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Heavy trucks first appeared on highways shortly after the invention of the automobile. Henry Ford had to invent a larger form of motor vehicle which could ship and transport his Model T cars. Heavy trucks slowly evolved over time to the oversized 18-wheelers which are a prominent fixture on highways of the nation. While heavy trucks certainly play a pivotal role in commerce throughout the nation, they also play a role in the number of accidents each year.
The number of heavy trucks on the road has increased in recent years due to the ongoing advances in all kinds of e-commerce, as well as the increase in oil and gas operations throughout the country. Furthermore, Nebraska is a hub for many large trucks to pass through, and as a result, many car accidents involve heavy trucks. While heavy truck drivers may not always be the responsible party, any impact or crash into a heavy truck can result in severe injuries for everyone involved. Nationally, nearly 4,000 people were killed in heavy truck accidents in 2012.This increase in the number of heavy trucks is directly correlated to the increase in the number of truck accidents throughout the country and the state of Nebraska.
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the cause of truck accidents are split into critical events and critical reasons on behalf of the driver. Critical events include running outside of the travel lane (32%), loss of vehicle control (29%), or rear ending a vehicle (22%). Critical reasons include:
- Decision-Making (38%) – Driving too fast, misjudging their speed or the speed of other vehicles, tailgating
- Recognition (28%) – Distraction, not paying attention, or failing to appropriately address the situation
- Non-Performance (12%) – Being physically impaired by sleep, a heart attack, or any other reason
- Performance (9%) – Panicking or overcompensating
Associated factors include problems with the vehicle such as a braking failure and environmental and hazardous road conditions.
Involvement Rate of Large Trucks in Injury Crashes Per 100,000 Registered Trucks
Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accidents often result in severe injuries to all victims of the accident which lead to lengthy hospital stays and long recovery periods. These injuries often include:
As the victim of a truck accident, you are entitled to bring a claim for your injuries. Truck accidents often pit an ordinary motor vehicle against a vehicle which is 4 times its size. An ordinary sedan or sports utility vehicle cannot easily offer protection from a heavy truck. While cars are now equipped with more safety features, these often do not make much of a difference when a severe truck accident occurs.
A truck accident claim can consider the following expenses when calculating the full amount of damages:
- Hospital expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
While many of these damages can be easily calculated in time, a personal injury attorney with experience knows how to project future damages that will impact your life in the years to come. If you suffered a serious injury that results in a complete alteration to your daily life, you will need to factor in ongoing medical expenses and rehabilitative care, as well as the emotional distress which occurs from this type of injury. Many victims also experience a loss of income during their recovery period if their employer does not offer disability leave. A personal injury attorney will take into account all of these factors in calculating the resulting claim.
It is important that you do not sign a settlement agreement immediately after the accident occurs. The responsible party’s insurance company will often try to settle their claim with you shortly after the accident occurs. However, keep in mind that anything you sign could relinquish your ability to bring a claim for damages later on. While an insurance company may promise you a set amount of money immediately, you may be entitled to a larger amount.
The Knowles Law Firm | Omaha, Nebraska
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the Knowles Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience in bringing truck accident claims on behalf of victims of these accidents. We understand the intricacies of truck accidents and how different they are from ordinary car accident claims. Our attorneys will work through your claim with you and ensure that we are accurately representing the facts of the case to get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our Omaha, Nebraska office today for your initial free consultation.
“I have known Jim Knowles, Jr. for more than 20 years. I was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and have not been able to work since. The responsible insurance company initially denied my claim. Mr. Knowles filed suit on my behalf and, through his efforts, I was able to obtain a settlement sufficient to replace my loss of income. He has remained my attorney and friend ever since. I have referred several family members and friends to him through the years and would not think of using a different lawyer.” – Ray T.