As you cruise down a country highway or in and out of interstate traffic, large trucks may seem to be little more than a harmless, slow-moving obstacle. But the truth of the matter is that a collision with such a truck could prove devastating, if not fatal. Every year, nearly 500,000 accidents involving trucks happen in the United States, and of these approximately 5,000 end in a fatality. With some trucks towering upwards of 70 feet and weighing in at a minimum of 10,000 pounds, they are a constant danger. Every motorist should know their rights if they are unfortunate enough to one day find themselves involved in a truck accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A truck accident can occur for a number of reasons. With over 90% of truck accidents caused by human error, drivers of smaller vehicles must remain vigilant at all times. Ground transportation has nearly doubled since the start of the decade, and as a result, commercial drivers are commonly overworked and under-rested, with nearly half of all commercial truck drivers having reported falling asleep while driving. Driver fatigue is a very real problem and extreme caution should be exercised when navigating around large trucks.
The reality, however, is that most truck accidents are initially caused by mistakes made by drivers of smaller vehicles. Reckless drivers are a persistent reality of road travel, so it’s best to stay prepared in case the worst happens.
On average, a single truck accident can result in damages exceeding $60,000. Mounting medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement, and lost wages can cripple a person with an average income. With commercial trucking companies seeing any and all accidents as a drain on their bottom line, they have no qualms in deploying harsh and aggressive tactics to protect their profits.
The companies that insure these large trucks will often practice the very same actions to avoid financial responsibility. These insurance companies usually have policy limits upwards of one million dollars, yet they will not hesitate to deny a claim for the most minor of reasons, leaving a poorly-defended victim in the lurch and unable to be made whole again.
Know Your Rights
The most important weapon a victim of a truck accident has in their toolbox is to simply be prepared. First and foremost, under no circumstances should you ever admit guilt to either the truck driver or to the attending police officer. Regardless of who is actually at fault in the truck accident, an admission of guilt will only cause problems down the line.
The second most important thing to do is to call The Advocates at your first possible opportunity. Our attorneys are seasoned experts when it comes to virtually any case involving a truck accident. We understand the intricacies of Washington State law better than anyone and have decades of experience negotiating with insurance companies. Whether your case is as simple as making a demand of damages or as complicated as filing a lawsuit and going to trial, The Advocates is the only choice to protect your interests and restore your life to what to it was before the truck accident.
References: “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts.” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. United States Department of Transportation, 17 Mar. 2015. Web. <https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts>.
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