Did you know that a cargo-laden tractor-trailer weighs 20 times more than your car (80,000 pounds vs. 4,000 pounds)? And that in 2015, among the 263 million registered U.S. vehicles, 8.4 million were single-unit trucks, and 2.7 million more were combination trucks (tractor-trailers) (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). That’s a lot of commercial vehicles on the roadways.
Although they may share common aspects with car accidents, truck accidents are often more serious and complex.
In its most recently published data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports over 4,000 people killed and an estimated 116,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. In 2016, there were almost 12 million large trucks registered in the United States (about 4 percent of all vehicles, including motorcycles).
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you may be entitled to significant compensation. At the Hughey Law Firm, we will evaluate your case at no cost and let you know whether we believe you have a claim. To schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyer, call our office today at (843) 881-8644 or contact us online.
For starters, with a car accident, it’s usually easy to point fingers – who is the responsible (at-fault or liable) party who caused the accident? Usually, it’s the driver. He is the most obvious.
But with a truck crash, there’s more to it. Besides the driver, other responsible (culpable parties) may include:
Importantly, more than one party may be liable for an accident.
Other differences with truck accidents:
The most common causes of truck accidents are:
According to one government study, fatigue causes 13 percent (13%) of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) collisions. And that figure may be even higher: per the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), truck driver fatigue is probably underreported and may contribute to nearly 40 percent (40%) of heavy truck accidents.
Besides insufficient (or inadequate) sleep, truck drivers often are tired because they:
Although the government and industry have regulations and recommendations (for example, Hours of Service Rules), they are often ignored or misunderstood.
Trucker fatigue doesn’t necessarily mean falling asleep or dozing behind the wheel. Tired drivers react slower, have impaired judgment, and may not recognize (or appreciate) hazardous weather or road conditions. They are less attentive and more easily distracted—all of that a recipe for disaster.
Truck accidents often result in substantial lifelong, catastrophic injuries—or death. Injuries include lost arms or legs, head injuries, brain damage, deep cuts, bruises, broken bones, dental/jaw injuries, paralysis, spinal cord damage, impaired motor coordination, significant pain, and emotional trauma. They take a huge toll not only on the person involved in the crash but also on their family members, caretakers, coworkers, and employers. Injuries can cost millions, require multiple surgeries and rehabilitation, and last months, years or a lifetime. Some never recover.
Sadly, the wreckage is avoidable. The financial, emotional and physical pain takes a huge toll. Although drivers (and their companies) have made strides to improve, it’s not enough.
Tractor-trailer accidents are complex. Who is at fault? What insurance is available? What should I discuss? How long will does a case take? What are my injuries worth? Will I be properly compensated? What tactics will the other parties use to force an early settlement? These are just a few of many questions your truck accident attorney will handle.
If you or someone you know was hurt in a truck accident, don’t delay. You may lose important rights. Our experienced team of attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm is dedicated to helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve throughout South Carolina. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at (843) 881-8644 or contact us online.
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