18 Wheeler Accidents
18 wheelers are usually the biggest vehicles you’re going to find on the roads. With their cargo and attached tractor, these vehicles can easily weigh well over 10,000 pounds. When you consider the power their towing engine can create, 18 wheelers are often generating unbelievable amounts of momentum. All this means that if they hit another vehicle on the road, injuries are just about guaranteed, at the very least. This is just one of many reasons it’s important to contact an 18 wheeler accident attorney as soon as possible if you find yourself in an accident with one.
The Other Driver Will Have Representation
Most of the time, if you get into an accident with a fellow non-commercial driver, things get be resolved without having to go to court (though it’s still best to speak with an attorney, just in case).
However, if you get into an accident with a commercial 18 wheeler driver, it’s essential you seek representation as soon as possible. You can bet the other side will definitely have a number of lawyers at their disposal.
The driver may hire one, of course, but chances are that won’t be necessary. Instead, the company they work for will most likely have their own law firm on retainer and they will bring plenty of experience to the table. Then there are the trucking company’s insurance agency’s lawyers. If the driver was part of a union, they’ll provide the means for representation too. Finally, if the actual truck is being brought into the suit, the manufacturer will have an interest in having a lawyer present.
This is why there should be no doubt in your mind that hiring an attorney is the way to go. Even if the accident was obviously the other driver’s fault, you could end up accepting less than you deserve in a settlement.
Why Experience Matters
As you probably know, there is a statute of limitations for pressing charges in just about every type of case. The same goes for an 18 wheeler accident, but that’s not the reason you want to get an attorney on your side immediately.
The first, like we just mentioned, is because you don’t want to end up accidentally accepting a deal for less than what you deserve.
However, it’s also because it’s important that you get as much evidence as possible for your case. Above all else, this means tracking down eyewitnesses—the more, the better. As soon as the accident is over, their memories will begin forgetting important aspects of it, which is why an attorney must act fast.
Other Important Variables
An experienced attorney will also know that there are a number of other variables to look at where these accidents are concerned.
For example, the accident may have occurred because the truck wasn’t working properly. This could be the fault of the manufacturer. If the commercial trucking company owns the vehicle, it might be because they weren’t properly seeing to its maintenance. In such a scenario, it’s a waste of time to pursue the driver for damages.
There are plenty of reasons the driver could be to blame though. Commercial drivers have to stop every eight hours to take a 30 minute break. They also can’t drive for more than 11 hours a day. If a driver broke either of these rules, they may have become drowsy behind the wheel, thus causing the accident.
Sadly, many drivers pursue illegal means to help keep them awake so they can break these laws. An experienced attorney will know that this is a factor they must explore.
While an 18 wheeler accident is definitely scary, that’s no reason for you to keep feeling scared after it’s over. With a qualified lawyer who is experienced in these matters, you’ll have both the support and representation you need during this difficult time and a better chance of receiving the damages you’re owed.