If you were on the road and suddenly felt the horrible crunch of a semi-truck running into your vehicle, there is a good chance that you will find it helpful to discuss your situation with a team of semi accident lawyers Washington DC residents can rely on. The unfortunate reality of accidents with large trucks and tractor-trailers is that they happen all too often and frequently cause injuries, property damage, and death to innocent people. When a semi-truck or other large commercial truck collides with smaller vehicles, the smaller vehicles and the people in them suffer the most damage.
Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other commercial trucks can cause catastrophic injuries when they’re involved in auto accidents. Semi-trucks are huge vehicles, especially compared to your modern passenger cars, which are lighter and more compact than ever. Semi-truck drivers are on the road for hours at a time. Commercial trucks tend to have poor visibility, and because of their size, take a long time to slow down and stop. They can also not speed up quickly to avoid scenarios that have the potential to result in an accident. In other words, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other commercial trucks cannot maneuver quickly no matter how much a driver might try to do this. Now, add these vehicles to the already congested and dangerous roads and highways in the Washington D.C. metro area, and you have a recipe for disaster.
In 2016, there were about 225 million licensed drivers in the United States. Of those 225 million, about 15.5 million of those drivers drive trucks and of that amount, there are about two million tractor-trailers on the road.
Every 15 minutes, a person is either killed or seriously injured due to a trailer truck accident. Trailer trucks can often be referred to as an 18-wheeler, big rig, semi-truck, or semi. Each year in the United States, there are about 500,000 trucking accidents, and about 5,000 of those accidents result in death.
It is believed that vehicle crashes will become the fifth leading cause of death in the United States by 2030.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s report on workplace fatalities, the number of truck drivers killed on the job rose from 786 in 2016 to 840 in 2018. Given the strenuous hours, the pressure to arrive on time, the lack of sleep, trucking is a very dangerous business. And if you or your family member has had a semi-truck accident with a negligent truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation.
One huge reason for so much loss of life is the weight of a tractor-trailer. The average weight of a motor vehicle is about 2.5 tons. However, a tractor-trailer can weigh 40 tons. The laws of physics make it clear that the more weight an object has, the longer it takes to stop, which means it takes a tractor-trailer longer to stop than a motor vehicle. If your vehicle and a tractor-trailer are both on the road and driving 40 mph and you must brake a the same time, the semi-truck will need a full 45 more feet to stop completely. That is a problem if there is a car in front of that semi, especially if it is your car.
Most cars need about 306 feet to stop after they brake, but the average tractor-trailer needs 525 feet, the length of 1.5 football fields. Speed is also an important factor when applying the brakes.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study:
Among the truck deaths in 2014, 3,660 were caused by an accident with a big truck or bus; 68% of the fatalities were passengers in motor vehicles. Of the deaths, 15% were bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians.
If you or a loved one has had a semi-truck accident, or you have had a loved one die as a result of a semi-truck accident, it’s essential to know that the FMCSA requires all carriers to be insured. You may be eligible for a settlement or compensation for your pain, suffering, and loss. Trucks that haul freight must carry between $750,000 and $5 million in insurance coverage; the insurance amount varies, depending on what the driver is hauling. However, insurance coverage is not coverage per person but per incident. Dealing with insurance companies may become tricky if you have been involved in a semi-truck accident in Washington, D.C. You may want to contact an expert semi-truck D.C. accident lawyer to ensure you get the compensation that you and your family deserve.
If you are in the unfortunate situation of thinking you may need legal advice from Cohen & Cohen and the automobile accident lawyer Washington DC trusts, contact us for a free case evaluation any time of the day or night.
The tragic result of tractor-trailer truck crashes and semi-truck accidents are often devastating injuries and even death for the drivers and passengers involved. At the same time, the at-fault truckers often walk away unharmed. And even though federal and state governments highly regulate commercial vehicles and large trucks involved in interstate commerce, semi-truck crashes remain all too common in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
The most important thing you can do to avoid being a truck accident victim is always to be alert and practice defensive driving at all times. But even if you do everything right, you can’t stop the truck driver’s negligence. If you’ve been in a semi-truck accident, you need a good truck accident lawyer. And you need one right away. The right tractor-trailer accident lawyer will know what to do in the hours and days immediately after an accident to preserve your rights and ensure that you get fair compensation for your injuries.
The lawyers at Cohen & Cohen have handled many semi-truck crash cases in the past. We have successfully represented clients who suffered catastrophic injury, property damage, and even death. If you are involved in a semi-truck accident, do not wait. Contact the experienced semi-truck accident lawyers Washington DC victims of truck accidents can count on at Cohen & Cohen, P.C., immediately.
As mentioned, the trucking industry is an intricate component of the transportation of goods in this country. On average, approximately 70% of goods supplied arrive at their destination utilizing America’s trucking industry. As demand continues to rise, so do the number of large trucks on the road. At any given time, drivers may find themselves sharing the road with a large truck. Sadly, as a result, drivers are more at risk than ever of coming face to face with an 18 wheeler in an accident. Victims may be experiencing devastating injuries that can forever alter not only their lives but also their families. Taking legal action will be imperative, mainly because these types of cases can be complicated. Cohen & Cohen knows that this time will be challenging. However, with our team by your side, we can answer your questions and ensure that you receive the legal guidance you so desperately need.
There are a few things to keep in mind when faced with this type of situation. If you have been offered a settlement from the insurance company, chances are your injuries are significant. It’s best to speak with a lawyer before communicating with the insurance company or accepting any settlement. Keep in mind that the insurance company will be looking to pay out as little as possible so, it’s not uncommon to receive a lowball settlement offer. Additionally, speaking to the insurance company without the support of an experienced lawyer could be detrimental to your claim as you may inadvertently say something that could be damaging to your case. Receive the best possible settlement offer with a lawyer who can adequately value damages and ensure you get what you are entitled to.
Initially, law enforcement will investigate the accident by taking statements from witnesses, gathering evidence, and, in some cases, determining fault. Following the investigation, the law enforcement officer will produce a police report that can help prove negligence should victims choose to take action. However, be aware that further investigation may be warranted when proving a truck accident case to prove liability and the extent of the injuries suffered by the victim. In some cases, this task is left to the victim and their legal team. Because of this crucial step in preparing the case, choosing a law firm with fast resources at its fingertips will be essential.
Time is of the essence following an accident, as each state has what is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the timeframe from the accident or upon discovery of injuries that the victim has to pursue legal action. Once the statute of limitations has expired, many lose the opportunity to file a claim against the responsible party.
Yes- this is why legal help is imperative. Even the most straightforward of cases can quickly become complicated. It’s not uncommon for accidents involving semi-trucks to encompass more than one responsible party. A lawyer may work to prove that any of the following parties failed to uphold the duty of care in your accident:
If you were in an accident, chances are you desperately need a settlement for the losses you have suffered. The typical time it takes to settle the case can vary depending upon the details. However, know that with the right lawyer by your side, you can rest assured that they are working diligently to promptly reach the outcome you deserve.
Schedule a consultation today to learn more about semi-truck accidents and how Cohen & Cohen can assist you.
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