18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers in Dover, DE Can Help Secure Compensation After Negligent Truck Collisions
Hundreds of thousands of 18-wheelers travel on mid-Atlantic roadways every year. Sometimes, truckers don’t follow the laws designed to protect other drivers on these highways and streets. Unfortunately, this has led to serious accidents over the years. Many of these truck wrecks could have been avoided if the driver had exercised reasonable care. In fact, some of these collisions are the direct result of blatant negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a big rig, an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Dover, DE may be able to help you secure a fair settlement or court award.
At Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, we’ve spent years helping accident victims seek and recover financial damages. The commercial trucking industry has clear regulations. In fact, these regulations have become so vast that more laws and regulations now exist for this field than in any other transportation industry in the U.S. Unfortunately, even the most stringent compliance standards cannot prevent all truck accidents once negligence is thrown into the mix. If you or a family member have been seriously injured in a wreck with a big rig, call our law firm today to secure your case review.
How Dangerous Are Big Rigs?
Because of their weight and size, large tractor-trailers can create tremendous amounts of damage when they’re operated in an unsafe manner. Of course, there are other issues that can lead to accidents as well. Regardless of the underlying facts of a case — or even who’s at fault — these collisions very frequently cause serious injury and financial loss for those involved. For instance, big rigs recently made up less than 5% of all motor vehicle collisions in Delaware. Unfortunately, they were involved in more than 7% of all fatal accidents. This means truck drivers are involved in a disproportionate amount of fatal Delaware accidents.
Even more tragic is that it’s often innocent victims who suffer the most. In all fatal truck accidents, 68% of victims were the drivers or passengers of smaller vehicles. Another 16% of these deaths were those involved in bicycle, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents. These statistics make it clear just how costly such a wreck can be for trucking companies. This is why they’ll often have investigators out to the scene within hours of the accident. While these individuals should focus on facts, it’s important that they’re not the only ones conducting an investigation into the accident.
Our Dover truck accident attorneys can do more than just negotiate a settlement and represent you in court. We understand that investigating trucking accidents thoroughly is a crucial step, so our skilled legal professionals can assist in this effort as well. Commercial trucks play a vital role in America’s economy, but following an accident, it’s important that evidence includes more than just an investigation by the company itself. This is particularly true since they have so much to lose. There’s no denying that tractor-trailers present excessive dangers when negligence is involved, so if you’re injured in an accident, reach out for legal help immediately.
What Are the Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents?
Any experienced truck accident lawyer can tell you that not all tractor-trailer accidents are the same. Unique circumstances can result in countless outcomes — although many of these outcomes do involve serious injuries. If you want to fully understand liability in these situations, though, it’s important to know the most common causes of truck accidents. While truck drivers do sometimes engage in negligent acts that cause harm, you may be surprised at how varied other such causes can be. When these wrecks occur, the following are the most common reasons:
- Poorly maintained brakes, tires, or other improper maintenance
- Overloaded or oversized freight and cargo trucks
- Negligence of a truck driver
- Driver fatigue
- Rushed delivery schedules
- Road rage by a large truck driver
- Aggressive delivery truck drivers
- Tailgating or reckless driving by a truck driver
- DUI – driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Jackknife 18-wheeler semi-truck accidents
- Speeding or ignoring the speed limit for trucks
- Violation of other federal regulations
It’s important to note that not all of these trucking accidents causes are as common as others. For instance, statistics from a recent year show that less than 1% of truck drivers in Delaware collisions were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This list also shows that trucking companies occasionally share liability — such as when they fail to perform proper maintenance on their fleet. What might be most surprising, though, is the fact that 80% of these collisions were caused by individuals in passenger vehicles. This leaves many people to not seek compensation if they feel they’re partially at fault for a truck accident.
In Delaware, this is a mistake. A Dover truck accident lawyer may still be able to secure financial compensation for your case since we live in a modified comparative negligence state. This means you can recover damages even in accidents where you share some level of liability — as long as your level of fault doesn’t surpass 50%. A jury will simply reduce your monetary compensation by your level of liability. For instance, if they decide you’re 10% at fault for a tractor-trailer accident, a $2 million court award will likely be reduced by $200,000 (i.e., 10%).
What Types of Injuries Come from Accidents With Semi-Trucks?
Nearly two-thirds of car accidents result in no injury. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for collisions involving large trucks. When a big rig that can top out at 80,000 lbs collides with a 3,000-lbs passenger vehicle, it’s not surprising that many of these collisions inevitably result in serious injuries or even death. Regardless of the type of injuries you sustain, reaching out to Dover truck accident lawyers may be in your best interest. Settlements and court awards in these collisions can be substantial. Of course, once you consider the severity of the most common injuries in such accidents, it becomes clear why significant financial restitution is often necessary:
- Broken bones
- Lacerations from the broken glass and metal
- Severe bruising
- Head trauma
- Brain contusions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe disfigurement
- Wrongful death
The most basic concerns for our clients involved in trucking accidents are centered on treatment costs for the above injuries and others suffered in the wreck. After an accident, immediate medical attention at a hospital may be needed. Sadly, this might be only the first step in a long road to recovery. Follow-up surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, and other rehabilitation treatments can drag your recovery out for years. In some cases, catastrophic injuries may never fully heal and leave you dealing with undue hardships your entire life.
In addition to high medical costs, a trucking accident can also cause a great deal of property damage. The impact such a large vehicle makes when it collides with another object is often very significant, regularly resulting in a total insurance write-off of the other vehicle(s) involved in the collision. Many accident victims also experience pain and suffering along with severe emotional distress. Settlements and court awards very often include these forms of damages. To truly understand what you may be entitled to, though, it would be wise to speak with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Dover, DE before making any decisions.
18-Wheeler Accidents Lawyers in Dover, DE Can Help
The number of commercial trucks on American highways has been steadily increasing over the years. Some estimates put the current number of tractor-trailers at more than 15.5 million. These are operated by hundreds of thousands of trucking companies, and they generate a massive portion of our country’s economic revenue each year. When it comes down to it, the commercial trucking industry is large, powerful, and profitable. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean they’re beyond reproach. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, a personal injury attorney can help you through the process of securing the compensation you deserve.
At Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, we understand that truck drivers are often overworked, fatigued, and under stress. Unfortunately, this means they can easily endanger others on the road. When such negligence results in serious or catastrophic injuries, having a legal professional on your side can prove invaluable. While our 18-wheeler accident lawyers in Dover, DE might be headquartered in Delaware, we also serve clients in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Contact us today by calling (302) 678-8700 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll fight hard to ensure you receive maximum monetary compensation.