Unsafe Acts by Passenger Vehicle Drivers
Truck crashes are high profile events. These type of crashes result in about 60 percent of all fatal crashes. The following list contains some of the common unsafe acts committed by passenger vehicle drivers.
Driving inattentively (reading, talking on the phone, fatigue-induced)
Merging improperly into traffic, causing a truck to maneuver or brake quickly
Failure to stop for a stop sign or light
Failure to slow down in a construction zone
Unsafe speed (approaching too fast from the rear/misjudging truck's speed)
Following too closely
Failure to slow down in response to environmental conditions (fog, rain, snow, smoke,
Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck
Driving in the "no-zones" (left rear quarter, right front quarter, directly behind)
Pulling into traffic from roadside in front of truck without accelerating sufficiently
Driving between large trucks
The following suggestions may help motorists to improve the odds when sharing the road with large commercial vehicles:
Keep visible - stay out of the "no-zones" - when behind a truck stay far enough back to
see both side mirrors on the truck
Maintain a safe distance to ensure that there is adequate space and time to brake
Use signals to turn or pass and avoid sudden moves such as swerving to pass
Keep lights on and windshield wipers working on rainy days
Steps to take if you are involved in a commercial vehicle accident
If you've been injured because of a collision with a commercial vehicle, you already know your accident was serious. In crashes involving semi trucks, generally the driver of the automobile is the one who is injured, and often the injuries are fatal.
Due to size disparities and basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle is likely to result in serious injuries and significant property damage.
Following is a general guide of some of the do's and don'ts surrounding your accident:
Report the accident immediately
Do not state much about the accident
Do not admit fault
Do not apologize
Seek medical attention immediately
Do not wait to file a police report and retrieve a copy
Do not wait to file your insurance claim
Report only the basic facts of your accident to insurance adjusters
Your actions in the first hours and days of your accident are critical if you hope to receive fair compensation for your injuries. We urge you to obtain one of our reputable personal injury attorneys immediately. Retaining an attorney requires insurance investigators, law enforcement personnel and others whose actions may not be in your best interests to speak to your attorney first in all matters regarding your case.
One of the more common defenses in a trucking accident case is that the driver of the passenger vehicle caused the accident. Because of their enormous size and slow maneuverability, large trucks have significant limitations when it comes to responding quickly to the action(s) of another motorist. Consequently, if the passenger vehicle does any of the following the fact of the action will be used to defend the truck driver:
Driving left of center into opposing traffic
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
Failure to stop for a stop sign or traffic light
Following too closely
Driving over the speed limit
Driving in "no-zones"
Improperly merging in front of a truck
The first step after hiring one of our experienced attorneys will be to file a Complaint which outlines the claims that the Plaintiff has against the Defendant. The Defendant then has a brief period of time in which to respond to the Complaint. Should the Defendant fail to respond within that time-frame, the court may then enter a default judgment against the Defendant. Eventually, the parties exchange documents and other pertinent information regarding the issues pertaining to the matter. In many instances, one or both of the parties will try to dispose of the matter, or a part of it, by a process called Motion. If the parties do not reach an agreement and the matter is not disposed of by motion, the case then proceeds to trial. Either party may choose to have a jury. At the trial, the attorneys present their individual cases, and the judge or jury make the decision on the unresolved issues. Once a decision is reached, the judge orders Judgment be entered for the party who wins. After the Judgment is entered, either party may Appeal the decision to a higher court. However, it is unusual for an appeals court to overturn a judge's decision.
Every commercial truck accident is unique. Therefore, it is difficult to determine the exact time-frame these steps will take in your particular case. It can take as little as a few months, to as long as a few years.