Between 2009 and 2017, fatal accidents involving trucks and buses increased by 42%, partially related to an increase in accidents overall (22% increase from 2009 - 2015.) Truck drivers can drive well over 80,000 miles per year in big trucks with large blind spots and long hours.
Given those factors, accidents are considered an eventuality by most trucking companies. However, while a commercial truck driver can contact their HR department or legal team, the regular driver can feel left out and searching for help with their personal injury case and medical expenses.
Attorney Elizabeth Hancock is a specialist within the personal injury law sector. As such, she often works with those who’ve been in a not-at-fault accident involving a commercial vehicle. Usually caused by over-exhausted drivers and a lack of awareness, they can cause serious pain and suffering, often in the form of a spinal cord injury.
After an accident, there are a few vital steps you need to take. However, these can be especially vital when the case is against a team of lawyers rather than just two personal insurance companies.
Suppose you’ve been in a collision with a commercial driver and sustained an injury they’re saying wasn’t their fault or that they won’t cover. In that case, you should contact a law firm or attorney who can help you navigate personal injury law, especially if the company is pressuring you to settle as fast as possible.
As a personal injury attorney in Shreveport, LA, Elizabeth Hancock handles numerous cases of auto accidents each year. She believes in fighting for those who’ve been harmed by the commercial trucking industry and has years of experience to prove it.
With an understanding of what to do, let’s talk about why these accidents can happen in the first place. Knowing the causes of commercial motor vehicle accidents could lead to avoidance altogether.
Vehicle maintenance is vital for commercial motor vehicles that see what could be six-digit mileage per year on the road. Things like improper tire or brake maintenance can lead to blowouts or even complete brake failure. However, it isn’t just maintenance. Other issues like securely tied cargo is also vital to the safety of others on the road. Insurance companies will often blame the trucker for failure to maintain their vehicle in any of these situations.
Truck drivers often have to engage in evasive steering because the loads they carry don’t allow for last-minute breaking. Often, they can accidentally hit a party unrelated to the initial issue. For example, if someone swerves in front of them and hits the breaks, they might choose to move out of the way, accidentally hitting someone in their blind spot. In these situations, blame can be very accident-specific, going either direction depending on hundreds of factors.
Due to the stress caused by constantly driving a commercial vehicle, truck drivers have very strict drive time laws to follow based on what they’re carrying, where they’re going, and if they’re far from home or not. Yet, a survey by the FMCSA and NHTSA found that tired drivers were still a leading cause in many of the 68,000 drivers studied. In these situations, barring external or unknown factors, a judge could find that the large truck driver is at fault.
Simply put, seek justice when you’ve been injured during an accident. Commercial truck drivers already have a team of lawyers and insurance agents at their backs - putting you at a disadvantage. Level the playing field by contacting Elizabeth Hancock to learn more about your options in Shreveport, LA,