Contact The Barker Law Firm today if you have suffered personal injuries as a result of a tractor trailer accident. You will immediately receive prompt, courteous attention, and the help you need in deciding how to deal with medical bills, property damage, wage loss, insurance claims, and other important questions that you or your family may have following an accident.
Accidents on the road with motor vehicles of any kind can cause devastating, life threatening injuries and even death. Likely one of the most terrifying type of motor vehicle accident is an accident involving a tractor trailer or a commercial truck. Tractor trailer and 18 wheeler accidents are fewer in number, however, they are far more dangerous than regular motor vehicle accidents (automobile) often causing serious injuries and death.
The size and weight of these monster vehicles cause an impact usually much greater than an accident involving two automobiles. Commercial vehicles are common on the roadways. Studies by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have shown that when compared mile to mile tractor trailer accidents occur less often. When an accident involving a tractor trailer occurs, it is more often the driver of the automobile or other smaller vehicle that is more likely injured and killed than the driver of the tractor trailer.
The top 10 causes for tractor trailer accidents are:
Problems with brakes including failure to have them tested and maintained.
Traffic congestion or other type of traffic flow interruptions making it difficult for the driver to maneuver the vehicle.
Driving at an excessive speed.
Being unfamiliar with a route.
Problems with the roadway including weather conditions such as slick roads, black ice, snowstorms and blizzards and diminished visibility due to inclement weather.
Frequent required stops (stoplights, cross walks, construction).
Over use of over the counter medication to stay awake.
The drivers of these vehicles often cause accidents because they are sleep deprived, using excessive speed to make delivery deadlines, the tractor trailer or truck has not been properly maintained, or the drivers fail to realize that they need to take extra precautions such as braking far enough back simply because of their size to avoid rear ending the car in front of them.
When a tractor trailer accident occurs, there are 4 reasons that the driver of the tractor trailer is or can be responsible for the accident:
The driver fell to sleep, or suffered a heart attack, seizure or other physical disability or impairment that interfered with his ability to maintain control over the tractor trailer.
The driver was distracted by something such as a cell phone, text or other technology in his truck or wasn’t paying attention on the roadway.
The driver made poor decisions in the operation of his vehicle such as not anticipating a slow down or stop of traffic, following the vehicle ahead too closely and having to stop quickly, misjudging the flow of traffic or misjudging his ability to safely change lanes.
The driver anticipated traffic ahead of him and overcompensated control of the vehicle, panicked or failed to properly control the tractor trailer.
There are many rules set out by federal laws, rules and regulations which govern the trucking industry. The hazard that tractor trailers pose on the roads and highways cannot be disputed. Regulations include hours of roadway time permitted before a driver needs to take a break, maintenance of the tractor trailer including brakes, tire wear and strict drug and alcohol laws and regulations.
It is hard to think clearly after you have been involved in an accident. Your mind is racing and you think of many things that you should do. Sometimes your actions are just reactions to the accident and you are not thinking at that moment how what you do in those first few minutes will affect you. In those immediate moments after a car accident, there are some things you should not do:
Never try to represent yourself against an insurance company. This occurs when people do not understand their legal rights and mistakenly believe that the insurance company will be fair and offer an adequate settlement.
Do not think that hiring a large personal injury firm based on radio and television commercials is the best choice because of the size of the firm. In large law firms, there are many levels of staff that you will talk to before you get to talk to your attorney. In some instances, a client who hire large firms never actually get to speak to their attorney who is assigned to their case. Although you may sometimes speak to the paralegal assigned to your case at The Barker Law Firm, it is your right to speak directly to your attorney any time you want to. Attorney Brian Barker is available to speak to all of his clients personally.
If you are involved in any kind of motor vehicle accident do not leave the scene. Call 911 immediately so they can send policeman or deputy to the scene of the accident in addition to an ambulance and EMT’s to do an on-site assessment of your injuries.
Don’t apologize to the other driver and do not admit any fault for the accident. Anything that you say at the scene may be brought up later and used against you.
Do not tell anyone that you are not hurt or that you are okay. You have just had an accident, you are not thinking clearly and at that point you really don’t know if you are okay.
Do not leave the scene of the accident without taking pictures, preferably if you are able to, while the cars are still in the position immediately after the accident. Almost everyone has a cell phone that can take pictures. These pictures could be very important later on when the adverse driver’s insurance carrier tries to dispute liability.
Do not forget to obtain the other driver’s insurance information and if possible take a picture of the license plate of the other driver’s car or truck.
Do not refuse to be medically assessed at the scene of the accident. Some injuries will take a few days before you are really feeling pain as you try to go about your regular routine. The other driver’s insurance company will try to say are not hurt because you refused treatment at the scene or did not go to the hospital.
Do not speak to anyone from an insurance company or a private investigator. They are going to try to get information from you that they will use to hurt you later on. Tell whoever calls you to contact your attorney. Insurers will often reach out to accident victims immediately and try to offer them a few hundred dollars in exchange for an all inclusive release. If you sign that release you will never be able to file a claim, even if your injuries are very serious.
To really protect yourself and your future after an auto accident with a tractor trailer that is not your fault, you need to retain the services of a law firm that has represented injured clients and knows how to deal with insurance carriers.
The Barker Law Firm has experience handling tractor trailer accident cases. We have a working knowledge of the rules and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. With this knowledge, we investigate the tractor trailer accidents very thoroughly to discover the reason that the accident occurred and hold the driver and the company responsible for your personal injuries and other damages.
If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident, The Barker Law Firm will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. Contact The Barker Law Firm to represent you at 727-328-9000.
To schedule a free consultation or request additional information about our services, please contact The Barker Law Firm at 727-328-9000 or click here to contact us by e-mail.