Truck Accident Injuries. The lawyers and attorneys at our firm are offering free case evaluations to victims of truck accidents and their families. Every 16 minutes, someone is injured or killed in a truck accident. Large trucking companies employ scores of lawyers whose job it is to save the company money – even at the expense of innocent accident victims. Our truck accident lawyers know how to deal with trucking companies, and will work hard to make sure the victims of these tragedies receive the justice they deserve.
Fatalities from large truck crashes have increased approximately 10 percent from 1995 through 1998, moving up from 4,918 deaths in 1995 to 5,374 deaths in 1998. The 5,374 deaths in 1998 represented thirteen percent of all traffic fatalities. In truck accidents, 98 percent of fatalities occur to the individuals in the passenger vehicles. The truck accident lawyers at our firm are committed to representing the victims of these crashes with the dignity and compassion they deserve.
The fatal crash rate for large trucks is 2.6 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This staggering statistic is more than 50 percent greater than the rate for all vehicles on the roads. Trucks are also more likely to get into multiple vehicle accidents – nearly 80 percent of all large truck accidents involve more than one vehicle.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Trucking is big business. Trucking revenues totaled $610 billion last year and revenues are forecasted to nearly double by 2015. Unfortunately, this phenomenal growth has a downside. In an effort to maximize profits, trucking companies may cut corners with safety. Trucks are not always well maintained, and drivers often ignore speed limits in order to meet unrealistically tight delivery deadlines. At the same time, some truck drivers are at the wheel far longer than is safe. To often, these conditions lead to tragic accidents.
The primary causes of truck accidents include:
- Excessive speed
- Poor driving
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Driver fatigue
- Unsafe road conditions
- Equipment defects (tires, brakes)
- Truck design defects
- Poor maintenance
- Inadequate or obstructed signage
- Road construction
Studies show that drivers are more likely to crash after many long hours of driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented new rules in 2003 to combat this problem, even though hundreds of trucking industry lobbyists worked to block them. Unfortunately, surveys reveal that many drivers of large trucks violated the old regulations on hours of service; it is yet to be determined whether there is widespread compliance with the new regulations. However, considering the economic pressures that truck drivers are under, it can be assumed that the new rules are also often ignored.
The revised Hours of Service regulations include allowing truck drivers to drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Truck drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on-duty, following 10 hours off-duty. Truck drivers may not drive after being on-duty for 60 hours in a seven-consecutive-day period or 70 hours in an eight-consecutive-day period. This on-duty cycle may be restarted whenever a driver takes at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty.
Issues Faced by Victims of Truck Accidents
The victims of truck accidents and their families are usually overwhelmed with the medical, financial and legal issues they must face. It is not unusual for trucking companies to have their representatives contact accident victims and their families shortly after the accident occurs. These people claim they are there to assist victims and their families, but make no mistake – their true purpose is to convince injured victims to accept smaller settlements than they deserve. Our truck accident lawyers know how to deal with these companies, and will make sure that our clients needs are taken care of.
Passengers in cars, motorcycles and even SUVs are no match for huge trucks in an accident. People in passenger vehicles suffer devastating and often fatal injuries as a result. While the lawyers at our firm are aware that no amount of money can make up for their horribly disrupted lives, a fair settlement will enable a truck accident victim to obtain the medical care and equipment they need to maintain a good quality of life.
The injured victims of truck accidents might never be able to work again, and in the case where a fatality occurs, the family of a victim is often left without an important means of financial support. The innocent victims of truck accidents should never have to worry about money while they work to heal their physical and emotional wounds. Our truck accident lawyers are committed to making sure the financial needs of these victims are met.
The financial and medical issues faced by the victims of truck accidents are bad enough, but often they must also deal with complicated legal matters. For one thing, trucking companies are interested in paying small – not fair – settlements. To achieve this, they may claim that their truck driver was not at fault. These companies have access to large arsenals of paid experts who will always take their side in court. Faced with this, the victims and families of truck accidents might be tempted to accept of small settlement offer, rather than take on these companies. Our truck accident lawyers know this is a mistake, and we will not be intimidated by trucking companies into doing anything not in the best interest of clients.