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How do I prove that a semi-truck is responsible for my injuries?
You must show that the semi-truck driver or anyone associated with the semi-truck was negligent in causing the injuries you sustained. In the case of an accident, the driver of the semi-truck may have been negligent in the way they operated the vehicle. A company that employs a truck driver may be responsible for the employee’s negligence. If the attorney is able to show that the company had control over the driver, or negligently hired the driver, they could be on the hook for the injuries as well. It is also true that the company which supplies the goods which were being shipped could potentially be on the hook for the injuries. If the trailer of the semi- truck was not loaded properly, or of the goods being transported were not being transported correctly, this may open up a potential supplier to exposure as well.
What sort of injuries can you sustain, and what sort of damages can I claim as a result of a semi-truck accident?
Injuries can vary depending on the mechanism of injury and the circumstances surrounding the accident. They range from unfortunate fatalities to minor sprains and strains, or soft tissue injuries. When a semi-truck hits a car with considerable force, not only can the back sustain herniated discs, but bones can be shattered, and ligaments torn. If you hit your head during the accident, you may have sustained a concussion and there may be a traumatic brain injury as a result. If you feel like you are foggy after an accident, or are having trouble remembering certain items, this may very well be the case, and you should consult with a neurologist. There may also be injuries from the seatbelt you were wearing at the time of the accident.
Damages in a semi-truck accident are very similar to those in a regular car accident. You can recoup damages related to the injuries suffered, as well as any lost time from work as a result of the accident and any pain and suffering that you may have experienced as a result of the crash. So, it is very similar to a traditional auto accident claim.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-truck accidents occur in a variety of circumstances. Because of the sheer weight of a semi-truck and the speed with which they travel, they can cause catastrophic injuries. The following are a few of the more common causes of semi-truck accidents:
- Fatigue– driver fatigue is a very common cause of semi-truck accidents. Drivers of tractor trailers often times travel thousands of miles in a very short amount of time. Because driver compensation is often times contingent on the number of miles driven and drivers want to ensure they get the most compensation possible, they sometimes extend themselves beyond their physical capabilities and it no longer becomes safe. Even though there are federal regulations in place to limit the amount of time that a driver can travel without taking a break, unfortunately this is not always obeyed.
- Maintenance Issues– when a tractor trailer is not maintained and parts are not taken care of or repaired, vehicles can break down and become unsafe for travel. Unfortunately, to cut down on expenses, tractor trailers are not always maintained as they should be, and this can contribute to accidents. The most important things are the tires, brakes and engine.
- Drivers who are distracted– because most truck drivers live out of their rigs for days at a time, they have plenty of opportunities to distract themselves with cell phones and other electronic devices inside the rig itself. They also have access to GPS devices and radio’s which further distract them while driving.
- Trailer loading issues– when a trailer is loaded down with goods, it needs to be done so in a specific way. If the trailer is loaded quickly and care is not taken to ensure that the weight is distributed evenly, this could contribute to the potential for an accident.
- Inexperience– new drivers take a trucking course, and often times they cost less for a trucking company to hire. Because they are cheaper, trucking companies utilize them and pay them much less than experienced drivers. This inexperience and lack of training in specific rigs can contribute to an accident. If a new driver is unsure how to properly maneuver a rig, this could be a potential hazard.
Contact an Experienced Trucking Accident Attorney in FloridaToday!
If you or someone you know was injured by a semi-truck and have questions about the best way to move forward, contact the attorneys at the Lopez Law Group. We are ready and available to speak with you about your potential claim, and the strengths and weaknesses. A trucking accident can be the scariest moment of someone’s life, and it helps to have the right attorney by your side to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 727-933-0015. Our attorneys are standing by and our consultations on these types of cases are always free.