Serving Injured Semi Truck Accident Victims for Over 60 Years
A semi truck accident can be a life-altering experience for both you and your family. You could be facing serious injuries that can take months if not years to recover from. Your family could suffer the financial burden of paying the medical expenses without the help of your income. In many cases, the injuries sustained in the accident may be fatal and your family will be left to pick up the pieces afterward. If you get into a trucking accident with a semi truck, do you know what your next steps should be?
For more than 60 years, the truck accident lawyers at Munley Law have represented drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and truck drivers who have been seriously hurt in accidents with semi trucks. If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash with a semi, you will need someone on your side to make sure the trucking company is held responsible.
Why Choose Munley Law as Your Semi Truck Accident Lawyer?
While many personal injury law firms claim to handle semi truck accidents, the reality is that these cases are much more complex than a typical auto accident. If you were hit by a semi, you need to make sure your semi truck accident lawyer has years of experience bringing semi truck accident cases to trial and has a track record of winning major settlements and verdicts for truck crash victims.
At Munley Law, our truck accident attorneys set the standard in our industry for handling commercial semi truck accident cases. When choosing a truck accident attorney, you want an attorney who not only has the knowledge needed for semi truck accident cases but who has the resources available to see your semi truck accident case through to the end. And that’s exactly what you will get with Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
Our No Fee Promise makes it possible for anyone to hire the best truck accident lawyer, thereby giving them the best chance for maximum recovery. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we do not collect an attorney’s fee unless we win your case. It’s that simple. And if for some reason, we are unable to get you the compensation you deserve following a truck accident, then you do not owe us a fee. This gives everyone the opportunity to get justice for their truck accident without having to worry about an added expense at this time.
Call us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
Why are Semi Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
Semi trucks play a valuable role in our economy. According to the national trade association for the trucking industry, the American Trucking Associations, semi trucks move approximately 72.5 percent of the nation’s freight by weight.
What makes a semi truck accident so dangerous as compared to a typical car accident is the size and weight of the vehicles involved. A fully loaded semi truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is approximately 20 times heavier than that of a passenger vehicle. As you can imagine, getting into an accident with a semi can result in serious damage and catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Traumatic head injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Back and neck injuries, such as herniated discs or whiplash
- Broken bones
What Compensation Could I Receive for My Semi Truck Accident Claim?
After a semi truck accident, chances are you’ll be facing a substantial amount of financial expenses. Your car insurance company will only pay for so much. How will you pay for the rest of the costs following a truck crash?
Depending on who is responsible for your commercial truck accident, have the option to file a truck accident lawsuit against multiple parties for the accident, such as:
- The commercial truck driver, whose actions prior to the accident may have caused the crash
- The truck company, who may have failed to train the driver properly
- The shipping company, who hired the negligent company
- The truck’s mechanic, who failed to keep up on the maintenance work on the truck
- The truck or truck parts manufacturer, who made a defective product
Depending on the severity of your injuries, the complexity of your truck accident case, and the number of expenses you have, you may be eligible for the following:
This type of compensation is meant to compensate your monetary losses following a truck accident. These damages include:
- Medical bills such as doctor appointments, lab tests, medical equipment, physical therapy, surgery, and long-term rehabilitation.
- Lost wages and lost earning potential
- Property damages
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one in the semi-truck accident
Non-economic damages are compensation for non-monetary losses after a serious semi truck accident. These include but are not limited to:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment in daily activities
In rare instances, punitive damages may be available. This compensation is meant to punish those responsible for the accident involving a semi truck.
What Causes Semi Truck Accidents?
There is no one reason that semi truck accidents occur so frequently. Collisions are caused by a variety of mechanical problems, types of truck driver negligence, and failures to adhere to national safety regulations. The most common causes of crashes involve issues with:
- Braking Systems: Because semi-trucks are much larger and heavier than SUVs, cars, motorcycles, and bicycles, they require more space and are more difficult to stop. Mechanical problems with braking systems and hazardous driving habits like tailgating and speeding can cause big rigs to crash when drivers try to stop their trucks. If the trucking company failed to perform regular inspections or allowed their vehicles on the road in poor condition, they should be held accountable.
- Driver Fatigue: When exhausted truckers take to the road, the result can be deadly. According to a study by the Department of Transportation (DOT), driver fatigue causes thousands of deaths every year. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that 40% of all accidents involving trucks are caused by exhaustion, insufficient sleep, or driver fatigue. The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that 21% of fatal crashes involve fatigued drivers and further found small sleep schedule changes can have a big impact on crash rates: drivers who got 6-7 hours had a crash rate that was 1.3 times higher than drivers who slept more than 7 hours. For drivers who slept 5-6 hours, the crash rate was 1.9 times higher. When motor vehicle operators slept 4-5 hours, they crashed at a rate that was 4.3 times higher, and drivers who slept less than 4 hours had a crash rate that increased by almost 12 times.
- Driving in Inclement Weather: Rain, snow, sleet, wind, ice, thunderstorms, hail, and other natural disasters create roadside hazards for all drivers. When truckers remain on the road during hazardous types of weather, the likelihood that they will collide with another vehicle or roadside object dramatically increases.
- Failure to Perform Required Inspections and Maintenance: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a subdivision of the DOT, provides comprehensive regulations governing required truck inspections and maintenance schedules. Truckers and truck companies that fail to adhere to these regulatory rules have no way of knowing when truck machinery is faulty, worn out, or otherwise in need of replacement to avoid complete breakdowns and system failures, which frequently cause accidents.
- Blind Spots: Unlike cars and SUVs, semi-trucks lack rearview windows and have large blind spots that prevent drivers from seeing what is directly behind their vehicles. These blind spots pose a dangerous problem that can cause collisions when drivers need to merge or back up because they cannot see the pedestrians, bicyclists, other motor vehicles, and property behind them.
- Intoxicated Driving: Substance abuse, particularly the abuse of alcohol, opioids, marijuana, and amphetamines, is a major problem in the truck driving community. Truck drivers often spend weeks alone on the open road and may compensate for the boredom, loneliness, and exhaustion they feel with illegal drugs or drinking. When operators of 18-wheelers drive while intoxicated, they are not only more likely to crash; they are more likely to cause major damage, inflict serious injuries, or even cause death.
- Tire Blowouts: Tire blowouts, which are essentially the sudden explosion of a big rig tire truck, can be caused by errors in manufacturing, design, installation, inspections, or truck maintenance. A semi-truck with a blown-out tire is much more likely to collide with another vehicle, strike a pedestrian, or hit an object on the side of the road.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo: When truckers overload their vehicles or fail to safely secure their cargo, dangerous weight imbalances in the back of the truck can result. These imbalances cause tires to wear unevenly, breaks to burn out, and freight to be flung out of the truck and onto the highway.
- Driver Negligence, Including Speeding, Failure to Adhere to Stop Signs and Traffic Lights, and Misuse of Turn Signals: The dangers associated with excessive speeding, failing to stop when required, and declining to use turn signals are all amplified because of semi trucks’ massive size.
What Should You Do If You Are the Victim of a Semi Truck Accident?
Collisions involving semi trucks are among the most serious and harmful accidents that can occur. If you or someone you love is involved in a catastrophic truck accident, follow these steps on what to do to protect yourself after a truck accident:
- Seek Emergency Medical Treatment. The rush of adrenaline following an accident often masks the pain of serious injuries. Even if you don’t feel hurt in the moments following a collision with a semi truck, you should seek immediate medical attention and make sure to save all medical forms and documents.
- Take Pictures of Physical Damage and the Scene of the Accident. Documenting the immediate aftermath of the accident scene can provide clues about the cause of the accident and important proof should you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company Right Away. Don’t rely on the other driver to report the accident. Contact your insurance company and provide them with the details of what occurred. Do NOT provide a statement to the truck company’s insurance, and never accept an offer of settlement before speaking with a truck accident attorney. As your advocates, we will deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney As Soon As Possible. Truck and insurance companies are often made up of powerful corporations that employ massive legal departments. Working with an experienced lawyer who understands these opponents and has successfully navigated the complexities of truck accident law will give you the best chance at recovering the full amount you deserve.
At Munley Law, our truck accident lawyers have won awards for their leadership, ingenuity, and tirelessness when fighting for victims of semi truck crashes. If you or someone you loved suffered an accident with a semi truck, call our experienced truck accident lawyers today for a free consultation to learn the millions of dollars we have recovered for our truck accident clients and whether you have a case too.
Frequently Asked Questions About Semi Truck Accidents
How is Negligence Established in Semi Truck Accident Cases?
It will be the responsibility of your experienced truck accident attorney to prove that the truck driver, trucking company, or other parties are responsible for your injuries. In order to do that, our truck accident lawyer will need to show the following:
- The at-fault party had a responsibility to keep the other people on the road safe from harm. For example, the truck driver has a legal obligation to drive safely while on the job. The trucking company is responsible for hiring competent drivers to handle their loads.
- The at-fault party breached the duty of care, causing the accident. For instance, if the driver falls asleep at the wheel, they are failing to drive responsibly and putting other drivers’ lives at risk.
- The breach had caused an injury. Since the driver fell asleep, the truck swerved into your lane and crashed into your car head-on. The accident caused a severe concussion and internal bleeding.
- The truck accident resulted in damages. Damages include any losses that you experienced because of the truck accident such as medical bills, lost wages, and mental anguish.
How Will a Truck Accident Attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Help My Case?
In order to prove negligence, our truck accident attorneys will need to collect evidence that can be difficult to get obtain on your own. This includes not only the police report, eyewitness testimony, and expert opinions, but obtain the data from the “black box.”
Each semi truck is equipped with a data recording device, known as the electric control module. This device has extremely important information that explains what happened before and during the accident, such as how fast the semi truck was going, how long the driver was on the road, and the amount of pressure put on the brake prior to the accident. This information will be difficult to obtain on your own.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Semi Truck Accident?
Any time you get into an accident with a commercial vehicle, it’s always important to speak with the truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. What may seem like a minor accident at first can still result in serious injuries that can affect your life and the lives of your loved ones.
In cases when negotiations break down with the insurance company, your case may be heading to court. If that occurs, you will need an experienced trial lawyer from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to fight on your behalf.
What is the Average Settlement of a Semi Truck Accident Case?
Unfortunately, there is no average settlement for truck accident cases. That’s because every personal injury lawsuit is different. The amount you will receive all depends on the following factors:
- The severity of your injuries
- The value of your damages
- The complexity of your truck accident claim
- The amount of insurance available
That’s why it’s always best to speak with an accident lawyer right away to learn what legal options are available for you.
What Should I Do If the Insurance Adjusters Call Me?
If the insurance adjuster calls you before you have a chance to hire a truck accident law firm, just remember that you do not have to speak with them. In fact, it is probably best not to talk with the insurance adjuster.
However, if you do find yourself talking with the insurance company, keep your comments brief, stick with the facts, and do not let them record your statement.
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is Here To Help All Semi Truck Accident Victims
If you were involved in a truck crash with a semi truck, you may be worried about what your next steps should be. But before you accept any settlement, contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
For over 60 years, we have successfully fought against the truck companies and their insurance carriers to get our clients the compensation they deserve following an accident with a semi truck. We understand the pain and worry your family is going through — that’s why we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to answer your questions and give you an understanding of what your next steps should be. If you do hire our law firm, we will do everything we can to protect your rights and get you a fair settlement.
Remember, you do not owe us anything until we win your case. Call, chat live, or fill out our contact form to begin the process today.