Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
The semi truck accident lawyers at Brent Gordon Law in Idaho Falls and Pocatello are experienced in representing accident victims involved in crashes caused by semi trucks, big rigs, tractor trailers, or other commercial vehicles. Truck accidents can cause serious injuries and sometimes result in wrongful death claims. Special considerations are owed in handling a semi truck accident due to the safety of special federal and state laws that regulate trucking companies and their drivers. If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi truck accident, you need an experienced semi truck accident attorney from Brent Gordon Law Firm on your side.
After a Semi Truck Accident, What Should I Do?
Immediately following an accident, call 911. A police officer will create documentation of the accident that can be important to the outcome of your case. The police will also take statements from you, other drivers involved and witnesses of the accident. Make sure to give the officer an accurate statement of what you remember from the crash. Never rely solely on the police to get statements, however. If you are able, talk with witnesses and get their contact information so your attorney can contact them if needed later in the case. You should also take pictures of your injuries, the crash site, and other vehicles damaged in the crash. It is always beneficial to gather as much evidence and information as possible after a semi truck accident.
Hire a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer Immediately After an Accident
Semi truck companies are required by federal law to keep documents about their trucks and their drivers. After a period, they may destroy those documents. Hire a semi truck attorney immediately after a truck accident to preserve evidence that can be used to demonstrate that the trucking company and its driver were negligent. A truck accident 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 and better money settlement 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.
Frequent Injuries from Semi Truck Accidents
Semi trucks are the largest types of vehicles driving on the road and therefore typically do the most damage in an accident. When semi truck accidents happen, serious injuries and damages occur. At Brent Gordon Law Firm, our experienced and trusted personal injury attorneys seek the most compensation for our truck accident injury clients. The following are some of the most common types of injuries from semi truck accidents.
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal injuries
- Seatbelt injuries
- Rib and torso injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
What Causes a Semi Truck Accident to Cause Major Damages?
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 brake 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.
Semi Truck Accident Attorneys Can Maximize Your Settlement
An individual injured in a semi truck accident is entitled to recover several 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 an attorney and do not know what types of damages are available to a truck accident victim. Our experienced semi truck accident attorneys 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. Hiring an experienced lawyer from Brent Gordon Law will not only take the stress away from you but will get you a larger settlement.
How Semi Truck Accidents and Car Crashes Differ
Semi truck accidents and car accidents differ in many ways. Though both semi truck accidents and car accidents both happen frequently. For instance, of the 32,000 people that died in a car accident, nearly 5,000 of those involved a semi-truck. Consequently, 80 percent of the 500,000 semi truck accidents that occur each year, only 20 percent are caused by semi-truck drivers. Many people may think a semi truck accident is the same as a car accident; they are not.
Here are some differences between semi-truck accidents and car accidents.
- Weight and size. A normal size car weighs about 4,000 pounds. Now compare that to a semi truck which weighs roughly 80,000 pounds. The force from a car accident can be bad enough. But calculate the impact with a vehicle that weighs 20 times the amount of your car and you can probably guess you’re in trouble.
- Fault of the accident. If the accident was the fault of the semi-truck driver, the driver is not the only one at fault. The trucking company and truck manufacturer could also be liable. A trucking company will be held responsible for the maintenance of the semi truck as well as the driver’s hours and log files.
- Log files of the truck driver. Every truck driver is required to record the number of miles and hours they drive. This logs will track the amount of driving time, how many times they stop, how long they rest, etc. Your attorney will be able to get access to the truck driver’s log for evidence.
- Property damage. Due to the weight and size of a semi truck, the damage could be much worse than if you had hit a car. The personal injuries in a semi truck accident are also usually much worse and sometimes even fatal.
- How insurance covers the accident. A semi truck will carry more coverage due to the more likely hood of an accident and the greater property damage. Many people may think they can handle an insurance company. However, hiring personal injury attorney, Brent Gordon will help to fight the big insurance companies. Brent an ensure that you will get the most compensation from your accident.
Common Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
Approximately 500,000 semi truck accidents occur annually in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Of these, about 5,000 semi truck accident resulted in a fatality. Furthermore, one out of every eight accidents on U.S. roads involves a semi-truck.
Here are some common causes of semi truck accidents.
- Tiredness or fatigue while driving.
- Truck maintenance is poor or improper.
- Equipment failure.
- Distracted drivers.
- Improper merging in front of a semi truck driver.
- Unsafe passing near a semi-truck.
- Driving in the blind spot of a semi truck.
- Not giving a semi truck enough room to turn.
What Does It Mean for a Truck to Jackknife?
When a large 18 wheel semi truck and its trailer skid causing the trailer to swing out and stop to form a 90-degree angle, it is known as a jackknife. The term jack knife refers to when the blade of a jackknife forms an angle with its protective handle. When a semi truck jackknifes it can create a very dangerous situation for any other vehicles on the road. To make matters worse, when a semi jackknifes it is likely it will also roll over.
What Causes a Semi Truck to Jack Knife?
Typically, when a semi truck jackknifes, the drive wheels are locked when they reach a slippery spot while the front wheels, as well as the trailer, keep rolling forward. Slick roads often cause jackknifing. Another cause for jackknifing is when the driver takes a curve too fast or swerves to avoid colliding with another vehicle or object.
Passing 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.
Tips to Prevent a Head-on Semi Truck Accident
- On multiple-lane highways, drive in the right-hand lane. This will make it safer and easier to pull over into a ditch or off the side of the road rather than hitting head-on.
- If you see an oncoming vehicle heading straight for you, quickly veer to the right. This will prevent you from going into lanes of other vehicles.
- Gain more stability by keeping the two wheels on the driver’s side on the pavement when pulling over to a shoulder.
- Choose to hit a fixed object on the side of the road rather than hitting another vehicle. The fixed object has no momentum and will usually cause less injury.
- If you come across an aggressive driver, don’t react to them in the same manor. Let them pass.
- Semi trucks require more time to react. Avoid making unpredictable actions such as quick lane changes.
- Avoid driving in a semi truck driver’s blind spot. Always make sure you can see a truck driver in their side mirror. This guarantee’s that they can see you.
Client Reviews of Brent Gordon Law Firm
Brent Gordon and our other personal injury attorneys in Idaho Falls and Pocatello are experienced and trusted by our clients. See what our clients have to say about us by reading our client reviews page.
Contact a Semi Truck Accident Attorney Now
Don’t wait to call a semi truck accident lawyer at Brent Gordon Law Firm. Our experienced, aggressive and trusted attorneys will fight for every penny you deserve. Call our Idaho Falls or Pocatello law office now for a free consultation. We can help take the stress out of the claim and make sure you get every penny you are owed. Call (208) 552-0467 now to discuss your semi truck accident with an experienced attorney during a free case review.
You Pay Nothing Until We Win Your Case
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Semi-truck accidents often lead to complex issues when dealing with the insurance company. Though you may be tempted to try to settle the case yourself, hiring an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer from Brent Gordon Law Firm will get you more money, faster. A...read more
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