If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, you’re likely wondering why you’d need a truck accident attorney. After all, aren’t motor vehicle collisions all the same? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. And if you’ve suffered an injury due to a big truck collision, it’s important to recognize these differences.
Car Accidents vs Truck Accidents
There are many distinctions between car accidents and truck accidents, and one need only look at statistics to see them. The biggest discrepancies come in the overall incidence of these crashes. Recent data shows that passenger car and small truck crashes make up more than 94 percent of all crashes. Large trucks are involved in only about 4 percent of all crashes.
While the disparities in the number of accidents are certainly significant, it’s the rate of injury and death that most stands out. Even though tractor trailer crashes only make up 4 percent of collisions, they account for nearly 9 percent of deaths in vehicular accidents. This makes big trucks disproportionately injurious and fatal when they’re involved in accidents.
Who’s the Victim in Big Truck Accidents?
Anyone could be at fault for a tractor trailer collision, and this is often why truck accident attorneys are necessary to sort things out. Regardless of who is at fault, though, there’s no denying that passenger cars get the worst of it. When looking at Ohio statistics regarding fatal truck accidents, for instance, only two large truck occupants died in 2018.
This is significant when you look at the number of overall fatalities involving these trucks. In recent years, the state has seen around 120 heavy truck-involved fatalities yearly. This shows that fatal tractor trailer accidents are occurring, but it’s not truckers bearing the brunt of the damage. Even in a best-case scenario, passenger car occupants usually end up being unable to work after an accident.
Obviously, this isn’t a huge surprise. The average weight of a passenger car is between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds. Conversely, semi-trucks can be up to 80,000 pounds without even requiring an oversize permit. Increased mass means increased velocity, and in a tractor trailer accident, this can prove to be fatal.
What to Do After a Big Truck Injury
- The most important thing to do after a big truck accident – or any vehicular collision, for that matter – is to visit the hospital. The adrenaline rush you feel after such an event can mask potential injuries, and some serious issues may not even show up for days following the incident. If you’re not seriously hurt, though, you should take the time to file a police report.
- When it comes down to tractor trailer collisions, documentation is paramount. This means you should get witness phone numbers, photos, and the other driver’s information. Of course, this is all secondary to your health. If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately. The other information can be tracked down later.
- The most important step after you or a loved one suffers an injury, though, is to contact a truck accident attorney. Due to the numerous differences between car accidents and truck accidents, it’s best to have legal representation that’s experienced in this area of the law. Without a lawyer, you’ll have to file a claim in the appropriate jurisdiction and then face trucking company attorneys on your own.
- The worst thing you can do after a big truck accident is fail to be appropriately compensated. You never know what additional costs may arise in the future, so remain vigilant in protecting your rights.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
After an accident involving a big rig, it’s imperative to reach out to a truck accident attorney immediately. If the vehicles involved weren’t nearly this large, though, it’s still ideal to seek legal representation. Any accident has the potential to be life-altering, so it’s important to understand your rights and ensure you receive just compensation.
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