Large trucks – semi-trucks or similar trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more – caused 292 of the over 3,000 vehicle fatalities in Florida in 2017. Due to the massive size of these trucks, and the much smaller size of regular cars and even SUVs, a person involved in an accident with a semi-truck has a much higher chance of sustaining a catastrophic injury.
Loaded semi-trucks can weigh 80,000 pounds or more. The amount of stress this puts on truck tires makes tire blowouts common and inevitable. Despite their weight, trucks can easily be manipulated in strong winds, causing the driver to lose control. Due to their size and length, trucks create multiple large blind spots for truck drivers. We’ve all seen the signs – if you can’t see the truck driver in their side mirror, they can’t see you! Always give these types of trucks wide berths and practice defensive driving.
Even when you take all the steps necessary to keep yourself safe, you can still fall victim to a collision. A truck driver might not be paying attention and/or is distracted, is driving under the influence, or hasn’t had enough sleep. Inclement weather can make it much harder to control these massive vehicles, parts on the truck itself can fail due to prolonged use, and sudden obstacles or debris in the road can force a truck driver to swerve and lose control of his trailer.
Some truck accidents are impossible to avoid, no matter your skill as a driver. If you’re involved in a trucking accident, it is important to remain calm and, if possible, pull over and turn off your vehicle. Then, check yourself and others for injuries. Attempting to move truck accident victims can cause further injuries, so try not to move them unless it is necessary to keep them out of harm’s way.
Once you are safe, call the authorities to respond to the accident – this is important for establishing what caused the accident. Seek medical attention as well. After an accident your adrenaline is pumping and you may not realize that you are injured. Internal injuries, such as concussions, might not show symptoms right away. It’s important that you are evaluated by a doctor in order to rule out the possibility of internal injuries.
Once everyone is safe, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and any visible injuries you have. Exchange information with the driver(s) of other vehicles and contact your insurance company. Sometimes these accidents can lead to legal issues, especially if injuries are involved. It is important that everything is documented and that you are open and honest about what happened.
Many times, if the truck caused the accident, the truck driver’s insurance company will contact you immediately and try to get you to settle your claim and sign away your rights. Don’t do it! Make sure to call the lawyers at Fasig Brooks. We can inform you of your legal rights, which may include compensation for personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, medical bills, lost wages due to inability to work, and future medical costs and lost wages if your injury is permanent.