What to Know About Accidents Involving 18-Wheeler Trucks
When it comes to car accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks, the statistics are grim for the regular vehicle involved in the accident. You can imagine what happens to a car that comes into contact with a truck that is 20 times its size. If you experienced an accident with an 18-wheeler and are still standing, you have defied some pretty steep odds.
18-Wheeler Truck Accident Statistics
Take a look at some of the stats surrounding 18-wheeler truck crashes. You can imagine the liability it is to drive a truck of that size. There is extensive training and inspections that go into keeping the trucks operating properly. If there is any sign of negligence on the truck company or the driver’s side, you are eligible for compensation. Consider some of these statistics:
- According to the IIHS, trucks can weigh 20-30 times more than a standard vehicle.
- The trucks require 20-40% more space to react and stop such a vast amount of cargo.
- About 5,000 deaths per year result from 18-wheeler truck accidents.
- 96% of these deaths were passengers in the standard car.
- Most large truck accidents occur in rural areas.
It is clear to see that colliding with an 18-wheeler truck can result in fatal consequences. On the other hand, if a driver or passenger survives a large truck crash, they may exhibit life-long injuries. Therefore, it’s essential to know what causes large truck crashes.
What Can Go Wrong in 18-Wheeler Trucks?
Every person behind the wheel of a large truck goes through extensive training to operate such a load. If something goes wrong with the driver or the vehicle, it could result in death. But so many things can go wrong that would cause a truck accident.
Here are some possible scenarios of what could go wrong to cause an 18-wheeler truck crash:
- Driver falls asleep.
- Driver gets distracted.
- Driver is texting or talking on the phone.
- Problem with the wheels.
- Brakes not working correctly.
- Engine failure.
- Steering trouble.
If the driver or truck has any trouble, a large truck accident lawyer can help you get to the bottom of the cause of the crash. Any missed inspection or negligence of the vehicle is grounds for significant compensation when your life is on the line.
What To Do If You Were in an Accident with an 18-Wheeler Truck
It is no laughing matter when you are in an accident with such a massive machine. Take careful steps to ensure that everyone is safe and record the accident correctly. The more details you can take down, the better chance you have at receiving answers on the cause of the accident.
- Make Sure Everyone Is Okay: The most important step after a collision is to check to see that everyone is okay. Do not approach or move from your spot if you are not sure about your existing injuries and the safety of moving around. Instead, call out to those in your vehicle to see if you can get a verbal confirmation that everyone is in relatively good shape.
- Do Not Speak to the Driver of the Semi-Truck: If you are to contact the driver of the large truck, do not exchange any words like, I’m sorry, or that was my fault. Instead, assess injuries and agree to contact the police right away for further processing. The fewer words, the better said between the two parties involved in an accident before the police arrive.
- Call the Police: Do not assume that passersby called the police. Call the police yourself and let them know the whereabouts of your accident so they can come to take down the necessary details. Speak calmly to the police and give them your side of the story with the accident.
- Call the Paramedics: Whether you are aware of any injuries or not, someone is likely hurt in an 18-wheeler truck collision. Call the paramedics so they can help assess all people involved in the crash.
- Take Detailed Pictures: Although the police will take down the circumstances of the crash, you want to have your own photos as backup evidence. There could be a missed piece of information from the police pictures that show up in your photos.
- Ask Witnesses for Their Accounts: Stop any nearby witnesses and ask them to give their views of the accident. The more accounts you can acquire, the better. When you have detailed accounts of what happened from all angles, the cause of the accident will be easier to determine.
- Write Down Your Account Immediately: It is common to be in shock at the scene of an accident. But you must record what you experienced to happen so that you can remember it clearly. If insurance or the trucking company asks you questions even hours later, the particulars might be fuzzy. So write down what happened as quickly after the accident to remember the details clearly.
- Seek Help from a Professional Lawyer: The last step is also the most critical if you are the victim of an 18-wheeler crash. Contacting a lawyer will save you time, stress, and money as you can call on their expertise. In addition, a collision lawyer will be able to determine how much compensation you can seek and fight for your case.
Being the victim of a large truck accident can undoubtedly be scary, but you need to get to business in recording the details for your case. First, do what you can to fight through the shock and make sure that you obtain all of the specifics. Then, when a lawyer or insurance company asks you about the accident later, you can communicate your account clearly and consistently.
Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you are wondering what to do after an accident with an 18-wheeler truck, AMA Law can help. Once you understand all that hiring an accident lawyer can do for you, it is an easy decision to make. Call today or contact us for a consultation.