Big Rig, Big Accident, Big Problem

by christophers on June 19, 2012

Legal post contributed by Christopher Stephens on behalf of Buddoo & Associates P.C.

Nearly every driver can relate to this situation. You are driving on the interstate, respecting the speed limit and driving defensively. Your kids are dozing in the back seat, and suddenly, you are surrounded by huge 18-wheelers.

The grill of a large semi, outlined with painted shark’s teeth or flames, looms in your rear-view mirror, aggressively urging you to drive faster. Another of his colleagues has boxed you in from the left, preventing you from changing lanes. You can only hit the accelerator or hope the tailgating semi will eventually decide to pass you.

These moments are scary for us all. The statistics about the number of trucking accidents on U.S. roadways are just as scary.

Large Truck Injury Crashes

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) keeps detailed records each year, cataloging accidents involving large trucks and stockpiling information about each accident. The statistics show that while trucking safety has improved tremendously over the last two decades, still far too many people are injured in accidents involving 18-wheelers.

The DOT’s study of large-truck injury crashes shows a decline in the number of such accidents from 1989 to 2009. In 1989, over 156,000 people were injured in such accidents. That number decreased to approximately 74,000 by 2009. Still, trucking companies and their drivers should strive to reduce this number, especially considering the number of fatal accidents taking place each year.

Large Truck Injury Accidents Involving Fatalities

Truck accidents resulting in fatalities still occur far too often. The DOT’s study of fatal accidents shows that trucking fatalities have decreased only slightly since 1975, varying wildly from year to year. A review of the statistics show the extent of the variation: 4,816 were killed in 1975, while 7,054 were killed in 1979. From 2000 to 2007, at least 5,000 people were killed each year in these type of accidents.

Truck Accident Litigation

The deaths and severe injuries caused by these accidents, coupled with the voluminous federal regulations governing trucking companies and their drivers, create high-stakes lawsuits. Wrongful death cases involving younger victims with significant income potential can result in seven-digit verdicts.

Trucking litigation involves large amounts of document review. Plaintiff’s attorneys, especially those in larger cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, spend enormous amounts of money building these cases and seeking huge settlements or verdicts. Atlanta residents injured in such accidents should seek Atlanta auto accident legal help. An Atlanta accident attorney with vast experience representing trucking accident victims should offer a free initial evaluation of your case. The trucking company, its insurer and its attorneys will aggressively defend these cases. An injured person picking a timid or inexperienced attorney will most likely not get the money he or she deserves.

Large trucks can cause catastrophic damages to other vehicles on the road, resulting in severe injury or even death to the occupants of smaller vehicles. Those suffering such traumatic injuries should seek an experienced attorney immediately to fight for their rights.




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