Understanding Commercial 18 Wheeler Accidents: What You Need to Know About Claims
Commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses, and vans, play an essential role in our economy and daily lives by transporting goods and people across the country. Unfortunately, these vehicles can also pose significant risks on the road, especially when they are involved in accidents. Commercial vehicle accidents can lead to severe injuries, property damage, and even fatalities, which can cause emotional and financial turmoil for crash victims and their families.
Filing a compensation claim can help you recover your losses and move forward from the accident. However, commercial vehicle accident claims can be complex, involving multiple parties, regulations, and insurance companies. It’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the claims process to navigate it successfully.
Types of Commercial Vehicles
Commercial vehicles are a common sight on the roads; unfortunately, accidents involving them are also common. Here are the types of commercial vehicles that can be involved in traffic accidents:
Semi-trucks or 18-wheelers:
These large vehicles are used for transporting goods over long distances and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
These are smaller than semi-trucks and transport goods to stores, restaurants, and homes.
This includes school buses, charter buses, and city buses for transporting people.
Taxis and ride-share vehicles:
These vehicles are used to transport people from one place to another.
These are used in construction sites, including bulldozers, cranes, and excavators.
These are used to tow vehicles that have broken down or been involved in an accident.
Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial vehicle accidents can be caused by various factors, including:
The most common cause of commercial vehicle accidents is driver error, such as speeding, distracted driving, fatigue, and failure to obey traffic laws.
Poor vehicle maintenance:
Commercial vehicles require regular maintenance to ensure they are in safe operating condition. Neglecting maintenance can lead to equipment failures, such as brake failure or tire blowouts, which can cause accidents.
Overloading or improper loading:
Overloading a trailer or improperly loading cargo can cause a commercial vehicle or trailer to become unstable or difficult to maneuver, resulting in an accident.
Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or fog, can make it difficult for some truck and commercial vehicle drivers to see and control their vehicles, increasing the risk of accidents.
Poorly maintained roads, highway construction zones, and other hazardous road and highway conditions can contribute to commercial vehicle accidents.
Manufacturing defects or design flaws in commercial vehicles can cause accidents, such as defective brakes or faulty steering mechanisms.
Liability in Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial vehicle accidents can be complex, and determining liability can be challenging. Liability refers to legal responsibility for the accident and its consequences. The following are some parties that may be held liable in commercial vehicle accidents:
The commercial vehicle driver may be held liable if they determine they were driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
The trucking company:
If the semi-truck-owning company was careless in hiring, training, or supervising the semi-truck or driver or neglected to maintain the vehicle adequately, they could be deemed responsible for the accident.
The manufacturer of the vehicle:
If the accident was caused by a defect in the vehicle or one of its parts, the other vehicle manufacturer might be liable.
Actions to Take Following an Accident Involving a Commercial Vehicle.
Here are some important steps to take after a commercial vehicle accident:
Seek Medical Attention:
The first and most important step after an accident is to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved. Even if you feel fine, getting checked out by a medical professional is still important, as some minor injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Contact Law Enforcement:
They will investigate the accident scene, document it, and create an official report that can be used as evidence in your claim.
Take photos and videos of the scene, including damage to vehicles and any minor injuries a person sustained. Collect contact information from witnesses, as their testimony can be valuable in establishing liability.
Contact Your Insurance Company:
Contact your insurance company and report a serious car accident. They will help guide you through the claims process and can assist with any necessary paperwork.
Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney:
A commercial vehicle and truck accident attorney can help protect your legal rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained in a truck accident. They can handle negotiations with insurance companies and the legal system on your behalf.
Filing a Commercial Vehicle Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, there are certain steps you need to take to file a claim. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Seek medical attention:
The first thing you should do after an accident is to seek medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained. Even if you feel fine, getting checked out by a medical professional is still a good idea.
Be sure to collect information from the other parties involved in the accident, including the truck driver’s name and contact information, the name of the company the truck driver works for, and the name and contact information of any witnesses.
Contact the police:
Call the police and file a report of the accident that happened. This report will be important when filing your claim.
Contact your insurance company:
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Be sure to provide them with all the information you have gathered, including the police report and contact information for the driver and other parties involved.
Consider hiring an attorney:
If you have been injured in an accident or significant damage to your vehicle, consider hiring an attorney to help you file your claim and navigate the legal process.
Keep detailed records:
Ensure to maintain comprehensive documentation of all costs associated with the incident, such as medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, and any income lost due to taking time off from work.
Stay in touch with your insurance company:
Stay in touch with your insurance company throughout the claims process and provide them with any additional information they may need. Keep track of all communication with your insurance company and other parties involved in the accident.
In conclusion, commercial vehicle accidents can be devastating for everyone involved, and it’s important to understand your rights and options in the aftermath of an accident. Suppose you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident. In that case, it’s essential to seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide you through filing and investigating a claim and fighting for the compensation you deserve.
At Houston Crash Car, we understand the challenges of commercial vehicle accident claims and are here to provide the support and guidance you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your claim. Remember, you don’t have to face this situation alone – we’re here to help.