Despite the fact most of us consider ourselves to be good drivers, road accidents are incredibly commonplace. And while regular motor vehicle accidents can be bad enough, truck accidents are often even worse. To help you stay safe behind the wheel and to guide you through the next steps if you do get in an accident, we’re answering some FAQs pertaining to truck accidents below.
Are truck accidents more serious than car crashes? If so, why?
Generally speaking, the answer is yes. The reasons for this are fairly straightforward: a fully-loaded big rig can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, compared to a 3,000-pound automobile. Size, weight, and physics show us that collisions between big trucks and smaller passenger cars often result in serious injuries or even fatalities.
What can I do to prevent an accident with a truck?
When driving in the vicinity of large trucks, you need to stay sharp. Make sure to maintain safe speeds, exercise caution in inclement weather, and give trucks ample time to react. Although Oregon traffic laws mandate that turn signals must be employed at least 100 feet prior to a lane change or turn, you should give a truck driver as much time as possible to slow down or adjust to your moves. In addition, know where a truck’s blind spots are (hint: there are several!) and stay out of them as much as possible.
What should I do following a trucking accident?
If you are in an accident involving a truck, you should follow normal post-accident procedures. These include calling the police, getting medical attention, documenting the scene, gathering contact information, and calling personal injury lawyers if you have been hurt. Make sure to refrain from apologizing, signing any papers, or conversing with the driver’s insurance company.
Can I file a claim if I’ve been injured?
Your lawyer will be able to answer this question as it pertains to your specific circumstances, but in many cases, you can file a claim for personal injury. You may be subject to recovery that includes lost income and additional compensation. In some situations (i.e., a collision with a truck carrying hazardous materials), you may be able to file a suit against the shipper for any conditions you sustain after the accident. If a loved one dies as a result of a trucking accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit.
How is fault proven in truck accidents?
As with any type of motor vehicle collision, fault can be difficult to prove. It’s typically determined through accident scene investigation, testimony from eyewitnesses, police reports, and any other documentation you might be able to provide. Due to the complex nature of these accidents, it’s imperative that you hire an experienced attorney to conduct their own investigation into the driver and their employer. There could be other factors at play, including intoxication. Your lawyer will help you through this process and come up with the best course of action for you to follow.
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a truck or motor vehicle accident, you’ll need legal help from a highly qualified team. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact a Portland Truck Accident Attorney at Mayor Law today.