Semi Truck Accident

What Is a Semi Truck?

A semi truck is a large vehicle with a gross weight, without passengers and cargo, of more than 10,000 pounds. In the US, a semi truck is also known as an eighteen-wheeler or a ‘big rig.'

A semi truck has an engine and a trailer. The engine (also known as a tractor in the US) tows or pulls the trailer, on which the freight, cargo, and goods are carried. A semi truck can weigh as much as 80,000 to 100,000 pounds, depending on the kind of cargo that it is transporting.

Due to these dynamics of a semi truck, an accident involving such a huge machine on wheels can have very tragic results. Every sixteen minutes in the United States, another tractor-trailer accident occurs,
and most of these accidents occur in rural areas, during the daytime and on weekdays.
Semi Trucks and Small Cars

In a semi truck accident, any passenger cars or small vehicles that are involved in the accident are the most vulnerable in such crashes. According to statistics, almost 80% of the deaths resulting from a semi truck accident are those of the drivers of the smaller cars involved in the crash.

Although there are many rules and regulations in place for semi truck drivers and trucking companies, which have been designed to increase the safety of the vehicles and reduce semi truck accidents, not all drivers and trucking companies follow these rules.

With an eye on increased profits and higher earnings, the drivers and semi truck companies often neglect the safety rules laid down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Board (FMCSB), which puts the semi trucks at an increased risk of accidents, and in turn, endangers the lives of many innocent and unsuspecting passengers in smaller vehicles.

Unsafe driving, driving over the speed limits, overloading the semi trucks, driving long hours, and other negligent acts by truck drivers, puts their lives and also that of others at risk, by raising the chances of semi truck accidents. Truck drivers and those in other passenger vehicles always need to make sure that their vehicles are in good working condition, and that they use their turn signals appropriately. Additionally, all drivers need to watch their speed, and they should avoid driving when they are not well-rested.

Passenger vehicles should stay out of "No-Zones", which are the areas of limited visibility to the driver of a truck. They include areas behind and beside the truck. Also, passenger vehicles should avoid unsafe passing, driving between large trucks, merging inappropriately and quick lane changes during busy conditions.

Legal Aspects of Semi Truck Accidents

A semi truck accident is not the same as other traffic accidents because of the increased risk of injuries and death in such accidents. Semi truck accidents are known to have as many as nine responsible parties, thus bringing into contention nine different insurance policies. Having to deal with so many defendants can often be a very harrowing task.

If you have been injured in a semi truck accident, or have lost a loved one to such a crash, you should consult with a lawyer who has experience in personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits. You are entitled under the law to recover actual damages as well as compensatory damages for any injuries sustained because of a semi truck accident. To locate someone to answer all of your questions and claim the compensation you deserve, you may choose to visit the American Bar Association (ABA) website. There, you can be assure that you will be connected with a qualified and knowledgeable professional.

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