If you suffered injuries in a car accident with an 18-wheeler, you could be facing some difficult challenges. The harsh and intense nature of trucking accidents often leaves victims with severe or life-threatening injuries and permanent or long-lasting damage. Your road to recovery could be long, painful, and expensive, especially if you need extensive treatment and time away from work.
If the accident wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to pursue a legal claim for your damages. However, this area of the law is complex and can be especially difficult to navigate on your own. Having an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney on your side can be invaluable.
In Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, the experienced truck accident lawyers at Gerling Law understand what you are going through. We can help you with every facet of the legal claims process, fighting to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages.
What Makes an 18-Wheeler Accident Worse Than a Car Crash?
Any large, commercial vehicle can be difficult to maneuver or stop in an emergency. The size and weight of commercial trucks, including semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers, often cause significant damage and injuries to drivers and passengers of personal vehicles.
In addition to the increased risk of injury and damage, trucking accidents can be more difficult to document for a legal claim. Getting an attorney on board as soon as possible can go a long way toward leveling the playing field for accident victims.
Trucking companies face significant penalties and legal liability in the case of an accident. Consequently, getting to the scene and gathering evidence should begin immediately to ensure the preservation of evidence.
In the case of a car crash, you typically only have to deal with another driver and their insurance company. In an 18-wheeler accident, you must deal with the driver, the trucking company, and possibly multiple other parties. Any involved insurance companies will act quickly and aggressively to minimize both legal and financial liability. The insurance company may try to negotiate a small settlement with you immediately, hoping to keep your claim as small as possible. They may also look for any potential reason to deny your claim or minimize your damages.
Common Causes of Car Accidents with 18-Wheelers
In the tri-state area, semi-truck accidents occur frequently when truck drivers are negligent or commit wrongful actions. Some of the most common types of driver actions that lead to crashes include the following:
- Impaired driving,
- Fatigued driving,
- Distracted driving,
- Reckless driving,
- Illegal lane changes, and
- Failure to yield.
Truckers also may fail to notice your vehicle and back or turn their truck into your car unexpectedly. Inexperienced drivers and those without appropriate training may be more prone to causing injury accidents.
In some cases, 18-wheeler crashes occur due to equipment failure or improperly maintained equipment. In other cases, poorly marked or maintained roadways, road construction, or roadway obstructions can lead to these serious motor vehicle collisions.
Whatever the cause of your crash might have been, an experienced lawyer can work to get you the compensation you deserve for your damages.
What Should You Do After Getting into an Accident with an 18-Wheeler?
Immediately after a collision, get to a safe place and call 911. Seek medical attention for yourself and any passengers. If you can do so safely, gather information about the truck and the driver and collect contact information from any witnesses. Take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene, if possible.
Going to the emergency room or hospital is imperative to ensure you get the treatment you need in a timely manner. You will also need the resulting medical records to help support your legal claim.
Do not provide any statement to the insurance company before talking to an attorney. Anything you say to the insurance company could be used to deny your claim. Most truck accident lawyers—including those at Gerling Law—offer a free consultation. We have options for teleconferences as well as video conferences, so you can get the legal assistance you need right away.
What About Accidents with Other Types of Commercial Trucks?
These words of wisdom apply to any accident with a semi-truck, tractor trailer rig, or 18-wheeler, as well as dump trucks, cement mixers, flatbed trucks, moving vans, etc. If you are involved in an accident with a truck owned by a government agency—such as a city, township, county, state, etc., you may be subject to a different set of rules, depending on where the accident took place. You may have to file your claim more quickly than you otherwise would as well, based on the statute of limitations and tort claim notice statute in that state.
Having an attorney on your side is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t compromise your legal right to pursue a damage claim or civil lawsuit.
Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Although you have no legal obligation to get a lawyer, an experienced attorney can provide substantial advantages versus trying to pursue a claim on your own.
Trucking companies need to avoid liability claims as much as possible, otherwise they face expensive insurance rate increases. They could also face sanctions from governmental agencies that oversee the transportation industry. You can plan on facing down a legal team that understands the law and how to minimize or deny injury accident claims.
With an experienced attorney on your side, you can level the playing field. You need financial resources to pay for your medical care. If your injuries prevent you from working, you may also need serious help paying for your household and living expenses. Your attorney can investigate the crash, gather evidence, and build the most persuasive case possible. In most cases, your attorney can negotiate a fair financial settlement with the insurance company. This gets you the funds you need while helping you avoid the hassle and time necessary for going to court.
Throughout the process, your attorney will handle everything, leaving you free to focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track.
Talk to an 18-Wheeler Car Accident Lawyer Now
If you sustained injuries in an 18-wheeler truck crash, contact the experienced attorneys at Gerling Law now. We will evaluate the details of your case and help you understand your options for pursuing a claim. We are committed to fighting for you and recovering the compensation you deserve. For a no-cost consultation, call us now at 1-888-GERLING (866-681-3919) or contact us online to speak to an 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer.