Motorists must have commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and undergo training to operate 18-wheeler trucks. They must also meet all state requirements put in place to maintain road safety and usability. Despite these rules, accidents involving 18-wheelers are still common in New York.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fatalities among truck occupants increased between 2012 and 2015, and more than one in three truck drivers admit to experiencing a traffic accident in their career. When trucks collide with passenger cars, the damage to cars can be more significant because trucks are larger and heavier than they are.
Semi-truck accidents can also lead to disability, death, and total car damage. However, you might be eligible to seek compensation from the party at fault and potentially recover your damages. If you suffered injuries after an 18-wheeler accident, contact the Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800 to determine if you can file a claim or lawsuit.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
One of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents is driving while distracted by other activities. These activities may include eating, using a cellphone, adjusting the radio, or setting a GPS.
Since most 18-wheeler trucks transport cargo, truck drivers often work on a deadline, influencing them to speed. Unfortunately, speeding can make it challenging for a driver to control their truck if there is a sudden need to stop. It may also increase the impact force when a crash occurs, leading to severe damage and injuries.
State laws forbid drivers from operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, which includes some prescription medications. Yet, according to the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, truck drivers often use stimulants to enhance their ability to drive for longer hours, despite them reducing their driving skills and causing overall impairment.
Other common causes of truck accidents include:
- Inadequate vehicle servicing and maintenance
- Malfunctioning vehicle parts, such as defective wipers and brakes
- Failure to obey traffic light signals
- Other drivers’ failure to give trucks right of way
- Carrying hazardous goods, such as flammable liquids
- Smaller cars driving in trucks’ blind spots
18-Wheeler Truck Drivers Must Follow Federal Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) applies some rules to control commercial vehicles, such as hours-of-service regulations. These regulations are set in place so that truck drivers are discouraged from driving while fatigued or impaired.
Furthermore, the FMCSA also states that truck drivers should not have more than 0.04 percent as their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level when driving. Failure to comply with this standard may lead to a CDL suspension.
Semi-trucks motorists must also inspect their vehicles before every shift and avoid carrying cargo beyond the allowed limit.
Buffalo 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
How to Determine Liability in 18-Wheeler Accidents
Determining the party responsible for a semi-truck accident is often a complex process because more than one party can be liable. In some instances, a driver may be the only one at fault if they failed to follow road safety rules. They can also be held accountable if they were under the influence of drugs or driving while distracted.
Owners must follow up on repairing faulty parts to ensure that their vehicles are in the right working conditions. Hence, if a company fails to fix a defect that later causes an accident, the injured party may be able to hold the company liable for damages.
A Buffalo 18-wheeler accident lawyer can assess various details about a crash to establish the cause. They may then develop a strategy to fight for damages and collect the evidence they need to argue your case. Your lawyer may use the following pieces of evidence to support your claims:
- A police report on the accident
- Photographs of the scene
- Witness statements
- Medical report showing the injuries caused by the crash
- A forensic expert report to indicate the speed of the vehicles during the collision
- Surveillance or traffic camera footage that shows how the accident occurred
If you suffered damages in an 18-wheeler accident, you might be eligible to claim reimbursement from the at-fault party. Reach out to the Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 to start working on your case.
18-Wheelers Can Cause Severe Injuries and Even Death in Accidents
Damages caused by 18-wheelers accidents are similar to those from car collisions, but they can be more severe. Some injuries that an 18-wheeler accident might cause include:
- Crashed and fractured bones
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Deep lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Burns from hot vehicle parts or fire
Treating these injuries can be costly because a victim’s insurance might not be enough to cover all expenses. Certain injuries may affect mobility and make it challenging for a person to work. These injuries may also interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy various activities, such as participating in sports.
A Buffalo 18-wheeler accident lawyer can help you estimate the damages you suffered after an accident and file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf to pursue compensation. They may also liaise with medical experts to determine if you will need more medical treatments and procedures. This step may help your lawyer calculate expected future costs if applicable.
Semi-truck accidents can kill car occupants on the spot, and sometimes they may succumb to the injuries suffered. A lawyer can help surviving family members of deceased victims and request compensation for various losses on their behalf. Some of these damages may include lost income, pain and suffering, funeral costs, and medical treatment given before death. Compensation may also be given to cover the loss of comfort and companionship for both the deceased’s spouse and children.
Contact the Morelli Law Firm Today for an 18-Wheeler Accident Case Assessment
Accidents involving 18- wheelers may result in severe physical injury and material damage. At the Morelli Law Firm, we can help you determine who should be held responsible for the collision that injured you. Our lawyers can also negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf and fight for an appropriate settlement amount.
If you or a loved one got injured in a semi-truck accident, you might be eligible to claim compensation. Reach out to the Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a case assessment.