REPRESENTING CLIENTS IN LANCASTER & YORK
Commercial trucking is a huge part of America’s economy. Whether you call them tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, big rigs, or semi-trucks, chances are you’ve passed them on the highway hundreds of times. Unfortunately, their height, size, and weight can make them tricky to drive and prone to danger in certain situations. Weighing in at up to 80,000 pounds, they can easily destroy a passenger car, which sits at a much smaller 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.
Because of their size, truck accidents result in serious injury or property damage, and even wrongful death. According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013 alone, an estimated 95,000 people were injured and 3,964 people were killed as a result of accidents involving a semi-truck. What’s even more staggering is that 70 percent of those individuals were inhabitants of the passenger vehicle, not the truck.
It’s unfortunate, but truck accident claims can get tricky quickly. To ensure you’re getting the compensation you deserve, you need to speak to an attorney that has the experience and knowledge needed to successfully settle a truck accident case. The team of attorneys at Hagelgans & Veronis can help. We’ve been handling truck accident claims for our clients for years. We understand the law and your rights and, more importantly, we’ll fight for them.
Injuries From Truck Accidents
A truck accident can cause more catastrophic injuries than regular car accidents. This is primarily caused by the weight difference between trucks and passenger vehicles. No matter how well rated your car or SUV is for safety, they simply aren’t built to withstand a collision with a 40-ton truck.
Injuries can range from scratches to permanent paralysis, all depending on how your vehicle was struck and how fast both vehicles were travelling at the time of the accident. The most common physical injuries can include:
- Neck and Back Injures
- Bone, Ligament, and Disc Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Partial/Complete Paralysis
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Organ Damage/Internal Bleeding
- Cuts, Scrapes, and Abrasions
- Broken Ribs
- Wrongful Death
Victims of traumatic accidents may also experience emotional or mental injuries for weeks or months after an accident. Many can encounter symptoms such as:
- Fear of Driving
Truck Accident Causes
Surprisingly, accidents involving large trucks often occur for many of the same reasons car accidents do.
The leading cause of 18-wheeler accidents is negligence. It can be something as simple as the truck driver falling asleep at the wheel because he was too tired or as complex as a faulty manufacturer part. There are a number of federal rules and regulations trucking companies are required to follow, but that doesn’t mean they always do. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are:
- Oversized trucks
- Overloaded trucks
- Failure to yield
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Poor road conditions
- Aggressive driving
- Improperly maintained safety precautions
- Improperly maintained braking systems
- Poor visibility
- Lack of driver training
- Lack of driver experience
- Broken or improperly maintained parts
Gathering the Evidence
Just like with a car accident, evidence is your best tool to help prove your innocence as well as the negligence of others. Of course, the first thing you should do is asses the other victims for injuries, call 911 if needed, and move the vehicles out of traffic, if possible.
Afterwards, you can begin to gather evidence and document the events that just occurred. Walk around the scene, take pictures from every angle, and make sure you have photo evidence of the damages to each vehicle involved. Speak with any witnesses that may have been around and write down the date, time, location, and weather conditions during the accident. Collect contact and insurance information from each party. While you need to report the accident to your insurance company, it’s always a good idea to speak to a Central Pennsylvania truck accident lawyer before giving any recorded statements or accepting settlement offers.
Making Your Truck Accident Case
If you are to receive adequate damages for your pain and suffering, you must be able to prove that the truck driver, his company, or the manufacturer acted negligently. As the operator of a large and potentially dangerous vehicle, the truck driver has a duty to drive responsibility and safely. If you can demonstrate that he failed to uphold his duty and that your injuries were a direct result of this failure, you stand a much better chance of reaching a successful settlement.
Dealing with a truck driver, his company, the manufacturer, or their respective insurance companies can be long and drawn out. It’s not the kind of undertaking one person is equipped to handle. The personal injury lawyers at Haglegans & Veronis handle truck accident cases for clients throughout Central Pennsylvania. We want to help you get life back and track and leave the memory of your truck accident in the past.
If you’ve been the victim of a truck driver’s negligence, consider contacting Haglegans & Veronis as soon as possible. Our attorneys have years of experience handling truck accident claims and fighting for what you deserve. We have the knowledge and resources to take on large trucking companies and their insurers. Contact us today for a free consultation.