Accidents involving the trucks known as semis, tractor-trailers, big rigs and 18-wheelers are a serious public safety issue on America’s roads. In 2015 large trucks were involved in:
- 342,000 accidents resulting in property damage;
- 87,000 accidents resulting in injuries; and
- 4,050 accidents resulting in fatalities.
When large trucks have accidents with passenger cars, the car occupants suffer the vast majority of the injuries and fatalities. The reasons are obvious — 18-wheelers typically weigh 20-30 times more than cars and their height and ground clearance make them even more dangerous when they collide with cars.
Why Do 18-Wheeler Accidents Happen?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration estimates that large truck accidents cause 5,400 fatalities and 140,000 injuries each year. In 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s analyzed its years of accident data sets to produce the Large Truck Crash Causation Study. The FMCSA concluded that these are the most common causes of truck accidents:
Top 10 Driver Causes
- Prescription Drug Use
- Traveling Too Fast for Conditions
- Unfamiliar with Roadway
- Over-the-Counter Drug Use
- Inadequate Surveillance
- Illegal Maneuver
- Exterior Distraction
- Inadequate Evasive Action
Top 10 Vehicle Causes
- Brake Deficiency
- Tire Deficiency
- Jackknife Event
- Cargo Shift
- Light Failure
- Brake Failure
- Cargo Securement
- Vehicle View Obstruction (includes obstruction related to load, vehicle design, or other factor)
- Engine, Fuel System, or Exhaust Deficiency
Trucking Company Practices
Many accidents involving large trucks arise directly from illegal practices that routinely occur in the trucking industry. Hirsch & Lyon has the experience to uncover trucking company misconduct:
- Federal and state law requires truck drivers to keep accurate records of hours worked, miles traveled and rest time. We will examine the log books, looking for evidence that the truck driver did not get the required amount of rest.
- We will figure out whether a carrier has skimped on truck maintenance, leading to brake failure or a tire blowout, or overloaded a truck and thereby causing a serious accident. Carriers who do not adhere to prudent industry standards should be held responsible for damages and injury.
Truck accidents can arise from circumstances external to the drivers, vehicles and trucking companies involved. For example, if a roadway design defect or negligent highway construction or maintenance causes a truck accident, both the truck driver and the injured motorist may have a claim against the governmental entity responsible.
Why You Need an Experienced Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer
The Phoenix truck accident lawyers at Hirsch & Lyon have litigated hundreds of truck accident cases and will take all of the necessary steps to ensure you are legally and financially protected. During our initial investigation of the accident, we will deploy the resources needed to aggressively prosecute your claim, including engaging an accident reconstruction specialist and our experienced private investigator.
Hirsch & Lyon also has years of experience battling the uncooperative insurance companies that represent trucking companies.
We Represent Both Drivers and Passengers Who are Involved in Motor Vehicle Accidents With Big Rigs
Our legal team can assist both automobile drivers and passengers who have been involved in a truck accident. We won’t rest until you get the compensation you deserve. From wrongful death claims to compensation for lost wages, you can count on us to offer unparalleled results throughout every truck accident case.
If you’ve been involved in an 18-wheeler accident, you should engage a lawyer before your insurance company resolves your claim. Call any of our offices to schedule a free consultation.