working unreasonable schedules and you can see why accidents happen so often.

When a tractor-trailer slams into passenger vehicles, it is going to win every single time. That’s why these types of collisions often involve massive damage, severe injuries, and death. If you have been hurt by an 18-wheeler or another large commercial vehicle, you need to call Mike Morse Law Firm today. We have extensive experience holding trucking companies responsible for their negligence.

If you need help seeking compensation for your injuries, we are here when you need us 24/7. Let our team go to work for you. You can reach us at (855) MIKE-WINS. There is no fee unless you win your case, so don’t hesitate to call today!

Tractor-Trailer Statistics

According to data from the FMCSA, there were 499,000 accidents that involved trucks in 2018. 4,951 fatalities resulted, which made up 13.5 percent of all traffic deaths in the nation that year. 121,000 injury crashes involving trucks and buses were also recorded. 

About 67 percent of those injuries and deaths were sadly suffered by those in the smaller passenger vehicles. The reason why most injuries happen to the drivers of passenger vehicles is the sheer size of commercial vehicles. 

The average fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This makes commercial driving one of the riskier jobs out there today. In fact, Time magazine once listed truck driving as the seventh-most dangerous job in the country.

Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents

There are strict laws that govern how many hours a person can be behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. The problem is that a large percentage of truck drivers are paid by the mile. This means they do not get paid for time spent sitting and waiting to be loaded or unloaded.

For this reason, it is not uncommon for drivers to bend the rules a bit in their favor by driving longer than they are legally allowed. Doing so can lead to fatigue which slows reaction times, thereby increasing the risk of a collision. 

There are several other ways drivers can cause an accident with their negligence, including:

  • Failing to perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections
  • Speeding
  • Eating while driving
  • Failing to properly secure cargo in the back
  • Waiting to make necessary maintenance fixes
  • Vehicle defects
  • Poor weather conditions

It’s not always the big trucks that cause accidents. Some 72 percent of truck accidents are estimated to be the fault of the other driver. This may be because the general public doesn’t know how to handle themselves around commercial vehicles. 

While the subject may not have been sufficiently emphasized in driving school, learning the risks posed by large vehicles can help you know how to interact with them safely. 

Understanding the Risks

While truck drivers can be the cause of plenty of accidents due to their negligence, there are other factors to be aware of. If you find yourself around a semi, you should give the driver plenty of patience and space to operate. 

Driving aggressively around these massive vehicles puts your life at risk. It is therefore important to understand the risks large commercial vehicles pose on the road.

Tire blowouts

Believe it or not, 30 percent of truck accidents are caused by tire blowouts. If you have ever driven down the highway, you may have seen the rubber carcasses of blown tires all over the place. 

Consider the amount of weight big truck tires carry around and the number of miles they travel each day, causing daily wear and tear. Once a tire has reached its max, it explodes with great pressure, throwing rubber chunks into the air.

Heavy wind

Yes, trucks are massive and heavy, but their size makes them susceptible to being blown around by the wind. In fact, it does not take much wind to blow a semi-truck over. Empty trailers are even more at risk. 

Many drivers report that it is difficult to keep their trucks under control even in 25 mph wind. This is why you should give tractor-trailers even more space on a windy day.

Blindspots

There are blind spots all around an 18-wheeler – some in places you would not suspect. Yes, even with large mirrors, you may be hard to see. This may be true when you are next to the semi and seem to be in plain sight. It is not uncommon for a semi-driver to begin a lane change and believe the coast is clear, especially on the right passenger side.

Wide turns

Most large trucks have a sign on the back of their trailers warning that they make wide turns. This does not stop many motorists from trying to pass by, only to find themselves smashing into the side of the truck as it attempts to make a turn. 

Right turns may be the worst for this problem. Depending on how much space the driver has to make the turn, he or she may even have to swing out wide left before turning right.

Poor stopping distance

Large, heavy vehicles take a long time to stop. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 60 mph needs at least 350 feet just to come to a complete stop. That is about the length of a football field. The danger is not just the stopping distance, but also what could happen when a driver slams on the brakes. Many times, the trailer can begin to jackknife and take on a life of its own.

Is Compensation Possible for a Tractor-Trailer Accident?

Tractor-trailer accidents can have devastating consequences. If you are a victim of such an accident, it is likely you are facing a long and painful road toward recovery.

The difficulties you are facing may include:

  • Lost wages
  • Long-term disability
  • Mounting medical bills
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Therapy and rehabilitation
  • Property damage

When you decide to seek compensation for your losses, there are two types to consider: economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages include anything financial that resulted from your injuries. They include lost time at work, medical bills, and other determinable costs. It is easy to determine economic loss. 

On the other hand, non-economic damages are much harder to figure out. These include pain, suffering, anguish, and more.

This is where hiring a personal injury attorney can help smooth out and expedite the process. Insurance companies often try to prey on your desperation by offering low settlements, rarely enough to cover your medical bills and lost wages. 

Meanwhile, trucking companies do not make the process easy for you. They will have a team of lawyers ready to go on defense. They play hardball by disputing claims made by accident victims.

Mike Morse Law Firm has surpassed the challenges and helped clients win millions of dollars from negligent trucking companies. Our team of powerhouse attorneys has experience fighting for justice. We have helped our clients win over $1 billion in damages over the past 26 years. 

If you need help during this difficult time, do not hesitate to give Mike Morse Law Firm a call at (855) MIKE-WINS. You do not have to pay a dime unless you win, so please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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