Truck accidents are all too common, and there are many road hazards that long haul truckers face daily. Truckers face inclement weather, inattentive drivers and mechanical issues that can make an accident inevitable. Avoiding these accidents and getting help immediately in case of an injury is key to getting back on the road again.
The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Driving conditions can be unpredictable. Between inclimate weather and incidents of drunk driving, truckers are likely to encounter all kinds of accident risks. These are just three of the most common causes of truck accidents:
Air Brake Malfunctions
Most 18-wheeler semis have air brakes, which typically stop a fully loaded truck in about 100 feet. When these brakes malfunction, they can cause these massive vehicles to go barreling down the highway out of control. This can lead to a serious or even deadly accident.
Even if the driver pumps the brakes, it can still take more time than is safe to stop. The trucker’s employer should ensure that the air brakes are maintained regularly and should be held responsible should an air brake accident occur.
If the weight is not distributed evenly in the trailer, trucks can roll over, resulting in a serious accident that can sometimes be fatal. When the truck starts to slide, the driver can lose control and hit a guardrail, another car or even a curb and roll over onto its side.
Truckers are often hurt in these accidents, and it can take months of physical therapy to recover from them. If the truck was loaded incorrectly or there was other negligence, the shipper can be held liable.
In most states, there are limits to how much cargo trucks can haul. The usual max is 80,000 pounds fully loaded. When the shipper overloads the truck, it can cause difficulties when the truck is climbing a steep hill or making a wide turn. Overloading a truck can cause a rollover accident, or cause the truck to collide with another vehicle.
Making a Trucking Accident Claim
If you have been hurt in a trucking accident, there are many people who may be at fault. The shipper may have improperly loaded the truck, leading to an accident. In other cases, the employer may have failed to properly maintain the truck, making it unsafe to drive. In still other cases, another driver’s reckless driver can lead to an accident.
The consequences of a truck accident can be severe. Not only can the driver become injured, he can also lose time from work, leading to a loss of income. If the trucker is an owner-operator, he can face huge repair bills and an insurance increase. When there has been a truck accident, the right people need to be held accountable.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Settlement?
When you have received a settlement, your first thought may be how long it will take to be paid. After all, you may have medical bills and repair bills piling up. You will need your money quickly in order to get back to your life before the accident. The short answer is that it depends.
If the case was open and shut, the parties reach an agreement quickly and the insurance company is not filing an appeal, you may see a payout in as little as a month. On the other hand, if there were serious injuries, multiple parties involved and an insurance company digging in its heels, it could take more than a year to reach a settlement and get your cash.
If you’ve been hurt don’t know how to determine fault in truck accidents, a personal injury lawyer can help. Pick a firm that specializes in truck accident claims. They should have experience helping many truckers get the compensation they deserve. Your lawyer can even work with insurance companies and should know the inner workings of the legal system. If you have been involved in an accident, don’t talk to the insurance companies without talking to a lawyer first.