- Truck drivers often face liability for 18-wheeler accidents.
- Passenger vehicle occupants are hurt or killed much more often than truck drivers when an accident occurs.
- You can’t obtain fair compensation for your accident-related losses without an attorney.
- You can take action against a deep-pocketed trucking company.
- The Eberst Law Firm has a long track record of winning truck accident cases.
The devastation associated with 18-wheeler accidents is horrible. There were nearly 5,000 accidents involving commercial trucks and buses in 2020, killing 847 people. Those lucky enough to survive often suffer catastrophic, life-altering injuries. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation regarding truck accidents. We’ll address some of the more common misconceptions in this article.
If you lost a loved one or were severely injured in a commercial vehicle accident, please contact an 18-wheeler accident lawyer with The Eberst Law Firm. We have an extensive track record of success in similar cases and will do all we can to help you obtain maximum compensation.
You can use our online form or call 1-888-CALL-JON for a free consultation.
Misconception #1: Truck Drivers are Rarely Found Liable in 18-Wheeler Accidents
Many people think that truck drivers routinely escape blame when 18-wheeler accidents happen. But the truth is drivers regularly face accountability. Determining liability is complex. It hinges on several critical factors, including:
- Driver negligence: Like any other driver, truck drivers can make mistakes or engage in negligent behavior, such as speeding, driving while fatigued, or distracted driving. If their actions contributed to the accident, they can be held liable.
- Safety regulations: Compliance with safety regulations is paramount in the trucking industry. Violations of these regulations, such as exceeding weight limits or failing to perform required vehicle inspections, can lead to liability for both the driver and the company.
- Unqualified drivers: Many trucking companies hire people who have no business trying to operate a semi-truck. If the driver was unqualified and caused an accident, you can sue that driver and the trucking company that hired them.
It’s crucial to understand that truck drivers aren’t automatically absolved of responsibility in accidents. They’re subject to the same rules of the road as other drivers. When their actions or the practices of their employers lead to accidents, they can be held liable for the resulting damages.
Misconception #2: Truck Drivers Suffer as Serious Injuries as Other Involved Victims
Another misconception centers on the severity of injuries in 18-wheeler accidents, particularly for the truck drivers themselves. Many assume that truck drivers are just as likely to sustain severe injuries due to their experience and the size of their vehicles. However, this isn’t true.
Typically, truck drivers fare much better than occupants of passenger vehicles. While 71% of vehicle drivers and passengers suffer injuries or die, only 27% of truck drivers are hurt or killed.
Misconception #3: You Can Receive a High Settlement Offer Without an 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer
Some individuals can negotiate settlements independently, but it’s a risky approach. Trucking companies often employ experienced legal teams and insurance adjusters who work diligently to minimize their payouts.
With legal representation, you’ll fully understand your claim’s potential value or the tactics the opposing party might employ to reduce your settlement. An experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in several ways:
- Assessment of damages: A lawyer can help you assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future costs. They can ensure you pursue a fair settlement that covers all your losses.
- Negotiation skills: Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can effectively advocate on your behalf. They understand insurance companies’ tactics and know how to counter them to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
- Legal expertise: The legal landscape surrounding 18-wheeler accidents involves federal and state regulations. An attorney’s legal expertise is crucial in navigating this complexity and protecting your rights.
Misconception #4: It’s Impossible to Sue a Trucking Company
When negligence or violations of regulations on the part of a trucking company contribute to an accident, the court can hold them accountable for their actions. Trucking companies have a legal duty to ensure the safe operation of their vehicles and the well-being of their drivers and the public. They can be subject to legal action when they fail in these responsibilities.
The key factors that can lead to a successful lawsuit against a trucking company include:
- Maintenance and safety compliance: Trucking companies must properly maintain their vehicles, adhere to safety regulations, and conduct required inspections. If they neglect these responsibilities, they can face liability for accidents.
- Driver qualification and training: Employers must ensure their drivers are qualified, trained, and compliant with regulations. If a trucking company fails to vet or adequately prepare its drivers, they can be found at fault if their employees cause accidents.
- Corporate policies: Company policies and practices also play a significant role in establishing liability. For instance, if a trucking company pressures its drivers to meet unrealistic schedules, leading to reckless driving, the court can find them liable.
Contact The Eberst Law Firm to Speak with an Experienced 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer ASAP
The Eberst Law Firm specializes in handling these cases and can provide the expertise and support you need to navigate the complex legal process. We’ll protect your rights and work toward securing the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries and damages.
Schedule a free case review by calling 1-888-CALL-JON or contacting us online.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many semi-truck accidents occur per year?
On average, there are about 160,000 truck accidents in the U.S. yearly.
There were more than 33,000 heavy truck accidents in Florida in 2019. They resulted in 349 deaths and thousands of severe injuries. In 2021, 5,700 truck accidents led to fatalities in the U.S. – the highest number since 2008.
Can I sue for being hit by a semi-truck?
Yes, you have the legal right to pursue a lawsuit if a semi-truck has hit you. But you must prove that negligence or violations by the truck driver or their company played a role in the accident. Consulting with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer is crucial to assess the viability of your case and take the appropriate legal action.
What is the average settlement for an 18-wheeler accident?
The average settlement for an 18-wheeler accident can vary significantly depending on the unique circumstances of each case. Factors influencing the settlement amount include the severity of injuries, property damage, liability, and the skill of your legal representation.
To determine the potential value of your claim, it’s vital to consult with an attorney experienced in 18-wheeler accidents. They can assess your case and work toward securing an appropriate settlement that covers your losses.