Truck Accidents

Trucking and tractor trailer accident victims face medical bills, loss of wages, physical pain, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. If injuries are severe or permanent, families suffer economic loss, mental anguish and the loss of companionship in caring for an injured family member. In the event of death, families are torn apart without any warning.

If you hire a lawyer to represent you in a truck accident case, your lawyer should have extensive knowledge of the rules and regulations that control truckers. Your lawyer should also have extensive knowledge about insurance coverage in truck and big rig accidents.

A traffic accident involving a large commercial truck, such as an 18-wheeler or semi, can have disastrous consequences. A typical fully loaded large commercial truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Because of the shear size of trucks, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries by bringing a legal claim against the responsible parties. An experienced attorney can help determine whether you have a claim.

What to Do if You Are Injured in a Truck Accident

Report the Accident

Call 911 to report the accident. Many state laws require that you report an accident right away. Leaving the scene of an accident without waiting for the police to come is a crime in most states. Reporting the accident is also important if someone has been injured and needs immediate medical attention. If someone is hurt, do everything you can to help.

Be Careful What You Say

When talking to the police or highway patrol about the accident, it is important to be truthful, but to also stick to the facts and try to avoid offering opinions. However, don’t:

Right after an accident it can be difficult to determine who was at fault or what caused the accident.

See a Doctor if You Are Injured

It is best to seek medical attention quickly if you are injured. You may be dazed or confused from the accident and not notice your own injuries. It is important to make sure that you have not sustained any serious injuries, or if you have, that you are seen by a doctor or other health care professional immediately.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Instructions on how to report a claim, including the person or office to which it must be reported, will be found in your insurance policy. You should also review your policy to find out how much and what kind of coverage you have.

Contact an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. It is critical in serious injury cases to have an attorney begin investigating the accident and preserving evidence so that it is not lost. An attorney can assist you with gathering evidence such as:

Your attorney will work with expert witnesses who may be needed to testify about the possible negligence of a trucking company or driver. An expert can be any person who has experience in the trucking industry, such as a former trucking company executive, a safety director, a department of transportation investigator or an accident investigator with experience in the trucking field.

Call if you have questions.

After a serious accident involving an 18-wheeler, tanker, dump truck or other large commercial vehicle, you may have many questions. An attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in trucking law can give you advice about how to handle your case.

Overview of Federal Trucking Regulations

Those involved in the trucking industry must abide by numerous federal and state regulations. The federal regulations can be found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 C.F.R. §§ 350-399). These regulations govern all vehicles engaged in interstate traffic. These regulations are extensive and can be confusing. An experienced lawyer can explain these regulations and how they may apply to your truck accident case.

A high percentage of traffic crashes and deaths involve large trucks. A large truck is any truck whose vehicle weight is over 10,000 pounds. Because of their size, crashes involving large trucks are more likely to result in serious injury and death than are car crashes. Approximately 10% of all those injured in a large truck crash will die. Large trucks are more likely to be involved in multiple-vehicle crashes than are passenger cars. Both Federal and state regulations govern trucking and cover areas such as safety of equipment and hours of the drivers. Trucking companies are required to keep records of such information and it will be necessary to find and research such records. Poor equipment and driver fatigue can be causes of such crashes, and a careful study of the trucking company records may be needed to determine if negligence has occurred.

Safety First!

The American Trucking Association's Share the Road Guidelines for Motorists

To arrange a free consultation to discuss your truck accident case, please call or e-mail the Little Rock truck accident lawyers of the Owings Law firm at 1-866-642-6188.