Truck drivers are responsible professionals who haul freight nationwide, pay careful attention to the standards of safe driving, and for the most part complete their jobs without incident. However, there inevitably are roadway accidents involving big rigs. According to this Home Business Magazine article, of the fifteen and a half million commercial trucks plying the interstates, 500,000 of them are involved in one form of accident or another in the course of a single year. Most of these are relatively minor. But of those incidents, 130,000 individuals end up being injured in collisions with semis, big-rig tractor trailers, and eighteen-wheelers. Some of these end up as fatalities.
A fully-loaded commercial truck can end up weighing around 80,000 lbs. Now imagine this great mass hitting a 3,000 lb automobile at between 60-80 mph. It is certain that very serious injury at the least is going to follow. And this is the hazard just for a truck carrying dry or refrigerated freight. An accident involving any rig carrying chemicals or flammable material is going to be far worse for the persons in the automobile and possibly for the immediate area surrounding the accident should a leak occur. Fire and explosion are two possible consequences in that event.
Should any kind of accident occur, the first thing to do is to contact the police. It is then necessary to remain on scene and begin exchanging drivers license and insurance information. Also, all details about the trucking company and the driver’s condition, license plate numbers and other identifiers, associated businesses involved with the trucking company or the driver should be collected. Compile all details regarding the accident and the names and addresses of witnesses if any. If the car owner has a camera of any kind, he or she should start photographing the accident. All this information will be necessary to show to the police when they arrive and later to show to insurance agents and attorneys.
If injury has resulted, seek legal assistance to ensure compensation for medical treatment, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An accident attorney will review all the specific circumstances and details of the incident to determine how much of a case the victim has and the best way to proceed. Once liability has been determined, the attorney will help his or her clients gain the maximum benefit that can be obtained either in a court trial or a settlement.