Semi Truck Accident Lawyers Note Recent Accidents and Settlements

semi truck accident lawyerAccidents can occur in different weather conditions, at any time of the day. However, realizing that things do happen does not detract from the shock and aftermath when you or your family are faced with an accident. According to statistics, over 500,000 car crashes involve large commercial vehicles or semi trucks. Due to their sheer weight and size compared to passenger vehicles, trucks can cause devastating damages if they are not properly maintained or operated. Additionally, studies show that one out of every eight deaths occur after semi truck accidents.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, a semi truck accident lawyer can help to fight for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

Semi Truck Accidents Prevalent

On Friday, October 15, 2013 in Skokie, Illinois, a semi truck rolled over after colliding with the median on the Edens Expressway. According to police officials, all lanes on the road were closed due to the crash. The potato-hauling truck was heading in the northbound lanes of Interstate 94 at Dempster when he lost control of the vehicle, hit a median and flipped over into incoming traffic.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the wreckage was strewn across both southbound and northbound lanes, and witnesses reported fuel leaking from the truck. A HAZMAT crew, the Skokie fire department and two ambulances were also called to the scene. Officials report that the driver suffered only minor injuries in the accident. While fortunately, no one else was hurt in the accident, had the truck flipped over onto oncoming cars, there would have most likely been several fatalities.

Recent Settlements

With the help of a semi truck accident lawyer, plaintiffs are filing lawsuits to seek compensation for their injuries. In one case, an attorney representing clients injured in an accident with a semi truck in 2012 are still recovering while, despite previous DWI convictions, the driver of the truck is still on the road.

The lawsuit brought against the driver by the family’s semi truck accident lawyer also included another driver who was also hit by the semi truck. The settlement in the case brought in over $9.5 million for the plaintiffs. While not all semi truck lawsuits will result in similar settlements, depending on the case and circumstances, plaintiffs may be entitled to significant compensation.

In March 2012, a family was traveling when they were rear-ended while at a stop light. According to the family’s attorney, all occupants were injured. The truck driver had allegedly been drinking and was speeding at the time of the crash. Police reports indicate that his blood alcohol level was at .071 at the time of the incident and .065 three hours later.

The driver had several previous DWI convictions, and attorneys cannot figure out how the driver even came to be in possession of a commercial driver’s license to begin with. Some attorneys suggest that trucking companies may have difficulty in finding new drivers, so hiring managers may look past previous records. Still, according to semi truck lawyers, anytime a company places a heavy truck on the road, it needs to be aware of the behavior exhibited by the driver and determine whether such conduct is acceptable to operate such a heavy, potentially dangerous piece of machinery.

Need a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer?

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, your best option is to seek legal counsel from an experienced semi truck accident lawyer. At the American Injury Attorney Group, we can answer any questions you have to the best of our ability. We understand how confusing these situations can be, particularly if more than one party may be held accountable for your condition. If you feel as though you have a valid claim, we will connect you with a semi truck accident lawyer who can help you to recover damages to compensate for vehicular damage, pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of income and mental anguish.

 

Fatal Accidents and the Role of Semi Trucks

Fatal Accidents and the Role of Semi Trucks

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The most dangerous states to drive in are Mississippi, Montana and Alabama, according to all available statistics. Unfortunately, semi-truck accidents are part of those statistics and contribute to a number of fatal accidents.

For example, a recent case in Mississippi found that a truck driver will not face any charges after two people were killed in a fatal accident when his truck rolled into both a business and a car. In another example, a Montana crash between a pickup truck and a semi-truck in 2010 left one person dead and a June accident forced an major interstate in Alabama to close for 12 hours. That truck was carrying alcoholic beverages and caught fire. It was one of the worst semi truck accidents seen in the area, reports said. These were only three crashes of the numerous fatal accidents making the news nationwide. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that almost 3,000 fatal accidents involving large and semi truck accidents occurred in 2009.

The highest amount of medical and work loss resulting from traffic accidents was in California with $4.16 billion dollars lost in vehicle crashes, including semi truck accidents and fatal accidents. A recent California fatal accident occurred in September when a big rig didn’t stop at a stop sign and struck a car, killing a passenger, according to news reports.

Texas had the second highest amount of medical and work loss due to traffic accidents. News media reported a fatal semi truck accident in Grand Prairie in August. In that accident, a semi truck flew off a ramp at a cloverleaf, across a median and into another interstate.

Studies in recent years have attributed some of the problems with semi truck accidents to a lack of sleep or risky driving or speeding in an attempt to meet delivery deadlines. Both of these issues can cause fatal accidents. Statistics also show that rural roads pose the most danger, in general, to drivers, but that is particular true in relation to collisions with semi trucks. Often rural roads are two-lane, without a lot of lighting, and that makes for unsafe situations.

It is logical that semi truck accidents are going to cause more death and injury. They weigh more and a smaller passenger car is no match. They often are carrying combustible items like fuel, even hazardous material.

This is why attorneys are important in such cases. Those who have been injured, or who suffered the loss of a loved one, in semi truck accidents have legal options and can be assisted by representation from experienced attorneys. The American Injury Attorney Group can help answer questions, guide you through the legal process and help you find attorneys that can handle your case.

There is not only the current medical or funeral expenses to consider, but also future losses due to disability or death, and pain and suffering involved in such a horrific tragedy. This is what attorneys assist with- making sure you are fully compensated for all of your losses. Attorneys are there to help you get the compensation you deserve from unsafe semi truck drivers. So contact the American Injury Attorney Group today for your free consultation and help getting the answers you could be looking for.

 

Can Semi Driver Fatigue Lead to Fatal Accidents?

Semi Driver Fatigue

Nearly 20 percent of all semi truck accidents are directly caused by semi driver fatigue according to a recent study from the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This statistic doesn’t take into account the effect exhaustion can have on slowing reaction times, increasing the tendency to take unnecessary risks, and other factors that contribute to a driver’s inability to navigate the dangers of the roads safely.

Like many other members of the general public, you may believe there are more semi truck accidents than automobile accidents, and that the truck operator is always to blame because of the sheer size of the vehicle. Large trucks are actually involved in fewer accidents per 100 million miles than other types of vehicles. Semi truck accidents have a higher fatality rate than other motor vehicle accidents, however, and semi driver fatigue plays a significant role in this.

Semi Driver Fatigue and Rollovers

Rollover accidents are one of the most dangerous of all semi truck accidents. They’re related to a truck’s stability when it’s taking a turn, which is determined by the vehicle’s center of gravity and the distance between its left and right wheels. When a driver is fatigued, he or she may not use reasonable caution entering into the turn and end up taking the curve too fast. Fatigue is one of the primary reasons why otherwise good drivers fail to use proper judgement on the road. Rollover crashes only account for three percent of all motor vehicle accidents, yet they represent almost one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.

Federal Hours of Services Rules

Federal law mandates that truck operators driving interstate routes, whose vehicles weigh more than 10,001 pounds or more, can only drive continuously for 11 hours in a single workday, and that a workday can’t be more than 14 hours long. Truck drivers are then compelled to take a mandatory 10 hour rest period before climbing back into their cabs.

In a seven day period, truck operators can only be on the road for 60-77 hours at most; in an eight day period, they can only drive between 70 and 88 hours. Though this kind of work schedule may seem horrendous to non-drivers, it’s a vast improvement over the type of schedule drivers kept before these rules went into effect when they frequently put in stretches of 24 to 36 hours behind the wheel, fueled by caffeine and stimulants.

Many truck drivers, however, try to get around these rules. Their livelihood, after all, depends upon the speed with which they can transport goods from pickup point to destination. Sometimes the companies these drivers work for do not question the drivers or push for hard enforcement of the rules because the productivity shows in their bottom line.

If you’re the victim in a truck accident, chances are your attorney will petition to get hold of the logs that drivers are required to keep by federal law. These logs will show whether the rules pertaining to hours of services were adhered to. Your attorney may also look at trip tickets and bills of laden to calculate the amount of time the driver was actually on the road. Hours of service rules are a federal requirement that must be followed no matter what state semi truck accidents take place in. If you are involved in a truck accident and believe that it was caused by semi driver fatigue due to a violation of federal hours of services rules, that case will be tried in a federal court.

Your Options After An Accident

If you or a loved one have been a victim of a semi truck accident, it is likely you do not know that you can seek possible compensation from the trucking company for your injuries. Trucking companies often have multiple attorneys fighting in their best interest, so you should not have to go against them alone. Contact the American Injury Attorney Group today if you have been injured. We can answer your legal questions, and our affiliated attorneys can help you decide if you want to seek compensation for your losses.

Find Truck Accident Lawyers in Your Area

While normal car crashes can often be fatal and cause serious injuries, accidents involving commercial trucks typically cause greater damage due to the sheer size and weight comparison between the truck and the car. Every year, thousands of motorists, drivers and pedestrians are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving commercial trucks and turn to truck accident lawyers for help in receiving payment for their damages.

While these trucks make up only three percent of the total number of registered vehicles in the United States, they are responsible for over 25 percent of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents. If you have been injured in a car accident involving a commercial truck, you may consider seeking legal counsel from experienced truck accident lawyers who can help to determine if you are eligible to file for compensation.Causes for Truck AccidentsWhile truck accidents can occur as a result of many different factors, driver error, truck equipment failure, weather conditions, and improper loading are the most common causes for these accidents.According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver error is ten times more likely to cause a crash than any of the other factors. Inattention, distractions, fatigue and substance abuse are the most common causes of drivers making errors. Truck accident lawyers can help you to narrow down the exact cause of driver error and will ask any witnesses what happened at the time of the incident.

The equipment in the truck may fail, such as a failure to provide reverse-detection warning sounds, defective tires, or poor brakes. It is for this reason that the FMCSA requires that every company and driver perform an inspection prior to making the trip and service their vehicles routinely throughout the year.

Due to the heavy weight of the trucks, drivers may not be able to brake a safe distance away in poor weather conditions. These large trucks simply cannot steer as easily or stop as quickly as smaller cars, and drivers don’t always account for these limitations when traveling in adverse weather conditions.

If a truck is not properly loaded and the weight is unevenly distributed, it can cause the truck to shift when it is in motion. The truck has a higher chance of toppling over when it should otherwise remain upright. Additionally, if the load is not properly secured, it may fall of the truck and onto the highway, causing a hazard to other cars on the road. In these situations, truck accident lawyers can help to determine if the trucking company or the owner of the freight should be held responsible.

How to Avoid Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can be avoided if drivers follow these simple tips:

  • Avoid driving in the truck’s blind spots
  • Don’t be intimidated if a truck driver is tailgating
  •  Don’t follow too close to a truck
  • Use caution on entrance ramps
  • Service your vehicle regularly
  • Use extra caution in poor weather and at night
  • Report dangerous truck driver behavior

Liable Parties

There are many parties that could be held accountable for the accident; while many people believe that it is usually the driver’s fault, such is not always the case, and truck accident lawyers can help you to determine who is responsible for your accident.

The trucking company or the owner of the truck could be held accountable, particularly if the vehicle was not serviced properly and a mechanical failure caused the accident. The owner of the freight may also be liable, but proving this could be difficult without the help of truck accident lawyers. You may find that it was purely the driver’s fault, and he may have acted out of negligence. Depending on the driver’s contract with his employer, the employer may also take responsibility for the incident. Truck accident lawyers will review the contract set forth between the driver and his employer to determine who should be held accountable.

If a third-party maintenance company was responsible for inspecting the cab, trailer or truck and guaranteed that the vehicle was safe to drive, the party may be held liable for death or injuries sustained if your truck accident lawyers can prove that inadequate maintenance contributed to the accident.

Major Trucking Companies

While there are many smaller trucking companies in existence, the corporations that send out large fleets across the country may have a higher chance of causing accidents as there are more trucks on the road. The most well-known national trucking companies include:

  • Swift Transportation
  • Schneider National
  • Penske
  • North American Van Lines
  • Mayflower Transit
  • Landstar Express
  • JB Hunt Transportation
  • Freightliner
  • FexEx
  • Estes Express
  • C.R. England
  • Convent Transportation
  • Conway Truckload, Inc.
  • Atlas Van Lines
  • Allied Van Lines

Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today

If you were injured in a car crash due to a negligent truck driver, contact experienced truck accident lawyers today. Here at the American Injury Attorney Group, we will work to review your case to determine if you are eligible to file a claim. Additionally, there may be more than one party at fault for the accident including the driver, the trucking company or the manufacturer of the freight inside the truck. We understand the difference between these parties, and we know how to hold each party liable for their negligence. You may be entitled to seek compensation for mechanical bills, lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

 

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