A truck accident attorney needs to be a cut above the rest. The firm you choose to work with should exhibit as many of the following qualities as possible.
Consider the time the firm’s been operational as well as the number of years the firm’s lawyers have been practicing. The most experienced lawyers know the ins and outs of the legal system and can navigate clients through the complex legal process.
Next, you’re looking for a successful representation of clients. Consequently, it doesn’t matter how long the firm’s been around if it can’t properly represent those to whom it caters. In fact, many of the most reputable firms have recovered tens of millions of dollars for perhaps thousands of clients.
A good breakdown is ten million dollars in recoveries per one thousand clients. Therefore, consider reading the firm’s client testimonials or check out a third party site for the most objective reviews from clients.
Service of Clients
How a firm treats clients is very important as well. Therefore, the firm should return phone calls quickly and ensure it treats all interactions with honesty. Clients should always receive copies of necessary correspondence and attorneys should offer clients an honest and direct assessment of their legal issues or injuries.
Furthermore, the attorney should clearly explain what he or she can and cannot do. This means that the client has reasonable expectations for the case. Clients who have peace of mind that their case is being handled competently will have an easier time recovering financially, physically, and emotionally.
Insurance Adjusters And Attorneys For The Truck Driver Will Try To Take Advantage Of You
After an accident with a semi-truck, the company at fault will probably have a lawyer try to contact you as quickly as possible. They want to get to you before you hire an attorney of your own. They know that once you have legal representation, they’ll probably end up paying out a lot more money.
So, they race to get to you as soon as possible and do whatever they can to try to talk to you. If you are contacted by a lawyer for the at-fault trucking company then don’t talk to them. Never, ever say anything to them except that they can speak to your attorney.
Anything you say now could come back to haunt you later. Don’t let their act of pretending to be on your side fool you. They aren’t your friend, they are there to take advantage of you.
Finding The Right Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights
The trucking company that employs the at-fault driver has a team of lawyers working for them. This is exactly why you need an experienced lawyer working for you. Unless you have extensive experience in the legal field, you have no way of knowing whether or not you are being taken advantage of.
What may seem like a fair offer to you, could, in fact, be an offer that is only worth a small fraction of what you should be paid. Always remember that if you are the victim you can’t just expect to have your rights honored. You have to fight for them.
An experienced semi-truck accident attorney will do just that for you. They won’t let you be taken advantage of and they will fight to get you the settlement that you deserve. You are the victim here, so don’t become a victim a second time by letting the truck company’s lawyer take advantage of you.
7 Important Trucking Accident Statistics You Need To Know
Anybody who spends any time on the road needs to understand these 7 trucking accident statistics. Semi-trucks are the biggest vehicles on the road which means that they have the highest potential for serious accidents of any vehicle on the road.
Semi-trucks also drive far more miles each day than a passenger car does. And, more time on the road equates to a greater chance of an accident happening. After you learn about these truck accident statistics you should have a better idea of what kind of danger trucks pose.
1. Less than 9% of the 41,000 to 45,000 traffic accident fatalities each year involve a semi-truck. This shows you that even though semi-trucks are much bigger and heavier, and they spend more time on the road, they are still safer than passenger cars. This is largely due to the training and dedication of truck drivers. Plus, the amount of time, money, and effort that goes into repairing and maintaining big trucks.
2. More than 80% of accidents involving a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle that result in a fatality are the result of driver error on the part of the passenger vehicle driver. This is further evidence that truck drivers are safer drivers than passenger vehicle drivers. Truck drivers spend far more time on the road. However, they are still involved in fewer serious accidents. Plus, when they are in an accident it’s usually the other driver’s fault.
3. Up to 75% of people in a minor car accident don’t show any symptoms of an injury for up to 6 months. That means that if you are in an accident, even a minor one, you need to file a report with law enforcement and your insurance company. Don’t assume that because you feel fine now that you don’t have any injuries that could arise down the road. Failing to report an accident will greatly decrease your likelihood of being compensated if you sustained hidden injuries.
4. Commercial trucks are involved in only 2.4% of all accidents that happen on the road. Therefore, commercial trucks are far less likely to be in major or minor accidents.
5. In 98% of semi-truck accidents involving a fatality, the driver of the passenger vehicle dies. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since commercial trucks are much bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles are. Fortunately, while commercial trucks are more dangerous to be in an accident with, they are also much less likely to be in an accident.
6. There are approximately 500,000 accidents involving commercial trucks each year. While that may seem like a very high number, it’s not when you consider how many hours commercial trucks spend on the road each year.
7. Sixty-eight percent of truck accidents occur during the day. This is an odd statistic since logic would seem to imply that accidents are more likely to occur when drivers are more tired. And, when there is less visibility.
Common Causes Of Semi Truck Accidents To Be Aware Of
When you think about the size and weight of trucks, it should be clear that semi-truck accidents have the potential to do a lot of damage. Most truck drivers are very safety conscious, and most semi-truck companies go above and beyond in terms of maintenance for their trucks.
But, even with every possible precaution being taken, there are accidents involving semi-trucks that happen on a regular basis. Sometimes accidents simply happen when there is some unlucky fluke that causes them.
However, it’s far more common for a mistake by the driver of the semi-truck, or by the people in charge of repairing or maintaining it, that leads to an accident. So, what are the most common causes of semi-truck accidents?
Driver Error Committed By The Truck Driver
One of the most common causes of accidents for cars or semi-trucks on the road is driver error. People make mistakes and unfortunately when those mistakes happen behind the wheel of a vehicle, the results can be disastrous.
What kinds of driver errors do truck drivers make that lead to accidents? A frequent cause of accidents is when a truck driver continues driving when he or she is tired. Truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to meet their goals, so some resort to driving when they’re tired. Other drivers make the mistake of operating their truck while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Driver Error Committed By Other Drivers
While some accidents involving semi-trucks are caused by truck driver error, the majority of accidents are caused by other drivers. If other drivers employed defensive driving techniques such as keeping a safe distance from any trucks, many accidents could be avoided. The point here is that if both truck drivers and passenger vehicle drivers improve their driving techniques, they could avoid many accidents.
One type of truck accident that is largely unavoidable is when equipment fails on the truck. If there’s a mechanical failure on a semi-truck that causes the truck driver to lose control, then this is an accident that the truck driver couldn’t reasonably avoid.
While it’s possible that the equipment failure was due to poor maintenance, in many cases, the equipment failure is a result of a manufacturer defect.
Poor Truck Maintenance Can Lead To Accidents
The amount of wear and tear commercial semi-trucks experience is enormous. You have to remember that these trucks drive thousands of miles every day. In fact, a truck can easily drive more miles in just a few months than a passenger car will drive over an entire year.
All of these miles take their toll resulting in various parts and systems wearing out and breaking down. From tires that go bald to brake pads that wear out, there are any number of systems in a semi-truck that could fail due to wear and tear.
Even something as apparently minor as a cracked or chipped windshield can obstruct the driver’s vision, causing an accident. That’s why it’s so important that every driver thoroughly inspects their truck every time they drive it before they hit the road.
Bad weather is a common cause of many passenger car and semi-truck accidents, and it’s another factor that really does fall into the realm of driver error. How can bad weather be a driver error issue?
That’s simple. During bad weather, smart drivers will pull over and wait until driving conditions improve. When you’re driving during heavy rain or snow, there are all manner of issues that you’re going to encounter.
First of all, your visibility is going to be severely impacted. Second of all, the visibility of the other drivers on the road will be impacted as well. Roads will also be slick and there could be ice or snow present making them even more dangerous.
While not driving during bad weather is the best option if you’re trying to avoid an accident, there are times when it may be necessary to drive during adverse conditions. However, by using simple, common sense based defensive driving techniques, many accidents can be avoided.
One common mistake that drivers make when driving when the roads are slick is driving too close to the car in front of them. When road conditions are dangerous, vehicles can’t slow down and stop as quickly. This makes leaving more space between you and the next driver essential.
Improperly Loaded Trailers Lead To Many Semi-Truck Accidents
People who don’t drive semi-trucks don’t realize how important it is that the trailers are loaded properly. Believe it or not, an improperly loaded semi-trailer can cause an accident. If a trailer has too much freight or too little freight, it increases the likelihood that the trailer will jackknife. This usually results in a catastrophic accident.
Why would a semi-trailer be loaded improperly? Sometimes it’s due to negligence. Other times it’s due to errors committed by the people loading the truck. No matter the reason, the result will be a trailer that is difficult or impossible for a driver to control which often leads to accidents.
Understanding What Causes Accidents Can Help Drivers To Avoid Them
Can we avoid all semi accidents? No, but every accident we avoid is a victory. Every accident we avoid means lives that are saved and property that isn’t damaged. Semi-trucks are an essential part of modern life. Without semis, all of the goods that we depend on wouldn’t be in stores for us to buy.
Think about that. Just about everything in your home right now was on a truck at one point. So, while semi-trucks do represent a potential danger on the roads due to their size, they are a necessity.
That means that finding ways to operate them safely while reducing accidents is important. The first step in that process is identifying common causes of accidents, which can then be used to help find ways to reduce these risks.
How A Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
Seeking compensation after a motor vehicle accident is rarely a simple process. For accidents that involve trucks or other commercial vehicles, navigating the truck accident claims process and winning adequate compensation can be especially challenging. Fortunately, hiring an attorney can make a favorable outcome more likely. Therefore, if you sustain injuries in a truck accident, you should consider hiring a Chicago truck accident attorney for the following benefits.
Help Proving the Other Driver’s Negligence
In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the other party was negligent. It must also be proven that this negligence resulted in a personal injury that could have been anticipated and avoided. A lawyer is familiar with the definition of negligence and the types of evidence that can be used to establish negligence.
After an accident, it’s often necessary to act quickly to preserve evidence. If you are unsure of what to do, you may lose much-needed information. If you hire a truck accident attorney soon after the accident, you will have a much better chance of locating and saving all necessary evidence.
Better Likelihood of Reaching a Fair Settlement
Since trucks are so much heavier than passenger vehicles, they can cause more damage during accidents. Truck accident injuries are often severe or even disabling. For victims, it’s essential to obtain adequate compensation to cover short-term medical expenses and long-term losses. These could include lost earnings and ongoing healthcare costs.
The insurance company providing coverage to the trucking company may be eager to settle your claim quickly for a relatively small amount. An attorney can help you understand the types of compensation available. Plus, he or she can evaluate all of your losses – now and in the future. Together, you can then determine what kind of settlement would be appropriate.
Better Peace of Mind for You
It’s easy to have regrets when looking back at how a life-changing situation was handled. Especially, when you try to handle the situation alone. During the claims process, having an expert on your side can be invaluable in reducing the inevitable stress and uncertainty.
Similarly, after your claim settles, regardless of the outcome, you’ll be glad to know that you did everything you could to win an appropriate award.
A Trusted Option
Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD. has been integral in the representation of over 20,000 injured victims, with more than fifty million dollars in various damages recovered for clients. This year, Shuman & Associates, LTD. is celebrating 20 years of providing legal services to clients. The firm proudly provides excellent customer service that sets them apart from other personal injury, medical malpractice, and truck accident attorneys.
Their practice areas include, but may not necessarily be limited to:
- Large truck accidents
- Nursing home negligence
- Slip and fall
- Wrongful death
- Auto accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workers compensation
- Motorcycle accidents
- Traumatic brain injury
- Dog bites
And many others
For a legal firm that brings reliable service perpetually, Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD. is a trustworthy option. Contact us to speak with a dedicated car accident, motorcycle accident, and truck accident attorney!