Your car was hit by a semi and you miraculously survived. You’re in pain and have a long recovery ahead of you. What should you do next? When it comes to litigation, do semi-truck accidents differ from car accidents? The short answer: Yes. Here are three major reasons why, courtesy of the experts at McCormick & Murphy personal injury law firm in Colorado.
- Accidents involving semis are usually more serious — much more serious.
- There are often more parties involved in a commercial truck accident.
- Everything is more complicated about big rigs, from the operation of these vehicles and the dynamics of their motors to industry regulations regarding these behemoths.
Semis, which weigh up to 80,000 pounds, are larger than most anything on the road. It only makes sense that accidents involving them are some of the most serious. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Data Loss Institute, “Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes.”
What’s more, “Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes,” the institute states. Of the nearly 4,000 people killed in large truck crashes in 2015, nearly 70% were occupants of cars.
If you’re hit by a car, you typically sue the driver. If you’re hit by a commercial truck, there may be multiple parties involved, including the driver, his/her employer (if not an independent contractor), the truck manufacturer and the truck’s mechanic, to name a few. The potential number of potential parties alone adds a level of complexity to your case that necessitates the assistance of an expert personal injury attorney.
Was the driver of the truck that hit you fatigued? Did he drive longer than 11-hours without taking a legally required break? If so, was he forced by his company to keep an unsafe schedule? Was the truck properly maintained? If not, whose fault was it — the driver’s, the employer’s or the mechanic’s? Had the truck driver been drinking and driving? If weather was involved, was it solely to blame? The number of factors that may be involved in a semi accidents is incredible — and incredibly stressful. You’ll want an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to give your case a fighting chance.
If the accident itself wasn’t enough to handle, now this information. What should your next move be? We recommend contacting a veteran personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling serious auto accidents for a free consultation. You have absolutely nothing to lose. What’s more, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that an expert is fighting to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
If you were hurt in a car accident, give us a call at 1-888-668-1182 or fill out this form for a free case review. Veteran personal injury attorneys Kirk McCormick and James Murphy have more than 50 years of legal experience and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients since over the past 20 years.
To read more tips, check out our blog entry on what to do if you’re in an auto accident. (You’ll also want to print out this accident checklist and keep a copy in your glove box.)
Image credit: Flickr user Ed Dunes