If you’ve been injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler, a Norfolk truck accident lawyer at CAIL can help.
It’s tough thinking of getting into an accident with an 18-wheeler. But the fact is, motorists come across many commercial trucks on the road every day, and accidents are bound to happen. And because these large trucks weigh about 20 to 30 times more than regular vehicles, truck accidents are often catastrophic. Because of their large size, 18-wheelers can’t stop as fast as other vehicles, and the drivers cannot react quickly enough to avoid a collision. This results in other cars, trucks, and SUVs getting swept off the road causing huge wrecks, serious injuries, and even death.
Statistics reveal that commercial trucks are often involved in fatal auto accidents. In fact, 11% of all deaths resulting from auto accidents were caused by large commercial trucks, especially 18-wheelers. 96% of people who died in crashes involving large trucks and passenger vehicles were occupants of the smaller vehicle.
What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Well, there’s no definite list showing all the causes of 18-wheeler accidents. However, most accidents revolve around the fact that trucking companies and drivers often push beyond the legal limit on driving hours. For instance, a lot of truck drivers continue driving when they are tired and often overlook proper maintenance of the vehicles. Even worse, they often mishandle the trailers, causing accidents. Other reasons attributable to 18-wheeler accidents include:
- Driving while tired
- Use of controlled substances
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving in extreme weather conditions
- Poor training and inexperience
What Should You Do if You’re Involved in an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Well, situations might differ depending on the specific accident. However, here’s what you need to do if you are involved in an 18-wheeler accident:
Prioritize your safety and that of other passengers in your vehicle.
If you suspect that someone has suffered an injury, you should get medical attention immediately. Call an ambulance to take every injured party to the emergency room for treatment. Once a truck accident happens, you need to contact 911 right away and get medical assistance. That way, the extent of the injuries can be determined and the necessary treatment administered.
Get the details of the truck’s driver and the trucking company.
Ask the truck driver for a copy of their driver’s license, registration details of the vehicle, and their insurance information. You should also ask for the driver’s company information.
Exchange contact information with the witnesses and record their accounts.
You should take pictures of the scene of the accident and record videos showing all the vehicles involved. It serves as evidence and will be vital in the case. Also, if not recorded early enough, some witnesses might forget important information. If there’s a dashcam on your vehicle, you should save the video before it is recorded over.
Avoid sharing details of the accident.
Whether you are at the accident scene or talking to the insurance company belonging to the truck driver, you should avoid sharing details of the accident until you have a Norfolk truck accident lawyer present.
Who Should Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
A truck driver can be held liable for an 18-wheeler accident if negligence can be proven. If the truck driver was speeding or texting while driving, they might be found liable for the accident.
Suppose the accident happened when the driver was on the clock. In that case, the trucking company might be held liable for any accidents caused by negligence during the hiring process, poor training, or inadequate supervision.
The other drivers on the road might be liable for a truck accident in some instances. If a third-party motorist swerves recklessly and causes an 18-wheeler to crash into them or other vehicles, then that motorist will be held liable.
Vehicle or Part Manufacturers
In some cases, vehicle manufacturers are also held liable for the accidents. If they provided defective or damaged vehicle parts to the trucking companies, they could be held liable. Take an instance where the accident was caused by a defective tire. Here, the company that sold or manufactured the tired will be held liable. It might be tough to prove how the manufacturer is responsible. That’s why you need to get help from a skilled Norfolk truck accident lawyer before proceeding with the lawsuit.
Contact a Norfolk Truck Accident Lawyer
CAIL is a personal injury law firm in Virginia with a qualified legal team that is experienced in handling truck accident cases. We are here to protect your legal rights, and we also offer free case reviews.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, call CAIL today.