I hope it is only out of curiosity and general knowledge that you need to read this article. Even if it’s for some lousy reason, I hope you can leave this article with some sense of relief. Accidents are among the worst things anyone can go through. The losses don’t just affect money. But also the quality of life and the health of the individual. Some of them are so horrific that seeing them unfold can cause nightmares and life-long fear.
The more you learn about accidents, the more worried you become about your family and friends when they are outside. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), from 2019 to 2020, the number of deaths because of motor vehicles has increased by 7.54%. It might seem just a number. But it has a lot of impact on individual lives. Especially people involved in 18-wheeler, commercial trucks and big rig vehicles accidents.
What exactly are 18–wheeler vehicles?
Big rigs, commercial vehicles do not always have 18 wheels. It can be more or less than too. But mainly 18 – wheel truck is what people think of when talking about them. These are primarily big vehicles having tractor-trailer combinations. As the name of the combination suggests, the vehicles are generally difficult to operate. The key reason for having 18-wheels is the rig’s huge size and weight. Of course, It is more difficult to drive them than other vehicles, which increases the severity and risk of accidents.
What Makes 18-Wheeler Accidents Different from Other Accidents?
Although the accident might seem similar to other vehicle accidents, the injuries are not. This makes tractor-trailer truck accident cases different. Moreover, the risk of operating these vehicles is higher, which automatically turns even the slightest of carelessness into big harmful incidents. No wonder even after accounting for only 3% of all vehicles on the road. These accidents contribute more than 12% to the total no. of accidents that result in death.
Below is the list of some of the common mistakes which leads to big vehicles accidents:
- Reckless driving
- Driving Under Influence of a Substance/DWI
- Defective truck parts
- Driving in No-zone Areas
- Employer negligence
- Over-aggressive driver, including exceeding the speed limit and carelessly changing lanes
- Driver fatigue
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Turning the vehicle unsafely
- Inadequate driving skills
- Unsafe backing
- Challenging Driving Circumstance because of Weather
- Inadequate management of the tractor or trailer
- Overloading the truck makes its balance improper
- Tire blowouts
- Inspections and maintenance that aren’t taken as much care of as it’s required
Brutal Consequences of Semi, Big Rig, 18-Wheeler and Other Commercial Vehicles Accidents
Death – If someone in a small vehicle had an accident with big trucks. The force of the collision is enough to kill the person.
People who survive these accidents, mostly those involved in semi-truck accidents, usually suffer severe injuries. Some injuries damage the parts of the brain. Making them unable to do many of the daily life activities properly. Some even damage the body’s soft tissues, while others harm vital organs. Sometimes leading to internal bleeding. The symptoms are PAINFUL and DISASTROUS, enough to wreck someone’s life. Here’s the list of some of the common injuries involved in a big rig, commercial truck accidents:
Back & Neck Injuries – Muscle strains, tendon injuries, ligament injuries, disc injuries.
Fractures – Although it’s common in accidents, not all broken bones can heal.
Deep Cuts – Caused primarily due to broken sharp parts in accident punctures into the body.
Spinal Cord Injury – Spinal Cord is one of the most important parts of our body. Even a slight injury can have drastically bad consequences.
Burns – There might also be a fire burst out, especially if the truck carries a flammable substance as the load. This can lead to new damages, making the other wounds worse.
Property Damage – As you’ve read above, the sizes and weight of these trucks are really a large amount. It states that whatever the property involved in an accident will get severe damage, including the huge monetary cost required to repair those damages.
Loss of Income – The person(s) injured in the accident would not be able to work for a long time, resulting in them losing money and increasing their suffering.
Risk of Losing Future Income – If the injury made it unable for someone to work further in life, the person will have no potential to earn livelihood and will increase their sufferings.
If you’re looking for someone who can calculate the damages involved in your 18- wheeler truck accident, then websites like texaslegalgroup.com can be a great help to you.
Who is Liable for the Semi, Big Rig, 18-Wheeler and Other Commercial Vehicles Accident Cases?
Do you think this also has something to make 18-wheeler cases different? You’re right! Unlike other vehicle accidents, the truck side gets at fault here in most cases. Here’s a sorted this of different parties from of the truck side, which could be held responsible in such case:
- Company Owner – Even if an employee is driving a company car for personal purposes at the time of the accident, the vehicle owner can still be held liable.
- Mechanics – Technicians who worked on the truck can also possibly be held responsible for careless work if found guilty.
- Vehicle’s Driver – Most Common
- Vehicle’s Manufacturer
- And the Vehicle’s Owner
What to do if you see or have such an accident?
Long steps short, here are some quick, helpful steps you should follow after an accident:
1) Remain calm – Being calm is very important in complex and challenging situations as it helps your mind think better.
2) Call 911 – It doesn’t matter if the accident is not very massive. Always remember to call 911, as it also makes claiming insurance easier.
3) First Aid – Get medical help as soon as possible. Actively lookout for any kind of medical help. Even the slightest help can prove to be huge in such a scenario.
4) Avoid moving the vehicles – Only move vehicles if it’s a necessity to do so before the police arrive.
5) Stay in the scene – Don’t try to leave the accident spot at all; otherwise, you can get yourself into serious legal trouble.
6) Record Important Things – Make a list of all individuals engaged, as well as their names, addresses, and phone numbers, especially any witnesses. Any photo, video or voice recording would be a plus and help a lot. Also, try noting down the name and badge no.s. of the police officers involved.
7) Don’t accept fault – Don’t and never accept your fault in such cases. Otherwise, it can get you in a lot, a lot of trouble.
8) Notify your Insurance Company – Call your insurance company right away. Delaying it might make your case for claiming insurance weak.
9) Avoid Unnecessary Clutter – Doing so can make you make mistakes, and any mistake here can cost you a lot. Therefore, do not discuss the incident with anyone other than the police, unless absolutely necessary.
How to Claim Money in Semi, Big Rig, 18-Wheeler and Other Commercial Vehicles Accident Cases
Huge commercial vehicles are responsible for a large number of traffic fatalities each year. Fortunately, when a person is killed in a transportation accident, the family can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. This can assist the surviving spouse, children, and other close relatives in obtaining funds for burial and last expenses, medical bills, loss of financial support and income, and even the sadness and emotional anguish associated with the loss of a loved one.
However, these matters are complicated and may involve multiple court appearances. The truth is, it’s not easy to claim your money in accident cases. It’s remarkably difficult in these circumstances; when the stakes are bigger, insurers are more likely to fight harder. But this in no way means that you should be intimidated or fearful of the process. It’s complex but impossible.
Getting your head around the law jargon and policies can be tough. This makes fighting your case and claiming your money by yourself very difficult. That is why it’s genuinely recommended from our side that you contact a law firm and hire a reasonable 18-wheeler accident attorney or lawyers. Some of these law firms and lawyers even give you a free consultation. Some of them, like carlsonattorneys.com, don’t even demand payments or attorney costs unless they recover money on your behalf.
Don’t know what or who the attorney is? – Attorney is a person designated to act on behalf of another person in commercial or legal concerns, usually a lawyer.
P.S.: There are various statutes of limitations that require you to bring a personal injury claim based on negligence within a set time frame after the accident occurred. When you fail to file your claim before the statute of limitations ends, the court may dismiss your case. The most typical statute of limitations in large truck accident claims in the United States is two years.
Special Federal Laws & Measure to Prevent Semi, Big Rig, 18-Wheeler and Other Commercial Vehicles Accidents
The no. big trucks accidents are really concerning. If you live in Texas, the danger is greater as these accidents are frequent. As grim as they look, the safety rules have also evolved. Although, there is still room for improvement. Federal laws have made trucking safer over the years.
Inspecting the Trucks –
Every big rig in operation is required by federal law to meet specific inspection standards once a year. Requiring truck owners to keep up with repairs and maintenance. It is the truck owner’s obligation to ensure that their vehicles are in good working order. And are less prone to suffer a deadly breakdown.
Secure Cargo Load Rule –
Despite the fact that adequate load management is part of the job. 18-wheeler accident lawyers witness many scenarios where people in charge were uninformed, careless or otherwise failed to ensure that their cargo was properly loaded and secured. To avoid these mishaps, all truck drivers and loaders must learn the right ways for loading trucks. And subsequently securing those products.
Weight Limits –
Any tractor-trailer should not exceed a certain weight restriction in order to be safe to drive. And avoid 18-wheeler accidents.
Working Time Limit and Adequate Rest Rule –
To prevent the rising incidence of accidents caused by driver fatigue, the HoS regulation specifies the hours a driver is allowed to work. It also specifies how many continuous hours of rest they must get each day and week.
18 Wheeler Accidents Statistics
The number of wheels on a commercial truck is not specified in the statistics. They instead go by vehicle configuration or weight. Trucks weighing more than 26,001 pounds were involved in 3,645 fatal accidents in 2018, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These huge commercial trucks involved 45,321 injury accidents and 86,191 towaway accidents. There were 1,209 fatal incidents, 14,512 injury crashes, and 24,886 towaway crashes involving trucks weighing between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds.
In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, 4,136 individuals were killed in heavy truck accidents. With 3,042 of those killed using a tractor-trailer. As a matter of fact, when compared to 2009, the number of people who died in large truck accidents in 2018 was 31% higher. Every year, the majority of individuals killed in commercial truck accidents are passengers in other vehicles.