Semi-truck Accident Quick Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Truck Accidents
Ground transportation is essential to our modern economy, so it's no surprise that semi-trucks add up to 13.4% of registered vehicles in the United States. The trucking industry is indeed growing, and as more fleets hit the road, the risk of getting into an accident with these large vehicles increases as well.
The process of submitting a personal injury claim in instances involving commercial trucks can be complex. Not only are there higher instances of extreme injuries or death, but it can also be difficult to understand who is liable for the injuries sustained in an accident.
While the risk of getting into a crash with a semi-truck is daunting, take solace in knowing that personal injury lawsuits can help you receive compensation after an accident. Keep reading for a complete overview of personal injury cases involving semi-trucks.
The Many Agencies of the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry is regulated by many entities at both the state and federal levels. Because of this, there can be many liable parties in this kind of personal injury suit. Your attorney will assess the accident and figure out what parties are responsible for paying damages in a personal injury claim.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the loading and unloading of trucks at off-highway locations, such as warehouses or retail locations. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for Commercial Driving Licensing, assessing vehicle safety, and all driving on interstate highways. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deals with pollution control and prevention from the industry. The Federal Aviation Administration plays a hand in managing ground crew safety.
In Arizona, the state agencies involved in semi-truck operations include the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS). These entities enforce the rules and regulations that promote highway safety. This includes all audits, inspections, and enforcement operations required by state law as well as the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations.
Common Causes of Semi-truck Accidents
There are four semi-truck factors to keep in mind: braking ability, size, weight, and field of vision. Drivers must take into account how large trucks operate on roadways and act accordingly. Below is an overview of negligent behaviors that often result in semi-trucks accidents.
Unsafe Acts by Passenger Vehicles
- Driving within the blind spots beside and behind a semi-truck
- Miscalculating the speed at which trucks travel through an intersection
- Switching lanes to close to a semi-truck
- Driving on the right side of a semi-truck that is attempting a right turn
- Improper merging into traffic which triggers semi's to swerve or quickly brake
- Failure to allow semi-trucks to merge or change lanes
- Passing semi-trucks in an unsafe manner
- Passing a truck without bracing for possible cross-wind or air turbulence
- Riding between semi-trucks
- Not sufficiently pulling stopped or slow vehicles out of travel lanes
Unsafe Actions by Semi-Truck Operators
- Inadequate training that does not fully cover driving methods, semi-truck safety, and defensive driving techniques
- Compensation systems that promote semi-truck operators to speed and drive more consecutive hours
- Scheduling or company expectations that force semi-truck drivers to promote efficiency over safety
What to Do in the Event of an Accident
If you do find yourself in an auto accident that involves a semi-truck, there are key actions to take right away.
- Get everyone to safety and assess any injuries
- Call the police. Be sure they arrive at the scene and have an official record of what happened
- Exchange information with all parties involved in the accident. Make sure you have their name, phone number, and auto insurance information. Also make sure to get the company name, driver name, and all DOT numbers on both the tractor and trailer of the semi-truck
- Take pictures of the scene and all identifying information. Hold on to any documentation you receive from the accident, including all bills
- Consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident
- Seek medical treatment in a timely fashion for all of your injuries
- Make a claim with your car insurance provider
Connect With Helpful Representation for Semi-Truck Accidents
One of the most important decisions to make after getting into a semi-truck accident is choosing the right personal injury attorney. An experienced law firm will take the guesswork out of your case and allow you to focus on healing while they fight for you in court.
Glazer, Hammond & Ruben, PLLC is the best personal injury representation in Northern Arizona. Attorney Keith Hammond has over thirty years of experience with personal injury cases, earning him a top-notch reputation for doing right by his clients.
You do not need to deal with a car accident alone. Reach out to Glazer, Hammond & Ruben, PLLC and schedule your consultation today.