Have you been injured in a crash caused by an 18-wheeler or large truck? When seeking legal remedies for injuries, it’s important to find a lawyer experienced in such cases.
As society becomes more delivery-oriented, companies are adding thousands of trucks to the highways, leading to a rise in crashes, injuries, and deaths. Nearly 5,000 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2020, according to a Time article. That’s 33% more than just 10 years prior.
Trucking companies bear a great responsibility in not only moving materials in a timely manner but creating safe environments for their drivers and for motorists and passengers with whom they share the roads. On average, some 500,000 trucking accidents occur in the United States annually. Many of the fatalities involve passenger cars, which makes sense as large trucks can easily weigh 40 tons, compared to 2.5 tons for the average car. In fact, in 2017, of those killed involving one passenger vehicle and one semi-truck, 97% of those killed were in passenger vehicles.
Wrecks involving trucks can be caused by driver fatigue, improper vehicle maintenance, distracted driving, inadequate training, improper loading, alcohol or drug use; high speeds, and violation of trucking laws and regulations.
Truck accidents can result in serious injuries to drivers and families. A truck accident lawsuit can recover damages to compensate victims for associated costs and damages. If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident and sustained injuries that required a visit to the hospital, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
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The trucking industry is in a pinch to find drivers to meet the rising demands of shipping goods from one place to the next, and because of the rising employee churn in the industry.
Truck drivers are in high demand, so much so that the Biden administration announced a pilot program that drops the minimum age to drive commercial trucks on the interstate from 21 to 18. Time reported that there is no minimum behind-the-wheel driving time required to drive a 40,000-pound truck. Only a medical exam, a multiple-choice written exam, and a brief driving test are required.
One example of how this lack of training led to fatal consequences was when a 23-year-old truck driver from Texas had his brakes fail on a mountain pass in Colorado. The driver crashed his runaway truck into stopped traffic, killing four people. He was sentenced to 110 years in prison for vehicular manslaughter, which was reduced to 10 years by Colorado’s governor.
However, the trucker’s attorney said his client never received formal training in mountain passes and how to deal with them. The wife of a man killed in the wreck saw things differently, writing a letter to the Denver Post, that the truck driver was not a victim. She urged the Biden administration to require the minimum required insurance for trucking companies to be raised.
Truck drivers are held to higher standards than drivers of regular cars. An experienced attorney can help injured victims claim reimbursements for their injuries. Companies insure their driver. A lawsuit can pursue the driver, the insurance company, and the trucking company. According to CNBC, the average verdict size for a lawsuit of more than $1 million involving a truck crash increased nearly 1,000% from 2010 to 2018.
If you or someone you love was injured in a trucking accident within the last three years and required medical treatment at a hospital, you may qualify to participate in a lawsuit investigation.
Drivers and the companies that hire them have an obligation to be safe on the highways. Their trucks are sometimes 20 times heavier than cars on the highway. A seasoned attorney can help determine how to proceed in a case involving a trucking accident.
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