Commercial trucks are on the road everyday, carrying items we need all over the U.S. While many trucks operate safely, some do not and accidents happen. When a passenger vehicle is hit by a large commercial truck, their injuries are typically more severe than if they had been struck by a smaller vehicle. Below is an overview of truck accident statistics and how personal injury law may help accident victims obtain compensation for their injuries.
Large Truck Registration Statistics
In 2015, vehicles in the United States traveled over 3,025.7 billion miles. Large trucks accounted for 279.1 billion of those miles. At the beginning of 2016, 551,150 motor carriers operated on both interstate and intrastate roadways.
Truck Accident Crash Statistics
As shown by the most recent large truck accident statistics posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2014 – 2015, 3,649 of the 29,989 fatal vehicle crashes on U.S. roadways involved large commercial trucks. Other important truck accident statistics to keep in mind are:
- 98 percent of semi truck accidents are fatal
- For every 100 million miles driven by semi truck operators, 60.5 result in an injury
- The average commercial truck accident cost is over $59,000
Proving Operator Negligence
In order to obtain a settlement for your injuries from a large truck accident, you must be able to prove the operator or truck manufacturer was negligent and caused your injuries. Some things that may indicate driver/operator negligence include:
- Driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Driving while fatigued
- Being overloaded
- Failing to properly inspect the vehicle
It can be difficult to prove who was at fault after a large truck accident. For this reason, it is a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney for advice.
After a truck accident, you may be awarded certain types of damages if your claim is approved or you win a lawsuit. Some of these damages could include:
- Lost wages
- Hospital bills
- Doctor fees
- Therapy bills
- Cost of transportation to doctor visits
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Future lost wages if you are disabled due to your injuries
Calculating damages is a complex and difficult process and best handled by an attorney. It is key to accurately calculate expenses and lost wages so that you receive fair compensation.
How A Truck Accident Lawyer Iowa Trusts Can Help
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you in many different ways. Some things a lawyer can do during the legal process include:
- Hire accident investigators
- Speak with medical experts
- Talk with police and obtain reports
- Negotiate a settlement with the truck driver’s insurance company
- File court documents related to your lawsuit
- Represent you in court proceedings
If a loved one died in a truck accident, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you obtain compensation by pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. All personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within the appropriate statute of limitations for the state in which the accident occurred. It is best to seek legal counsel to avoid missing the window of opportunity for filing your claim.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into truck accidents.