Do I Need A Lawyer After A Semi-Truck Crash?

By Steven M. Gursten, attorney and President of Michigan Auto Law

Introduction

In 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, there were approximately 450,000 truck crashes in the U.S., according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Of those, 4,237 were fatal semi crashes and 344,000 were tractor-trailer accidents that resulted in injuries. It’s important for people sharing the roads with semi-trucks to talk with a truck accident lawyer who can help them protect the legal rights they have after an accident or other incident involving a large truck.

The Basics Of Trucking Accidents

Semi-trucks, also known as tractor trailers and 18-wheelers, are large vehicles that carry cargo across the country. These trucks can range in size from 40 feet to 53 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The larger ones are called “super singles” because they only have one axle instead of two like most cars do (thus the name).

Trucking crashes happen when these massive machines collide with other vehicles on the road or pedestrians crossing the street.

What can I do after a semi-truck crash?

After a truck accident, it’s important to get medical care. If you have been injured, call the police and your insurance company immediately.

You will also want to contact an attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options following an accident involving a tractor trailer or any other large vehicle.

Make sure that all of your injuries are documented by taking pictures and getting witness statements before seeing a doctor or going home after an accident. The more evidence you have at this stage of things, the better off you will be later when preparing your case against whoever was responsible for causing the crash that resulted in your injuries.

What can cause a semi-truck accident?

A lawyer will help you identify the cause of the semi-truck accident that injured you or a loved one. You must be able to prove this in order to win on your case for pain and suffering compensation. Common causes include: (1) driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; (2) loss of control of the semi; (3) brake failure due to poor maintenance; (4) negligent loading and placement of cargo; (5) driver fatigue; (6) the trucking company forced its drivers to violate the federal hours-of-service regulations requiring drivers to take rest breaks.

The trucking company will have a lawyer – you should, too.

If you’re going up against a large trucking company or fleet operator, it’s essential to hire a lawyer with experience in semi-truck cases. A lawyer with expertise in this type of case can help you get the best outcome for your injuries and property damage.

The importance of hiring a lawyer who has experience negotiating with insurance companies cannot be overstated. Insurance companies are notorious for offering lowball settlements that don’t come close to covering all your losses, but an experienced attorney knows how to push back on them and make sure they pay what they owe without compromising your ability to recover from injuries sustained during the crash.

Conclusion

If you were injured in a crash with a semi, it’s important to hire an experienced attorney who can help you recover the compensation you deserve. 

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