How Do Trucking Companies Try to Avoid Liability After Accidents?
Truck accidents tend to cause significant property damage and injuries. Truckers usually fare better than car drivers, passengers, and motorcyclists after collisions. This does not mean that a trucking company will automatically accept responsibility for causing a serious or catastrophic collision. It is quite common for a trucking business and their insurer to push back against allegations of liability because they want to save as much money as possible. An insurance company is in business to pay out small amounts, not large settlements. When they are forced into sizable settlements, they pass along the financial burdens to clients by implementing higher premiums.
What are some of the arguments that truck companies and their insurance providers use to dodge liability? Below are some common strategies that are used by trucking companies.
When the Trucking Company Blames the Accident Victim
Blaming the victim is used quite frequently by the at-fault truck driver, trucking company, and their insurance provider. The problem is that this trick actually works a lot of the time, especially if the victim does not retain legal counsel right away.
Victims of truck crashes are often dealing with many stressors at once, such as severe injuries, bills, and lost wages. These strains can make them highly susceptible to backing down or saying the wrong thing to insurance adjusters. How can a truck accident victim avoid being treated this way? Foremost, a victim should always contact a lawyer after an accident. A lawyer understands how to deal with this kind of strategy.
Trucking Companies May Claim the Accident Injuries are Minor
If a trucking company’s insurer cannot adequately claim that the company or driver had nothing to do with the crash, the insurer may try to make light of the victim’s injuries. For example, the insurance company may make the assertion that the victim’s injuries were not sustained during the accident or that the doctor is incorrect about the severity of the injuries.
When this happens, the victim must prove that their injury is severe and that is needs medical treatment. The most efficient way to build a strong case is to hire a skilled lawyer. Attempting to fight against a trucking company alone can be challenging, and a lawyer can be incredibly helpful. A lawyer will understand how to gather evidence and documentation to show the true nature of the injury.
Independent Truck Drivers
Another technique is to assert that the truck driver is not working for the company. In other words, the trucker is said to be an independent worker. When employing this tactic, the trucking company and their insurer are not interested in whether or not the truck driver caused the collision. Instead, the two entities are trying to put the full burden on the truck driver.
It is important to understand that this may or may not be a strategy to avoid paying damages. Some truck drivers are actually independent contractors. A lawyer can find out the truth, especially if the trucking company is reluctant to provide evidence until they are compelled by the courts.
Placing the Blame on Other Parties
Truck drivers and trucking companies do not work alone. They work with third parties, such as cargo and freight loaders. For this reason, a trucking company may place blame on a third party to push away suspicion. For example, a trucking company may suggest that the cargo loading company was negligent and improperly loaded the cargo. In turn, the cargo loading company may fight against the false accusations. Not only do these types of accusations take time, but they can lead to the compensation being delayed for the accident victim.
Another strategy is to place blame on the government itself. Poor road conditions can cause truckers to lose control of their vehicles. If road conditions potentially contributed to the accident, the trucking company and their insurance provider may try to put all the focus on the local, state, or federal workers and entities.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?
A trucking company may offer a settlement to the victim or a family member if the victim is deceased. While a large, lump-sum settlement offer may look attractive to a victim, it needs to be carefully considered with the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer.
Medical costs for treatment, like ongoing therapy, surgery, diagnostic tests, and even medications, can add up over time. Even if a victim has health insurance, the insurance may only pay a portion of the medical costs. Additionally, some people do not have any insurance at all, leaving them with lifelong medical bills.
A lawyer has the expertise to calculate the true long-term costs of a significant truck crash. This helps them negotiate a larger settlement. If the insurer will not budge from the original amount, the lawyer can take the case to court.
How is Liability Determined in Delaware?
Stringent federal guidelines govern expectations of truckers and the companies they serve. Regardless of what trucking companies and insurance companies say or do after collisions, all truck accidents in Delaware will undergo some kind of investigation.
Nevertheless, a truck accident victim needs to have someone by their side to stand up to against false allegations. A lawyer has the knowledge and experience to fight against an insurer and the trucking company, allowing the victim and their family to spend time recovering and healing.
Wilmington Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Confidently Work on Behalf of Injured Truck Accident Victims
Trucking companies and their insurers use many strategies to avoid liability. For this reason, it is important to hire a lawyer after a truck accident happens. If you were recently involved in a severe truck crash, we can help. Our accomplished Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. fight for the rights of truck accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Poor Training of Fleet Contributes to Serious Truck Accidents
Experienced workers tend to get in fewer on-the-job accidents, including truckers. Inexperienced truck drivers are more apt to cause severe truck accidents. Such crashes can lead to serious injuries. For this reason, many accident victims and advocacy groups are urging trucking corporations to ensure that their drivers are ready for highway travel.
How is a Truck Driver Trained?
Truckers must meet and pass certain requirements before they are allowed to get behind the wheel of large vehicles. Some of these commercial trucks can weigh up to 26,000 pounds. The first step to operate a large truck is to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
Though CDL requirements vary from state to state, they tend to be relatively similar. In Delaware, a trucker must pass a written and on-the-road test to receive their CDL. They must also be able to prove that they are medically fit for truck driving. Also, a driver should have nothing on their driving record that would prohibit them from earning a CDL.
Why Does Poor Training Happen?
Once a trucker has received a CDL, the trucker can apply to a company to become one of its truckers. In theory, the company should be able to count on the trucker to know what to do under all circumstances, such as driving during high winds. However, if the truck driver only recently earned the CDL, the driver may not be fully prepared to operate a truck in poor weather conditions.
Trucking companies should provide drivers, especially newer truckers, with training that is beyond the requirements for CDLs. This type of extra training makes sense for a number of reasons. The trucking company is protecting its equipment and whatever it is carrying, and the trucking company can avoid litigation. Also, the trucking company is helping newer truckers become more experienced, which is good for the trucker, company, and other drivers.
However, some trucking companies simply make sure that their truckers have CDLs and assume that the truckers can handle anything.
What are Common Truck Crash Injuries?
When a trucker hits another vehicle with a big rig, the other driver will most likely have serious injuries. Some of the more common types of injuries that happen to victims of trucking incidents include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back problems
Who is at Fault?
When a trucking accident happens, the police and insurance carriers will undertake an investigation to determine the cause of the crash. The trucking company, usually through the insurance provider, could be held responsible if there is proof that establishes that the trucker was not qualified to operate their vehicle. However, all trucking companies will likely fight any suggestion of liability, which is why an injured victim often hires a lawyer.
What Should I Do if I Think My Accident Was Caused by Poor Truck Fleet Training?
An injured truck accident victim may suspect that the trucker had little to no adequate training. Proving this suspicion in court can be challenging. Consequently, a victim may want to discuss their case with a lawyer.
Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Hold Negligent Trucking Companies Accountable After Serious Crashes
Did you get into a crash with a negligent truck driver? If so, speak to our Delaware truck accidents lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. We will assess your case and help you collect compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
How Can Semi-Truck Drivers Prepare for Fall?
Truck drivers must always be vigilant about safe driving. As the seasons change, so do safety issues. During fall, certain safety topics should be reviewed. Hazards in fall can lead to serious truck accidents if motorists are not prepared for the weather transition.
How Can Truck Drivers Prepare for Nighttime Driving?
As the days become shorter in autumn, more drivers will be on the roadways. Glare from the sun makes it difficult to see the brake lights of other vehicles, pedestrians, and obstacles in the road. The presence of water or ice on the road magnifies sun glare. Truck drivers should have sunglasses at hand to avoid sun glare and be aware that other drivers are dealing with the hazard as well.
With fewer daylight hours, truckers will spend more time driving in darkness. Now is a good time to inspect headlights to ensure they are in good condition and fully operational. Keeping mirrors and window glass clean and free of debris reduces glare. Night driving is more dangerous, so all motorists should leave plenty of following distance and check mirrors frequently.
How Does the Change in Weather Impact the Roads?
In many areas, fall weather can be highly unpredictable. Cooler temperatures can bring morning and evening fog. Frost can also be an issue at higher elevations and when the temperature drops dramatically.
Truck drivers travel the whole country and must be prepared for the sudden changes in autumn weather. When roadways are wet, slower speeds and longer stopping distances are required. Special caution should be used when approaching overpasses and bridges as they frost over before the rest of the roads. As part of routine maintenance, fog lights should be checked along with tire pressure and treads.
Wildlife is More Prominent in Autumn Months
Deer are most active in fall during mating season. Drivers need to be especially alert during dawn and dusk when animals may try to cross the road. When entering an area marked with deer crossing signs, keep an eye out for any deer. The presence of one animal indicates that more are probably around as deer travel in herds. Truck drivers should drive at speeds that are safe in case of emergencies, such as crossing deer. It is important to not swerve if a deer approaches the roadway. A motorist should try to brake while maintaining control and avoiding the animal. Staying as straight as possible is important because swerving could put the truck into oncoming traffic or can cause the truck to tip over.
Can Fall Leaves be Dangerous?
As the trees lose their leaves in autumn, drivers must be aware of the hazards they cause on the roads. The rain causes some leaves to fall off, which can lead to slick surfaces. Heavy semi-trucks can hydroplane in slippery, wet conditions.
Dry leaves also reduce tire traction as there is less contact with the surface of the road. They can also cover hazards, like bumps and potholes, on the roads and obscure road markings. When encountering leaves on the road, it is best to slow down because some leaves may be wet or slick. A truck driver should avoid sudden braking or swerving, and never park a truck over a pile of leaves. In very dry conditions, an exhaust system can ignite the leaves.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Hazards
Fall is when school resumes, and children are more common on the roadways as they commute to and from school. They may be on foot or on bikes and can behave unpredictably, sometimes veering out into the road without warning. As the days get shorter, they will be less visible and may not always be wearing bright colored clothing. A truck driver should always check blind spots carefully, and use mirrors and backup cameras to check for pedestrians and bicyclists.
What Should be Inspected on a Semi-Truck?
Trucking companies and truck drivers have responsibilities to maintain their vehicles to high safety standards. Federal laws require that trucks be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained so that parts and accessories are in safe, proper condition at all times. Records must be kept for each truck that shows the truck identification, date, type of inspection, repair, and maintenance operation. It is also required that tests be conducted on emergency doors and windows.
At the end of each driving day, truck drivers must complete post-trip inspections and written reports of any defects or deficiencies that could affect the safety of the vehicles.
Evaluate Safety in Autumn
All truck drivers must be fit to drive and perform their job duties. This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) requires that truck drivers pass medical exams. A truck driver must be able to stop, turn, and maneuver a heavy semi-truck. The FMSCA also regulates the amount of time a driver may spend on the road before they must take a break to rest.
Since trucks are large, truck accidents involving passenger vehicles and bystanders cause much more damage than regular car accidents. Safety in trucking is paramount, and the autumn season is a good time to review safety tips.
What Should I Do After a Serious Truck Accident?
Trucking companies, manufacturers, and truckers can all be liable for accidents. Since many parties may be involved, truck accident cases are complex. After a truck accident, a victim should speak to a lawyer about their options. A lawyer will be able to determine if a victim can collect compensation.
Wilmington Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Truck Accidents
If you were hurt in a truck accident that was caused by a negligent truck driver, contact our Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Our skilled team will fight tirelessly to get you compensation for your injuries so that you can concentrate on your recovery. For a free consultation, call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Do Truck Drivers Who Drink More Caffeine Have More Truck Accidents?
Driving while drowsy is extremely dangerous and should be avoided. In fact, one out of three drivers admit to driving while drowsy, making it one of the top causes of car accidents and truck accidents. So, how do drivers who travel for long periods of time combat drowsiness? Many drivers might say that caffeine is a good source of energy, but a recent study has linked the over consumption of caffeine to an increase in accidents.
What Did the Study Reveal?
Researchers from the United Kingdom and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute surveyed over 3,000 truck drivers and divided them into two groups. One group would consume five cups of caffeinated beverages, and the other group would consume one beverage. During a three-year span, the results showed that nearly 28 percent of those in the higher-caffeinated group were in truck accidents.
It is important to note that those in the higher-caffeinated group also reported poor health and habits, such as not eating, sleeping, and drinking excessively and smoking.
Why is it Bad to Drink Too Much Caffeine?
Drinking too much caffeine is linked to poor health, which may be an underlying cause of drowsiness and accidents. In fact, there are many studies that show that coffee and other caffeinated drinks provide energy only on a short-term basis.
Consumers that drink too much caffeine seem to have other unhealthy habits as well. This implies that the body becomes accustomed to the caffeine, which makes it ineffective. Instead of getting the energy and focus they need to operate their trucks safely, truck driver might be unaware that caffeine may not be helping at all. Drinking too much caffeinated beverages may actually endanger drivers.
Additionally, studies show that coffee drinkers actually become dependent on caffeine. It is important that truck drivers limit their caffeine consumption because it leads to healthier lifestyles and reduces their risk for accidents.
What Should I Do if I am Injured by a Negligent Truck Driver?
If a truck driver is drowsy and causes an accident, the driver or the trucking company may be liable for property damage and injuries. If a truck driver wants to drink caffeinated drinks to combat drowsiness, it is best to do so in moderation.
After a truck accident, a victim should seek immediate medical care. Truck accidents are often serious, so it is imperative that a victim takes care of their injuries and also receives compensation for the costs. An experienced lawyer will help a victim file a personal injury claim to collect necessary damages.
Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Clients Injured by Drowsy Truck Drivers
Drowsy driving is prevalent in the trucking industry, but it is also important that drivers avoid drinking too much caffeinated beverages. If you were injured by a negligent truck driver, speak to one of our Delaware truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Our knowledgeable lawyers help truck accident victims get compensation for their costly injuries. Complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Who Should be Sued After a Truck Accident?
When a giant commercial truck collides with a passenger car, the resulting damage usually affects the smaller vehicle. Often, this significant size discrepancy between the two vehicles also means that the occupants of the smaller car are at risk for serious injuries.
Many truckers become injured in truck accidents with smaller cars, but the passengers of the smaller vehicle are much more likely to suffer substantial consequences. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2017, accidents that involved large trucks resulted in 4,102 fatalities. The survey found that just 17 percent of those deaths were truck occupants, while 68 percent of the lives lost were people inside the smaller vehicles. Additionally, 14 percent of the deaths calculated were bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians.
Liability in Accidents with Commercial Trucks
If a driver is in an accident, a driver’s first instinct might be to blame the other driver. If injuries or property damage result, a motorist may go after the driver’s auto insurance to cover losses suffered. When the other vehicle in a traffic accident is a commercial truck, the equation becomes somewhat more complicated. Whether or not the other driver may be at fault for the accident, there may be other avenues for a driver to explore when it comes to collecting compensation from liable parties.
What Parties May be Held Liable for Truck Accidents?
There are numerous parties who may be held liable for damages caused by truck accidents. Due to the risks associated with big rigs, the trucking industry is subject to adhere to strict regulations. When an accident can be traced back to the actions of one or more persons, those responsible parties may be held liable for the accident.
Mistakes or reckless drivers are often the direct cause of all types of traffic accidents. When the offending driver is behind the wheel of a gigantic truck, the results of human error or deliberate disregard for traffic norms can be catastrophic. Truck drivers are required to be licensed and trained to handle their vehicles safely. In addition to general driving rules, like following speed limits and traffic laws, truck drivers are subject to industry-specific standards, such as observance of rules regarding hours of service, which regulate how long a driver may drive continuously without a break. Driving behaviors, like distracted driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are also likely to be found as reasons to hold the truck driver liable for an accident.
Employers can be held legally liable for the actions of their employees if those actions are performed within the scope of employees’ job duties. In other words, the negligent actions of employees could be the legal responsibility of the trucking company. However, the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is not always clear.
A trucking company that considers its drivers independent contractors may actually be exercising control over the drivers, which effectively proves an employer-employee relationship exists. If this relationship can be proven, it can be beneficial for the injured party to pursue a legal course of action against the trucking company. A company is more likely to have the resources available to cover the demands of the owed compensation.
If an investigation into the accident determines that the cargo being shipped in the truck was improperly loaded, the shipping company may be held liable for the accident. An uneven load or a load too heavy for the truck may cause the truck to tip over while transporting the shipment of goods.
Additionally, the person or company hired to perform maintenance on the truck may be found responsible for the crash, if the accident investigation shows that poor upkeep on the truck was to blame for the collision.
Truck manufacturers may be found liable for design flaws. A parts manufacturer may be responsible for defects in specific component of trucks, such as brakes, brake lines, steering systems, and tires.
In some cases, a trucking company operates fleets of other companies. The company that rents or leases their trucks may be held accountable if an accident is caused by their mismanagement.
Auto insurance in Delaware
Delaware is considered a no-fault state when it comes to insurance claims. In a typical accident involving two cars, this allows both drivers to claim auto insurance payouts to cover expenses incurred in an accident. There are many complicating factors when it comes to accidents with commercial trucks, but auto insurance may play a role. Many of the liable parties may carry insurance for their businesses. If one can prove that the other driver was at fault, then one may be able to seek compensation from insurance.
No-fault insurance in Delaware includes coverage through a driver’s own insurance for physical injuries, which is called personal injury protection (PIP). However, the PIP program only covers two years of expenses resulting from an auto accident.
One may be able to make the case that one’s injuries require the insurance company to pay more, such as when an accident causes extensive injuries or a disability. An insurance claims adjuster may make it difficult to collect on a claim. A claims adjuster may require one to go through a doctor’s medical evaluation or try to disavow a claim in other ways. If an insurance company is giving a victim a hard time, it is advisable to contact a lawyer right away.
Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Fight Against Those Responsible for Truck Accidents
A truck accident can result in life-long trauma. Negligent truckers, truck companies, and truck manufactures must be held accountable for their dangerous actions. If you were hurt in a truck accident, you may be able to collect damages for your accident. Our Delaware truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. help truck accident victims collect compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we represent clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
How to Prepare a Semi-Truck for the Summer Season
Just like cars, semi-trucks must be prepared to face the hot summer months. Most semi-trucks travel thousands of miles, so it important that these trucks are prepared. They are also more complex with many components that must be calibrated according to the load that they carry and the conditions of travel. For both safety and comfort, it is imperative that a semi-truck be prepared for the summer season.
Cooling is at the forefront of semi-truck summer maintenance. The air conditioning for the cab where the driver sits and the coolant for the engine both need to be serviced regularly. Doing so can ultimately save on fuel costs and future repairs by making sure that the cooling system is not working too hard.
Properly functioning air conditioning becomes a safety issue for the driver if the cab is overheated. Driving for hours during a heatwave in an overheated cab could lead to dehydration and sleepiness. Research shows that drowsy driving or driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Sleepiness slows the driver’s reaction time and increases the risk of a truck accident.
What Should I Service in the Truck?
A truck’s coolant must be checked every three months, every 20,000 miles of driving, or every 500 hours the truck is being operated, whichever checkpoint is reached first. The coolant, or antifreeze, must be at the correct concentration levels to ensure consistent performance. It should not be cloudy, discolored, or contain particulates.
The radiator mounts, fan shrouds, and fan clutch, as well as all the parts of the cooling system should be checked for damage, corrosion, and debris. The radiator, charger, air cooler, and condenser can be pressure washed from the engine side to remove dirt and keep the system free of debris.
What Should I Check in the Air Conditioning System?
The most important part of the air conditioning system is the condenser. It must be flushed regularly to remove buildup and debris. All the hoses should be checked for leaks and cracks, particularly at the bends and flex points. Inspect all the hose fittings and connections to see that they are tight. Filters should also be inspected for debris, but before cleaning them, check with the manufacturer to make sure that cleaning them does not void the warranty.
Inspect the Engine Belts
Having a look inside the hood to check on the engine belts is easy. The regular vibrations of the truck combined with temperature fluctuations causes wear and tear on the belts, and over time they can become frayed or misaligned. Check the tension to see if the belts need tightening or replacement.
Why is Checking the Brakes Important in the Summer?
Even under normal conditions, brakes generate a tremendous amount of heat from the friction created to stop a vehicle. Over time, the high heat can damage brake parts. Extreme summer temperatures can lead to brake failure if the brake components cannot absorb any additional heat or the heat cannot escape.
Heat can cause the master-cylinder bores carrying the brake fluid to expand and leak out the seals. Leaking brake fluid results in reduced braking power. The brake lines should also be free of water infiltration as brake fluid contaminated with water will boil more easily in extremely hot weather and reduce braking power. Consider using a quality brake fluid designed for high-heat environments.
Does Heat Impact the Tires?
Hot weather can cause tire blowouts, making tire safety a vital part of preparing a semi-truck for summer driving. A truck has many tires, it is crucial to check them all for wear and tear. Hot weather and roads breaks down the rubber of the tire faster.
Inspect all tires for cracking or uneven wear and do a check of the tread depth. Uneven wear can be an indication that the alignment of the truck is off. While inspecting the tires, take the time to also clean debris from between dual tires, and check for loose lug nuts.
Each tire should have the correct pressure. Heat affects tire pressure, and the correct pressure ensures that the tire has even contact with the road. Good contact means good traction and braking and prolongs the life of the tires.
Many drivers check their batteries in preparation for cold weather, but heat can also take a toll on a battery’s charge. Excessive heat exposure can result in battery failure. Check that the semi-truck’s battery is connected properly and has a full charge.
Preparing the Cab for Summer
There are many things that can be done to make the cab as comfortable as possible for summer weather. Change out sheets and blankets to lighter summer fabrics and use comfortable clothing.
Sun exposure is a real concern for truck drivers who spend hours every day on the road. Sunscreen or long sleeve UV blocking shirts can protect the arms, and a hat and sunglasses are important to shield eyes from sun glare.
Stock the cab with lighter fare for summer. Healthy snacks provide long lasting energy for long hot drives and can help drivers stay fit and avoid chronic medical problems. Include comfortability in the list of preparations for the summer driving season. It is important that the semi-truck is complete ready before driving in order to prevent an accident.
Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Injured Truck Accident Victims
Truck accidents often result in devastating injuries that can leave a person with huge medical bills and the inability to resume working. If you were injured by a negligent truck driver, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. Our experienced Delaware truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. help innocent accident victims and their families. For a free consultation, call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Seven Ways to Prevent Truck Accidents
Truckers play an essential role in the American economy. Every day, commercial trucks traverse the roadways and highways of Delaware, transporting merchandise and materials from one place to another. Many trucks on the road, like semis and big rigs, cause drivers to be at risk for a truck accident. However, truck drivers can take several key measures to reduce their likelihood of a collision.
Avoid Driver Distractions
Distracted driving, like cellphone use and fatigued driving, paves the way for problems. Truckers need to reduce their distractions as much as possible, so they can fully focus on the road. A good way to avoid distractions is to put cellphones face-down in silent mode, and only eat when the truck is stopped.
Follow Speed Limits
Truck drivers set the pace of the highway. Car drivers tend to follow suit with truckers, meaning that they follow the truck’s speeds to keep up with traffic. If truck drivers operate cautiously and follow posted speed limits, they set a better example for other motorists. At the same time, they reduce the chance for a collision to occur.
Drive for Changing Conditions
From fog to ice, truckers must contend with temperamental weather conditions. Consequently, they must make sure that their trucks are properly working and ready to handle weather hazards. All truck drivers should read about anticipated weather problems and plan to drive defensively.
Use Turn Signals
It can be tempting for a trucker to not use turn signals, particularly when it seems like no one else is on the road. However, a small vehicle could easily be in a blind spot. Plus, cars can quickly enter roadways through ramps. It is best to always use turn signals, even when you believe no one is on the road.
Let Aggressive Drivers Pass
Truckers who drive long enough will eventually encounter aggressive motorists; it is best to allow them to pass to avoid any incidents. Aggressive drivers are often responsible for accidents on highways. Truck drivers can reduce their risk of getting into an accident by simply moving away from an aggressive driver.
Follow Construction Area Rules
Though every trucker must transfer cargo within a certain time frame, truck drivers should still maintain caution when traversing through construction area zones. Narrow roads, shoulder-less paths, and workers along the side of the road require a trucker’s complete concentration and consideration.
Stay Ahead of Inspections
Instead of waiting for a problem to occur, truckers should carefully and consistently inspect their machinery so that they can repair faults or mechanical errors.
Wilmington Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for All Truck Accident Victims
If you suffered injuries from a truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. will give you legal guidance about your case. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we also serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, Sussex County, and throughout Delaware.
What are Common Truck Accident Injuries?
Without trucks, our country would be unable to efficiently move items from one city to another. In fact, the United States relies on trucks to ship untold amounts of materials and goods every day. The downside to relying heavily on trucks for our economy is that the highways become choked with super-sized vehicles. Having many different types of vehicles on the roads can inevitably lead to truck accidents with other motor vehicles.
According to statistics, more than a half a million truck-related crashes happen annually. For many victims, the injuries sustained can provide significant or fatal. However, only two percent of truck accident deaths involve the trucker. The wide majority of fatal crashes claim the lives of the driver operating the smaller vehicle.
Common Injuries Among Truck Crash Victims
Motorists and passengers involved in collisions suffer from medical problems that affect living a preferred lifestyle. Head injuries are frequently reported by individuals of truck accidents. For instance, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) routinely occur when a very large vehicle collides with a smaller one. When a high-speed object suddenly stops moving, all its contents continue moving forward, including the human brain. As the brain slams against the skull, bleeding and bruising can be inevitable. TBIs can lead to severe headaches, memory loss, personality changes, brain damage, and a host of other side effects that may linger for years.
Victims of truck crashes may also suffer from broken bones. The force of being tossed around or getting trapped in a crumpled car is enough to break nearly any bone in the body, especially limbs and ribs. Back and neck problems regularly feature in post-accident insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. Even a slight trauma to the vertebrae or spinal cord can become debilitating. Additionally, chronic upper, middle, or lower back pain can have a detrimental effect on a crash victim’s ability to hold a job or maintain a specific career path.
Avoiding Truck Accidents
While not every truck accident can be avoided, drivers sharing the road with trucks should take precautionary measures to keep themselves and their passengers safe. Everyone should buckle up when traveling. Drivers should avoid tailgating trucks or cruising in a truck’s blind spots. A general rule of thumb is to cleanly maneuver around a truck at an appropriate speed to create adequate distance between the truck and car.
Motorists should use extreme caution when sharing the road with trucks in bad weather. Trucks can suddenly jackknife, leaving drivers little opportunity to take action and move out of the way. In the event of a crash with a truck, drivers and their passengers will want to seek emergency medical attention, even if they feel fine. Often, injuries can be masked by shock and appear a few days afterwards.
Wilmington Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Crash Victims Recover Damages After Truck Accidents
If you were injured in a truck accident, contact the Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. For a free consultation, call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve accident victims throughout the state, including New Castle County, Dover, and Sussex County.
What Time of Day Do Truck Accidents Occur?
Accidents happen at all hours and throughout the week, but there are certain periods that experience an increase in accidents, including those that cause fatalities. Rush hour may be the busiest driving time, with congested roads and frustrated drivers, but when it comes to passenger car accidents, it should come as no surprise that Fridays and Saturdays are more likely to see deadly crashes. This is due to the unfortunate increase of alcohol use by drivers on the weekends. As you might also guess, nighttime car accidents are more common than they are during daylight hours. Logically, this has to do with visibility. However, when trucks are involved, the days and times road accidents and fatalities take place shift.
What Days are the Worst for Truck Accidents?
Trucks tend to be on the road in greater numbers during the regular work week. Therefore, truck accidents and fatalities are more likely to occur on weekdays than on weekends. There is a slight increase mid-week, with the worst day being Thursday. One possible reason for the late-week increase is that truck drivers may be less alert as the week drags on.
What Time of Day is the Most Dangerous for Truck Accidents?
Since driving visibility is generally at its best during the day, the most dangerous time of day for truck accident fatalities happens to be the time when the sun is at its brightest. While the hours between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. are the hours when the most truck accident fatalities occur, the greatest spike within this timeframe occurs between noon and 3:00 p.m.
Even in crashes that do not involve fatal outcomes, truck accidents during these early afternoon hours account for a higher amount of injuries than those reported at other times of day.
When are Truck Accidents at Their Lowest Levels?
The lowest percentage of deaths resulting from truck accidents occurs overnight, during midnight to 3:00 a.m. This is likely because there are fewer vehicles overall on the roads. Besides the significant decrease in truck-related deaths seen on weekends, the weekday with the lowest occurrence of such fatalities is Monday.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured in an Accident?
If you were injured in a truck accident, seek medical attention right away. It is crucial to contact law enforcement to obtain a police report, if you are able. Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, and a truck accident lawyer will be able to determine who is liable for your accident and will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Wilmington Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Truck Accident Victims
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a truck, you may be eligible to collect damages to help with your medical bills and compensate you for pain and suffering. The Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. advocate for truck accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free case evaluation. With offices located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
Just about every experienced driver has been involved in a simple fender bender or minor car accident involving another passenger car. After a minor car accident, you should:
- Pull over, if possible
- Document the accident, including damage and injuries
- Exchange information with the other driver
- Commission a police report
- Notify insurance companies
- Follow up with insurance to settle the claim
When there are injuries or serious damage, things can become more difficult, especially involving a commercial truck. Colliding with a huge truck certainly increases the possibility for more extreme injuries. Even an injury-free accident that produces only car damage is complicated because a truck was involved.
Layers of Liability
When a commercial truck is involved in a car accident, there are many layers of possible liability. Even if the crash was the result of driver error, there may still be avenues to attribute liability to the trucking company, the truck’s manufacturer, or some entity along the business chain of this multidimensional transportation industry.
Truck Accident Advice
One of the most important steps to take in the wake of an accident with a commercial truck is to consult a lawyer familiar with the trucking industry and all the areas where liability for the accident could fall. In the moments following the accident, however, there are a few key things to remember to ensure that you collect evidence to support the validity of your claim that you are eligible to collect damages for the accident.
If you are in an accident with a commercial truck, follow these steps:
Report and address injuries: Do not ignore physical pain as injuries can get worse. To collect on an injury that turns out to be serious, you will need supporting documentation that you sought medical attention. Keep diligent records of your injuries and treatments, which can come in handy of you need to fight for compensation for those injuries.
Document the scene and property damage: Photos, videos, and witness statements can support your claim and absolve you of fault in the accident.
Call the police: A police report will contain all accident details and insurance information.
Report the incident to your car insurance: The protocol is to notify both drivers’ insurance carriers. Your car insurance company may act as a go-between for insurance claim purposes, but insurance reps may not be your best advocate.
Do not give statements beyond the facts: Whether you are speaking with the responding officer, or either insurance company, you should stick to the facts of the incident without elaboration. Saying too much may result in your words being used against you to deny your claim.
Hire a lawyer: An experienced attorney can provide advice and representation that offers significant advantages. A skilled truck accident lawyer is key to collecting appropriate compensation for your accident.
Wilmington Truck Accident Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Truck Accident Victims
If you were injured in an accident with a truck, contact the Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we provide legal services to clients throughout the state, including Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.