CHICAGO, IL – Car accidents are more common than truck accidents; however, truck accidents can be more fatal, especially when combined with speed, weather, and other conditions. It’s important to know factors that can contribute to a truck accident, how trucks are more dangerous than passenger vehicles, what to do if you’re involved in an accident, and how long you have to file a lawsuit.
According to a report released by Enjuris, 4,102 people died in a truck accident in 2017. Thirty-two percent of accidents that occurred happened on an interstate or freeway, while fifty-two percent occurred on other major roads; moreover, fifteen percent of accidents happened on minor roadways.
Factors that Contribute to Truck Accidents
Driving a large commercial truck, such as a semi, is much more difficult to operate due to the weight and size of the truck. The size of the truck makes turning more difficult, and requires a much longer stopped distance than a passenger vehicle.
Improper loading can result in roll-over accidents, due to cargo being improperly loaded and strapped when inspecting before a truck leaves the warehouse. All employees are required to check their truck and ensure that all cargo is properly loaded and log information.
Drivers and truck companies have an obligation to inspect trucks and correct any maintenance issues as they arise. Many drivers and companies cut corners to keep up with profit margins, resulting in negligence.
Truck companies may fail to hire qualified drivers. Many truck companies are on tight deadlines, and hire drivers who are not qualified for these jobs, or have ever driven a semi-truck at all. Trucks are known to excessively speed to meet required deadlines, although they pose a serious threat to themselves and those around them.
Many drivers put deadlines before the safety of others and drive exhausted, or use a drug stimulant to keep themselves awake during their long hours on the road. When you combine these factors with weather, such as rain, snow, sleet, or fog, it can become catastrophic, or even fatal.
Why Are Commercial Trucks More Dangerous?
Tractor-trailers on average weigh 16 times more than a typical passenger car. Semi’s are roughly 53 feet and require 350 feet to come to a complete stop on the highway, compared to a passenger car which requires a breaking distance of 180 feet.
These trucks can also be carrying hazardous material that can cause further damage and injury.
What Do I Do if I Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident?
Ensure your safety above all else, and check to see if anyone was injured in another vehicle. Make sure you are in a safe location, or if you’re able to move your car, move it to an area where you can safely exit. If you need medical treatment, call 911 and request an ambulance right away.
The police will arrive to document the accident – no matter how big or small the accident may be, a documented police report should always be completed. Write down any information you can about the accident and never talk to the other vehicle involved about what happened. Take photographs of your car and the other car(s) involved.
You will need to request the truck drivers name, address, phone number, drivers license number, and insurance company and policy number. You should also get information regarding what truck company the driver works for.
It’s important to see a doctor, even if you think that you’re “fine.” A gap in time waiting to go to the doctor can hurt your case, so it’s important for your health and to have a record of seeing a doctor immediately after the accident.
If you’ve been injured or a fatal accident has occurred, you should contact an attorney immediately. The attorney’s at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. specialize in truck accidents and personal injury, and work hard to receive full compensation for any losses you may have occurred due to a truck driver’s negligence.
How Long Do I Have to File A Lawsuit?
Due to the statue of limitations, you have two years to file a lawsuit; however, you should contact an attorney immediately because of the steps they will have to take, like investigation and discovery. It’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible.
When Do I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
You should hire a truck accident lawyer immediately after the accident occurs. It’s important to seek legal advice so your attorney can obtain as much information as possible on your accident.
Our attorney’s at Dinizulu Law Group offer a free, confidential consultation for you. They will walk you through your options and help with all legal representation. You can call (312) 384-1920 to schedule a free consultation, or visit our website for more information.
Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd.
221 N. LaSalle St., Suite #1100
Chicago, IL 60614