Auto Accident Settlement
What to do After an Intersection Accident with a Semi-Truck
Being involved in an intersection accident with a semi-truck can be a traumatic and extremely dangerous situation. For those in regular-sized vehicles, it can quickly turn into a deadly situation given the tremendous size difference between the two vehicles. On the Treasure Coast, there are several dangerous intersections where collisions between 18-wheelers and smaller vehicles are fairly common. Here’s what you should know if you’re ever involved in an intersection accident with a semi-truck.
Are 18-Wheeler Accidents Common?
According to the NHTSA, semi-trucks were involved in approximately 8.8% of fatal accidents across the US. Of those, about 25% occurred at intersections, with four-way intersections being the most dangerous according to DOT statistics. The second most dangerous type of intersections is T-shaped. The third most dangerous are Y-shaped intersections.
To sum it up, on average there are more than 700 four-way and more than 300 T- and Y-shaped fatal intersection accidents each year according to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Association. Additionally, accidents that only involved injuries accounted for 43,000 cases. 140,000 reported cases involved only property damage.
What are the Biggest Dangers of an Intersection Accident with an 18-Wheeler?
The biggest dangers of an intersection accident with an 18-wheeler can depend on a multitude of factors. For example, if one of the vehicles was speeding, the impact of a collision will have much more force behind it. It can also depend on the direction at which the vehicles collide. An undercarriage accident is far more dangerous than if a vehicle hits the side of the tractor. A sideswipe accident where the big rig is the one sideswiping a smaller vehicle could send it flying onto the sidewalk or oncoming traffic.
What are Common Causes of Big Rig Intersection Accidents?
There are a number of driving habits that can contribute to the risk of becoming involved in a driving accident. Some of these common causes of accidents include speeding, driving while under the influence, and ignoring a red light or stop sign signals. All of these behaviors are considered extremely dangerous and create a real danger to others. Some of the most common causes of big rig intersection accidents include:
- Fatigued Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Defective Vehicles
- Big Rigs taking a turn too wide or too fast
- Weather conditions that create slippery roads
- Cars trying to pass on the right side of semi-trucks
What Types of Injuries can Happen in a Semi-Truck Intersection Accident?
The type and severity of injuries sustained in a semi-truck intersection accident will depend on many factors. One thing that should be noted is that the driver of the big rig typically sustains minor or no injuries at all. This is because they are protected in the cab of the truck, whereas smaller vehicles are at the same height as many dangerous parts of the truck. Some common injuries for the occupants of small vehicles include:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma, including TBI, skulls fractures, and more
- Lacerations and bruises
- Spinal cord injuries
- Injuries of both the upper and lower extremities, including loss of use
Who Will be Held Liable in an Intersection Accident with an 18-Wheeler?
Determining liability in an intersection accident will involve examining all of the factors leading up to the accident. The initial police report, documented evidence you provide, and witness accounts will be used to determine who was at fault. If it is determined that the driver of the big rig was at fault, there are several different legal paths you may choose to take to seek compensation. Some of the ways you can seek compensation include filing a claim against:
- The driver of the big rig
- The person or company that owns the truck
- The manufacturer of the truck or defective components
- A repair shop that was negligent in performing repairs
Depending on the circumstances of the case, your attorney may suggest pursuing any combination of these or other legal paths.
Do I Need a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney?
There are many reasons why you need an experienced truck accident lawyer. First of all, you need someone with knowledge and experience in trucking accidents to navigate through all the laws. Many different laws apply to the industry, some of them are state laws and some are federal. Your lawyer can make sure you understand and know your rights and what you can do to protect your rights.
Many trucking companies have various means to protect themselves against accidents involving their trucks. That is why you need an experienced truck accident attorney representing you. Personal injury lawyers who specialize in truck accidents often know about federal and state laws, and can also find out whether any had been violated, which might have resulted in your accident. They also know the laws governing the trucking industry in your area and how to react if they were violated.
How Can I Hire a Semi-Truck Intersection Accident Attorney in Florida?
The road to recovery after being injured in a big rig accident is difficult to make. The first thing that must be done after an accident is getting immediate medical attention. From there, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to determine the extent of their injuries and what legal remedies you have available to you.
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we are committed to providing you with the best legal support and guidance possible. We proudly serve the Treasure Coast area, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, and Okeechobee. Start working with a knowledgeable, experienced semi-truck intersection accident attorney in Florida by scheduling your free virtual consultation or call us toll-free at (866) 460-1990.
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