The car comes to a sudden halt. The passenger compartment fills with smoke and senses suddenly come back online. Is everyone OK? What’s Next?
An accident often involves loss of time, time off from work, dealing with an insurance company, loss of a favorite vehicle, the headache of a rental car and unfortunately at times an injury or loss of life. If an average auto accident is an inconvenience, an 18-wheeler accident is downright frightening.
The Scary Numbers of Big Rig Accidents
Commercial truck accidents (large trucks, 18-wheelers, and buses) can be caused by any number of factors (negligence, maintenance issues, lack of driver training, or even texting, fatigue, or alcohol). It stands to reason that these accidents cause more damage and injuries because the commercial truck, 18-wheeler or bus is just bigger.
In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association reported the following facts for the 2015 reporting period:
Fatal Truck Crashes
The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 8 percent, from 3,749 to 4,050, and the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) increased by 8 percent, from 1.34 to 1.45
Injury Truck Crashes
The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes decreased by 1 percent, from 88,000 to 87,000, and the large truck involvement rate in injury crashes decreased by 2 percent.
Property Damage Only Crashes
The number of large trucks involved in property damage only crashes decreased by 1 percent, from 346,000 to 342,000, and the large truck involvement rate in property damage only crashes decreased by 2 percent.
Fatal Bus Crashes
The number of buses involved in fatal crashes increased from 236 to 261, an increase of 11 percent, and the bus involvement rate in fatal crashes increased by 9 percent.
Vehicle Miles Traveled
Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by large trucks increased by 0.3 percent, and bus VMT increased by 1.4 percent.
Checklist for a Commercial Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident
The following is a checklist for actions you should take if you or a family member is involved in a commercial truck or 18-wheeler accident.
- Confirm that everyone is safe. if someone is injured call for medical attention immediately. Note, this could be you or another driver. Also, accident sites (including roads and highways) can be dangerous places where secondary injuries or accidents occur. You should maintain your awareness and make sure you remain in a safe place after the accident.
- Call the police to file an accident report. The accident report will note the specifics of the crash and assist with the legal investigation thereafter.
- Record and photograph as much as possible. Remember most of us carry a powerful recording device all the time – your phone – you should take photos or video of the vehicles involved (get license plates in the pictures), parties involved (make sure you can see faces), the accident site, damage, road condition, skid marks, and relevant documents or contact information (i.e., driver’s license and insurance cards).
- Get witnesses’ contact information. If others were involved, or there were witnesses, you should obtain their contact information. Taking pictures of relevant documents can be an excellent way to capture information. You should also write down your thoughts and impressions regarding the facts and circumstances concerning the accident (i.e., was the 18-wheeler driver speeding, texting, driving erratically, weather, … etc.). All the information captured should be maintained in a safe place.
- Seek medical attention. If you have been injured, even if you believe your injuries are minor, you should seek medical attention. Often injuries are not apparent at the time of the accident.
- Get a lawyer to help you with your case. Seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate your case and damages involved. 18-wheeler accident cases can involve taking on a large corporation as well as an insurance company. These are difficult cases and you should contact an attorney to assist you. You should provide your attorney with all the information that you have captured.
Don’t Hesitate. Contact a Texas 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorney Today.
For questions please contact one of our lawyers at The Wright Firm, LLP in the Dallas Metroplex at (972) 353-4600 or visit us at our website. We represent Plaintiffs across the State of Texas. Call today and mention this Blog for a Free Consultation and let one of our experienced lawyers get you peace of mind.