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02/27/23   |   By

Can I Sue for Being Hit by a Semi Truck?

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Semi Truck Personal Injury Lawyers

If you were hit by a semi-truck, you’re probably wondering what to do next. You may be wondering if you can sue the truck driver. The answer to this question is, of course, that it will depend on the circumstances of the accident. If you’ve suffered an injury, you may be able to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Truck accident victims often suffer severe injuries and should not have to face the cost of the injury and medical care in addition to recovering.

If you are asking whether you can sue for being hit by a semi-truck in the Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC areas, call the lawyers at Regan Zambri Long today to schedule a free consultation. Our truck accident attorneys have experience litigating semi-truck injury claims. Our team can help guide you through the recovery process, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands.

How Is an Accident with a Semi Truck Different from one with a Passenger Vehicle?

Truck Crashing into Passenger CarThe most obvious difference between truck accidents and car accidents is the higher risk of severe injuries and fatality because of the size and weight of a truck. On average, the weight of a car is just a little over two tons, while the weight of a cab and an empty trailer on a semi-truck is about 17.5 tons or 35,000 pounds. This means that the impact of a collision with a semi-truck when traveling at the same speed as a car is 4.5 times greater than an average car.

As a result of the truck’s size, insurance coverage for commercial trucks is not the same as for cars. The minimum coverage limits for trucks are much higher for trucks. This makes working with insurance companies for semi trucks different than working with insurance companies for smaller passenger vehicles. Semi-truck insurance companies are more aggressive about investigating the facts and evidence regarding trucking incidents, which makes working with them difficult and time-consuming.

How Common Are Semi-Truck Collisions with Passenger Vehicles?

The number of collisions with semi trucks and cars is increasing. The National Safety Council has found that, in 2020, there were 4,842 fatal crashes in the United States with large trucks. This is up 33% since 2011, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects that fatal accidents with large trucks have gone up another 13% since 2020.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents?

According to the Federal Carrier Motor Safety Administration, the most common causes of semi-truck accidents are mechanical failures, reckless driving, driving in locations where the driver is unfamiliar with the roadway, drowsy driving, distracted driving, changing cargo shifts, bad weather, inexperienced drivers, and hazardous cargo.

Truck driver negligence is the cause of many accidents. Truck drivers, more than other vehicle drivers, are affected by fatigue because of the nature of the hours driven. Trucking companies are responsible for keeping drivers safe by limiting the hours spent driving without breaks or sleep. Negligence in the form of reckless or irresponsible driving, as well as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is another leading cause of trucking accidents.

Another leading cause of truck accidents is mechanical failure. Trucking companies have the responsibility of making sure that the truck is in good working order before they are roadworthy. Most mechanical failures, like tire blowouts or defective brakes, are preventable and failure to take adequate precautions is negligence.

What Are the Most Common Types of Semi Truck Accidents?

Operation of a semi-truck requires training because maneuvering big trucks takes skill and practice. Some types of accidents specific to semi trucks are:

  • Underride truck accidents. This is when a passenger vehicle becomes trapped under the trailer of a semi.
  • “Right-turn-squeeze” truck accidents. When big trucks make tight turns to the right, they often will swing far left to create space maneuver. This puts vehicles on the left side of the truck at risk.
  • Blind spot accidents. There are blind spots for semi trucks behind the trailer, to the left of the cab, to the right of the cab, and directly in front of the cab. Truck drivers must use mirrors and backup cameras to see these areas, but this blind area creates a high risk of accidents.

What Injuries Are Common in Semi-Truck Collisions?

Because of the size of semi trucks, injuries are often significant and often fatal. Some of the most common injuries associated with truck accidents are:

  • Person in wheelchairHead injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Concussions are a common trucking accident injury and happen when the head is jerked with the impact of the accident. Some head injuries can cause permanent brain damage.
  • Neck injuries. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are jerked forward and backward with impact. This jerking motion can cause damage to the nerves, tissue, and even the vertebrae and upper spine.
  • Back and spine injuries. Truck accidents can cause many types of back and spine injuries, such as slipped discs or other damage to the spinal cord, sometimes causing paralysis and requiring lifetime care.
  • Broken bones. Trucking accidents can cause broken legs, arms, ribs, and other fractures. More serious breaks require surgery and high medical care costs.
  • Burns. Burns are common because of gasoline or diesel fuel and can cause lifetime pain and scarring.
  • Mental distress. There can be serious emotional trauma and distress associated with any accident. Mental distress is often an overlooked injury, but it can be debilitating and cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Hit By a Semi Truck?

You should take specific actions after your accident to help your chances of success in a future lawsuit. We suggest taking the following actions:

  • Seek medical care immediately.
  • Get to a safe location.
  • Once you are out of harm’s way, try to take pictures of the accident scene and of the vehicles.
  • Try to get the names and contact information of the truck driver and any witnesses to the accident.
  • Try to document the condition of the truck’s tires. Semi-truck accidents are often caused by tire blowouts.

Who Can Be Liable in an Accident with a Semi Truck?

Every accident is different and liability for a truck accident can be complicated to determine, but your lawyer will be able to review all the relevant evidence and determine who was responsible for the accident. Truck drivers and trucking companies are held to higher standards than average drivers, which is beneficial in a claim against them. Some of the most common parties liable in truck accidents are:

  • The truck driver. The most common party liable for truck accidents is the driver. Driver error is the leading cause of truck accidents across the United States. It is the driver’s responsibility not only to drive safely but also to inspect the truck and trailer before and after each trip or leg of the trip and ensure that all safety measures are met and that cargo is properly loaded.
  • The trucking company. The trucking company is responsible for hiring and managing its drivers, as well as for training them. Common areas of liability for trucking companies are failing to complete background checks on drivers, failure to train drivers sufficiently, and neglecting proper truck maintenance.
  • The manufacturer. Defective automotive parts and equipment cause many accidents. When these defects exist in manufacturing, the manufacturer or distributor can be responsible for any harm caused.
  • A government agency. Defective roadways can create dangerous conditions for all motorists. The local, state, or federal government entity responsible for maintaining the roadway can be responsible for accidents caused by poor maintenance or negligence in attending to road hazards.

How much can I recover from my semi-truck accident?

Regan Zambri Long has a history of securing maximum compensation for its clients. One of Regan Zambri Long’s trucking accidents settled for $3 million after a woman suffered an amputation resulting from a semi-truck accident. However, the answer to how much your claim is worth will depend on the circumstances of your specific accident. You can rest assured that with the experienced lawyers at Regan Zambri Long, your claim will be thoroughly investigated, negotiated, and litigated if you do not receive a favorable settlement.

Why Choose Regan Zambri Long, PLLC as Your Truck Accident Lawyer?

If you are considering filing a legal claim for your injuries from being hit by a semi-truck in the Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC areas, one of the many experienced lawyers on our team can help. Our team of lawyers will build your case and gather all the evidence necessary to win your claim, and we are confident that we can reach the settlement you deserve. Our lawyers often operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they are compensated for their services only after you win, and the amount owed is based on the amount you win at trial. Call Regan Zambri Long today or contact us online for a free case evaluation.

Regan Zambri Long
Posted In
Truck Accidents
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