Every time we get on the road, we take certain risks. A motor vehicle accident can cause property damage and physical injury. The risks for injuries and property damage increase substantially when a smaller vehicle gets into an accident with a much larger vehicle.
Commercial vehicles, such as semitrucks, eighteen wheelers and even buses can cause catastrophic damage to smaller vehicles. Many times, issues such as wide turns and blind spots can make commercial vehicles responsible for seriously damaging a smaller vehicle. In these situations, injuries are often worse than in other crashes.
Big vehicles have trouble stopping quickly. Their weight and size make them difficult to control in inclement weather. Statistically, the driver of a commercial vehicle is many times more likely to kill or severely injure the passengers of a personal vehicle when he or she makes a mistake.
Commercial vehicles are subject to special rules
Commercial vehicles can cause major injuries without the bigger vehicle even showing a scratch. Their size makes them deadly if the person behind the wheel is tired, chemically impaired or distracted in any way. Far too often, shipping companies incentivize poor behavior, such as falsifying rest and break reports, in order for shipments to arrive on time. Under federal law, commercial drivers are subject to strict requirements for rests and break times based on the cargo (objects or people) and the number of hours the vehicle is being driven. These laws are in place to prevent exhausted or drowsy driving.
Commercial drivers may feel like they have no choice but to bend or break these rules. Doing so, however, places everyone else on the road at risk of a serious injury or even death. Even if you take every precaution possible to drive safely, the truck driver’s negligence could cause you serious damages. If you have reason to believe that the truck driver involved in your crash was drunk, drugged, exhausted or distracted, an attorney can determine if that driver or the company in question has a history of safety and rest law violations.
Uphold your rights after a commercial accident
Many times, trucking companies or their insurance companies may offer tiny initial settlements to avoid legal and financial obligations. An attorney can review a settlement offer for you to determine if it is fair given the extent of your injuries. He or she can also file a civil lawsuit on your behalf to ensure that you can recover your lost wages and medical expenses after a serious commercial vehicle accident.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001