Automobile drivers face enough dangers on the road, and one particularly frightening danger is the possibility of a collision with a tractor trailer. There are a variety of reasons that trucks can cause an accident – sometimes the truck driver is at fault, sometimes motorists in passenger vehicles aren’t being careful enough, or sometimes road conditions contribute to collisions.
The remarkable growth of America’s trucking industry has put more big rigs and truck drivers on the road than ever before. These days, large trucks account for about 1,300 accidents a year in Virginia, and kill over 100 people in the state and about 5,000 people every year nationwide. Motorists need to educate themselves about the dangers of truck accidents, and it can help to know ahead of time what to be aware of if you are unfortunate enough to collide with an 18-wheeler.
What You Need to Know About Truck Accidents
1. Trucking companies have their own lawyers and investigation teams. That’s right, if you’re involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you may find the scene of the accident crawling with representatives from the trucking company. They aren’t there to help you, they’re there because they know there is a good possibility they’ll face legal action and they want to gather as many facts as possible as quickly as possible. Protect your own interests if you’re involved in a truck accident and speak to your own lawyer as soon as possible.
2. There are a lot more insurance companies involved in truck accidents. Consider your own driving insurance – you probably just have one insurer, and one policy. Not the case for large trucks. In an accident, there may be multiple insurance companies involved, which can greatly complicate you getting what you deserve for your injuries. Your attorney can help ensure your rights are protected when dealing with the trucking company’s insurance company, the owner’s insurance company, the driver’s insurance company, and possibly others.
3. Large trucks handle differently than passenger vehicles. This statement may seem obvious, but many motorists drive as though the big rig next to them has the same braking and handling capability as their minivan. When sharing the road with large trucks, remember that they have bigger blind spots, they need more time to break – and most importantly, they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds – a great reason to give them a wide berth. Accidents with vehicles of this size mean that attorneys and investigators need to have an appreciation for truck dynamics in order to fully understand your accident case.
4. Tractor trailers have different rules and regulations than passenger vehicles. If you’re involved in an accident with a large truck and you believe you need representation for your case, then you’ll want an attorney who knows these types of accidents. There are a myriad of laws governing the ownership, maintenance, and operation of these enormous vehicles, and its important that your attorney ensure all applicable laws were being followed at the time of the accident.
You can see from the list above that it is your best interest to find an experienced attorney if you or someone you love is involved in a truck accident. There is no reason that you should face the aftermath of a truck accident alone. Please contact The Serpe Firm, and we can help you face the powerful trucking company lawyers so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, P.C.
580 East Main Street, Suite 310
Norfolk, VA 23510