Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
Semi truck accident attorneys or tractor trailer accident lawyers at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Boise believe every client deserves fair representation. Our semi truck accident attorneys are experienced in representing clients in accidents caused by semi trucks, big rigs, tractor trailers, or other commercial vehicles. Semi truck accidents can cause serious injuries and sometimes result in wrongful death claims. Special considerations are owed in handling a semi truck due to the special federal and state safety laws that regulate trucking companies and their drivers.
Hire a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer Immediately
Semi truck companies are required by federal law to keep documents about their trucks and their drivers but after a period of time, they may destroy those documents. You need to hire a semi truck attorney immediately after a truck accident. Evidence needs to be preserved that can be used to demonstrate that the trucking company and its driver were negligent. An attorney can protect your rights by sending a special letter called a spoliation letter to the trucking company. After receipt of the letter, the trucking company will be forced to preserve the documents. If the documents show a pattern of willful and reckless behavior, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages.
Do not hurt your chances of obtaining a full recovery by waiting to hire a semi truck accident attorney. After the trucking company has destroyed valuable evidence that you could have used to prove your case, you may not receive as great of a settlement.
Maximize Your Settlement With a Semi Truck Accident Attorney
A person injured in a semi truck accident is entitled to recover a number of different types of damages, categorized as either economic or non-economical or special or general. Many people settle for much less than they could recover from the trucking company or it’s insurance company because they did not hire a truck accident attorney and do not know what types of damages are available to a truck accident victim. Our experienced truck lawyers in Boise can build your case by employing experts to investigate liability, produce life care plans, economic analysis, and make a vocational rehabilitation assessment to maximize the value of the damages you are entitled to recover.
What is the Estimated Total Cost of a Semi Truck Accident?
- Commercial vehicle accidents including property damage, injuries and deaths, and other expenses to cost the nation the following estimated total amounts according to the FMCSA:
- In 2009, $79 billion.
- In 2010, $84 billion.
- In 2001, $87 billion.
How Does a Semi Truck Accident Case Differ from a Car Accident Case?
Often times clients involved in a semi truck accident will mistakenly believe their case will be handled much like any other car accident. However, this is not true. In fact, common passenger vehicle accidents are very different from 18-wheeler accidents. Here are some ways in which semi truck accidents differ from car accident cases.
Due to the amount of time semi trucks are on the road as well as the size, nature, and movement of an 18-wheeler, semi truck companies will typically carry 50 times more coverage than an average passenger vehicle. This amount of coverage is necessary to cover the extensive damages and injuries incurred from a semi truck accident.
The worth of an insurance policy for a semi truck can be worth millions. This is exactly why the insurance carrier will often times do almost anything to find a way out of being liable for the accident. This is also why you need an experienced, trusted and aggressive attorney from Parke Gordon Law Firm fighting for your rights.
Because of the nature of a semi truck driver, they are typically governed by hundreds of more regulations than a typical passenger vehicle. These regulations include the maintenance of the semi, the driver’s license and qualifications of the driver, annual inspections, and logbooks.
Truck accidents are often more involved cases because of these regulations. For example, hiring a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following a semi-truck accident is critical for your case. Semi truck companies are required by federal law to keep documents about their trucks and their drivers but after a period of time, they may destroy those documents.
Greater Property Damage
When an 80,000-pound semi-truck hits a 3,000-pound car, obviously the damages are going to be extensive. Injuries from a semi truck accident are often much more severe than injuries incurred from a car vs. car accident. Although many trucking companies will carry large insurance policies to cover such damages, the effects of such serious injuries are often still life-changing if not deadly.
Along with the damage to your vehicle, you may also be facing expensive medical bills. Parke Gordon Law Firm can help. Our experienced attorneys will help you deal with the insurance companies, medical bills, lost wages, and property damages resulting from a semi truck accident. We will fight for every penny you are owed. Call (208) 322-7274 now for a free consultation.
Fatal Semi Truck Accidents
Due to the large size and weight of semi trucks, being hit is often times deadly. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 3,000 to 5,000 fatal semi truck accidents happen each year. These wrongful deaths are all too common. If your loved one has been killed due to the negligence of a semi truck driver, contact Parke Gordon Law Firm immediately.
Steps to Avoid a Semi Truck Accident
Semi truck accidents are often catastrophic and involve serious injuries or even wrongful death claims. Truck drivers are trained to be excellent drivers. However, they do work long hours and can be tired at the wheel. Here are some tips to stay safe while driving near a semi truck and avoid a semi truck accident.
- Avoid driving in the semi truck’s blind spot. Blind spots on a semi truck include the left and right sides about two-thirds of the way back and sometimes even directly in front of the truck. Be extra careful when passing a semi truck on either side. Always pass a semi truck on the left as quickly as possible to avoid a semi truck accident.
- When a semi truck is turning, stay out of the way. Never go into any open spaces to the right of a semi truck with their turn signal on. When the truck turns, the trailer of the semi truck with instantly fill that gap crushing anything in its way. This is one of the most come causes of semi truck accidents.
- Watch for warning signs that the truck driver is tired or distracted. A good indication that a truck driver is tired at the wheel is when the trailer is swaying from side to side. This swaying action can easily lead to a rollover accident or jackknife truck accident. If you see the trailer of a semi swaying, get out of the way. You can pull over, accelerate or slow down, whatever it takes to avoid a semi truck accident.
Common Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
Semi Truck Needs Maintenance
Semi-trucks are required by federal regulations to be kept in good condition when being operated. Serious truck accidents are often caused by the semi truck needing to be maintained. Examples include when a trailer being pulled by a semi comes loose or a tire blows out. Semi trucks should be checked for maintenance regulations before each use.
Semi Truck Driver Is Fatigued
Often times a semi-truck driver may feel pressured to stay on a tight schedule and not be able to rest. The public has been warned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the seriousness of fatigue while driving. Truck drivers are often required to drive thousands of miles each day.
Semi Truck Driver Is Distracted
Distracted driving continues to be a number one cause of car accidents nationwide. It is no different for truck drivers. A driver is considered to be distracted when they are using a cell phone, changing the radio station or doing any other kind of activity while driving that would cause the driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
Semi Truck Driver Is Inexperienced
Some trucking companies will hire a new driver, send them to learn to drive a semi truck and then immediately put them out on the road. These new drivers may then be placed with a semi truck they are not familiar with. The biggest reason trucking companies hire inexperienced drivers is because they are able to pay them less than they would have to pay a more experienced driver.
Sometimes an accident may occur from improper balance of a load on a semi-truck trailer. A semi truck can sometimes be loaded quickly to get the driver to the next drop off as soon as possible. Improperly loaded trailers can cause serious car accidents.
Why Does a Semi Truck Accident Cause Serious Damages and Injuries?
There are many different causes of semi truck accidents and the damages and injuries they cause. The two biggest reasons are due to the weight and stopping distance.
Big trucks such as 18-wheelers, coal trucks, log trucks, cement trucks, tracker trailers, and buses all weight a significantly larger amount than a 3,000-pound passenger vehicle. On average, a motor vehicle weighs 2.5 tons, while a tractor-trailer can weigh 40 tons.
Another reason for serious damages after a semi truck accident is the amount of time it takes for these large trucks to stop. For example, if a semi truck or tractor-trailer was traveling at 40 mph and started to break the exact same moment as a standard vehicle, it would take the semi truck 45 feet longer to come to a complete stop. A passenger vehicle needs about 306 feet to stop after braking while a tractor-trailer needs about 525 feet.
How to Pass on a Two-Lane Road to Avoid a Car Crash
Semi truck accidents often happen on a two-lane road. Impatience and even road rage are often common when driving. Getting behind a slow-moving vehicle on a two-lane road can be very irritating. Waiting to pass and following the Washington Rules of the Road is critical to the safety of the driver and anyone else on the road. Here are a few tips on how to pass on a two-lane road to ensure your safety and follow the law.
- Be aware of traffic and lane markings. A solid line indicates that a driver must stay in the lane. When the line turns to a single dotted yellow line, it is safe to pass so long as traffic permits.
- Check other conditions around you before attempting to pass. For example, tunnels, bridges, sharp turns, driveways, animals, bad weather conditions or anything else that could possibly create a hazard for you to pass.
- Ensure there is enough space for you to pass around other traffic. Look ahead into the other lane and make note of any oncoming vehicles. If you have any hesitation, DO NOT PASS.
- Know what the speed limit is and if you have enough time to pass without going over the speed limit. If the slow-moving vehicle in front of you is moving no slower than 15 mph under the speed limit, it may be best to wait.
- If you come to the conclusion it is safe to pass, do so in a manner that is safe for everyone. For example, accelerate slowly, use your turn signal, smoothly pass, use your turn signal to re-enter the lane.
Overcorrection While Driving Leads to Semi Truck Accidents
Sometimes you may find yourself driving on the shoulder of the road in an attempt to pass a semi-truck. If this happens, be sure not to overcorrect. To overcorrect means to oversteer due to reacting to an event such as driving off the road. Here are some tips to prevent overcorrecting while driving.
- Ease your way back onto the road. Your knee-jerk reaction will most likely be to quickly pull but onto the road. Don’t do it! A quick jerk of the steering wheel will likely cause you to spin out or drive into oncoming traffic.
- Get a firm grip on the steering wheel and drive straight while easing off the accelerator.
- While slowing, straddle the pavement edge.
- When traffic is clear, turn the steering wheel back toward the pavement and return driving as normal. Be careful not to steer too far so you don’t end up driving in the opposite lane.
Semi Truck Accident Attorneys or Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers
The semi truck accident attorneys or tractor trailer accident lawyers of Parke Gordon Law Firm in Boise can usually tell you over the phone if you have a good case. Don’t wait to call a truck accident attorney. Call our law office in Boise now at (208) 322-7274. We can help take the stress out of the claim and make sure you get every penny you are owed. Parke Gordon Law Firm offers a free consultation to discuss your truck accident case. The clients who have chosen our law firm love us and we think you will too. Take a minute to read over some of our client reviews to see the dedication of our semi truck accident attorneys.
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