When you have a feeling of trepidation when a large tractor-trailer rig comes roaring up behind you, that feeling is rooted in real science and hard statistics. The fact is that the basic ruled of physics tell you that a large truck traveling fast presents a real danger to a smaller vehicle in any type of accident. Likewise, statistics prove those in passenger vehicles seldom fare well when those accidents occur.
More than 600,000 tractor-trailers and commercial trucks were involved in accidents in 2016, causing more than 120,000 serious injuries and more than 5,000 fatalities. These figures were up dramatically from 2009, when there were 3,200 deaths in such accidents. More than 98 percent of the fatalities in a truck-car accident are non-truck occupants.
Other sobering facts concerning truck accidents include:
· Fatal tractor-trailer accidents are responsible for more than $20 billion in related costs each year
· Every 100 million miles driven by big trucks results in an average of 2.3 deaths and 60.5 million injuries.
The Reasons for the Problem
While it is worth noting that only 16 percent of all vehicle accidents involve large trucks and semi-trailers, the consequences of such accidents are often very serious. In fact, there are a number of reasons for large and commercial truck accidents, including:
· Cargo loads shifting and falling
· Inadequate inspections and maintenance
· Driver fatigue
· Driver errors
· Inadequate training and experience
· Negligent hiring of drivers
Because accidents are a constant fact of life for large trucking and logistics companies, they keep staffs of investigators, insurance representatives, and attorneys on call 24/7 to ensure their interests are protected when accidents do occur.
Dealing with the Consequences
In addition to the deaths that occur in crashes between big rigs and autos, the injuries are often severe with life-long consequences and costs. Individuals or the families of those who are killed or injured in an accident due to the negligence of others have the right to seek recovery of these costs. This included the possibility of seeking financial damages to cover such costs as:
· Immediate medical treatment and care
· Ongoing medical care, costs and care
· Loss of income, current and future
· Pain and suffering
· Property damages
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has laws and case history that establishes the procedures for seeking damages in a personal injury case, such as the consequences of a semi-trailer accident. These laws often establish specific required actions and timeframes that must be followed to maintain all your legal options.
Protecting Your Rights
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident involving a semi-trailer or other large commercial truck, it is important to take advantage of the services of an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. These professionals know the steps to take to protect your rights and achieve the best possible results in your case.
To counter the efforts of a trucking company's attorneys and insurance company, your personal injury attorney will seek to understand all the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident. This will include:
· Interviewing everyone involved
· Reviewing all police and accident reports
· Demanding the driving and safety record of the driver
· Carefully examining the maintenance and repair records for the truck involved
· Ensuring all the key parts of the truck, including brakes, steering wheels, and other components are inspected for failure
· Reviewing the safety record of the trucking company involved
All of these steps and other are a part of the process pursued by your personal injury attorney to ensure you rights are protected and, if appropriate, you receive the largest financial settlement possible.
If that fear caused by the semi-trailer speeding behind you becomes an actual accident, act quickly to get the objective and detailed advice you need during such a difficult time and call a reliable personal injury attorney.