Transporting goods and materials is no doubt a money-driven enterprise. This is why so many semi-truck drivers feel intense pressure from the companies for which they work. Tractor-trailer and trucking companies across the United States often structure processes and rewards in order to pressure drivers to make deliveries more quickly than may be feasible in a safe manner, resulting in semi-truck accidents. Despite attempts by lawmakers to minimize unsafe driving shifts, longer hours behind the wheel are still the norm. Ridiculous driving hours without sufficient rest can cause fatigue, resulting in delayed reaction times, poor decision-making, and even falling asleep at the wheel. Many drivers rely on stimulants to prevent drowsiness, but these energy drinks and pills cannot ward off the effects of long-term sleep deprivation forever. They may even cause dangerous side effects of their own.
In an attempt to maximize profit, companies overload tractor-trailers to get more product to the destination faster. Of course, doing so raises the risk of accidents caused by tip-over, tire blowout, or simply the inability to stop in time to avoid another vehicle or obstacle. Tractor-trailer and trucking companies are regulated by state and federal guidelines. Semi-truck accidents have indeed been on the decrease. Unfortunately, regulations are too easily compromised by profit-driven tactics, creating unnecessary dangers on Michigan roadways.
Semi Companies and Drivers Have Heavy Responsibilities for Safety
Any car accident can cause stress for victims and their families in many ways. A tractor-trailer accident can be absolutely devastating due to the size and power of these massive trucks. The first priority for you and your family should be healing and grieving. Unfortunately, the financial implications of an accident can not be put off for very long
Without a doubt, financial obligations in the way of hospital and medical bills, funeral services, lost wages, rehabilitation and more can easily overwhelm a family already in crisis. Consult an attorney as soon as possible in order to understand your rights and hire an experienced semi accident attorney. He or she will be able to do all the research needed to put together an effective case for you and your loved ones.
Certainly, the truck company and/or the driver can be held liable for your injuries, as well as the life changes you and your family may be facing over the course of a lifetime. At The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we will engage in intensive review of facts and evidence in order to make a case on your behalf. A company’s or driver’s negligence can be supported by:
- Using accident reports, including accident reconstruction reports to determine if the driver was acting in accordance with traffic laws;
- Obtaining toxicology reports to show any evidence of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Reviewing inspection and repair records to verify that both the trucking company and the driver were undertaking regular inspection and maintenance required for safe operation of the truck;
- Requesting records of driver’s sleep and driving logs to ascertain whether or not the driver was adhering to safety regulation and if he or she may have been driving while too fatigued.
Accident Concerns Specific to Semi-Trucks
Semi-trucks are unlike any other kind of vehicle on the road. They are bigger, heavier, and much more difficult to control. As mentioned above, there are also some unsafe practices by trucking companies that make dangerous accidents more likely to occur. Some of the unique possible factors in semi-truck accidents include:
- Overloaded trailers;
- Brake failure due to excessive weight or lack of upkeep;
- Deadly tire blowouts causing loss of control;
- Wide turns;
- Driving heavy loads on roads with a grade or incline;
- Tip-overs due to excessive or unequally distributed weight;
- Jackknife risks.
That said, a huge portion of truck accidents happen for exactly the same reason other vehicle accidents happen. Truck drivers are just as likely as other to use excessive speed, to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or to be driving while distracted. Certainly, they are very prone to fatigued driving, and bad weather conditions can have a disparate impact on truck drivers carrying heavy loads. The top three causes of semi-truck accidents? Driver fatigue, distracted driving, and a failure to properly inspect and maintain the vehicle.
Semi-Truck Accident Injuries Are Life-Changing
If you or someone you love is involved in an accident with a semi-truck, the injuries are likely to be severe. Though the number of semi-truck accidents has decreased, the likelihood of a fatality in such an accident remains very high, much higher than with other kinds of vehicles. Injuries can include traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, potentially resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia. Neck injuries, broken bones, and amputation injuries are common. Internal organ damage and severe burns are more likely in semi accidents as well. Victims and families both may be impacted for a lifetime by the medical and rehabilitative needs after a collision with a semi-truck.
Extensive Damages Can Be Covered in a Truck Accident Claim
No amount of money can undo the damage of a serious semi-truck accident. A large settlement may not even cover the lifetime costs and losses sustained by an accident victim. At The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we always work with our clients to maximize the damages recovered. Doing so allows our clients to remove one factor in the ongoing stress of dealing with an acute or lifelong injury. Without additional financial burdens, an accident victim can focus on what is really important: healing, physically and emotionally, and learning to move forward in life in the face of daunting injuries and loss. Damages that can be recovered in a personal injury claim resulting from a semi-truck accident include:
- Medical expenses, including those for ambulance bills, surgeries, doctor visits, and prescriptions;
- Physical, occupational, and rehabilitation therapy;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of ability to earn an income;
- Loss of lifestyle;
- Necessary medical equipment;
- Pain and suffering;
- Psychological or emotional counseling.
Trucking Companies Will Put Up a Fight
Due to the catastrophic nature of semi-truck accidents and because compensating accident victims can cost a company significant amounts of money, trucking companies carry extensive insurance policies. That said, they will harness every ounce of their power to avoid paying damages to a victim or a victim’s family. It is critical to employ experienced truck accident attorneys because the first thing the insurance company for the trucking company will do is attempt to minimize the trucker’s responsibility. They do this by redirecting fault to the other driver. It’s a high-stakes business, and the insurance companies will do everything they can to protect their interests. You must do everything you can to protect yours.
The attorneys at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm refuse to allow trucking companies and their insurance companies to take advantage of victims of semi accidents. We will care for you and treat you like family while tenaciously going after the powerful trucking insurance companies. You won’t be alone in your fight. Call us today to discuss your accident and possible claim: 1-800-LEE-FREE. We won’t charge you anything unless your case is won or settled in your favor.