What do I do After a Rear-End Collision with a Semi-Truck?
We spend on average about one hour behind the wheel every day. We all do our best to remain attentive, however, it’s almost impossible to predict an accident, especially if it’s the rear end. While most accidents let you walk away unscathed, or with minor injuries, some people aren’t quite as lucky. In 2018, a total of 4,136 people were the victim of a fatal large truck crash. An astonishing 67 percent of these victims were occupants of regular passenger vehicles.
What exactly is a “Rear-End Collision?”
It is important for you to understand exactly what a rear-end collision is. A “rear-end accident” or “rear-end collision” is defined as one vehicle colliding with the back end of another. Unfortunately, injuries from semi-truck rear-end accidents are some of the most prevalent cases across the country. Because the vehicles are so large and heavy, they cause much more damage than regular cars or pickup trucks. Since a semi-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, it’s easy to see how they could cause immense harm.
Sadly, death rates from big rig accidents far outstrip any other kind of automotive accident. Even when people survive such accidents, their injuries are often devastating and usually result in extended recovery times. For this reason, personal injury lawyers are often involved in these legal cases. If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligence on the part of a truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation. This article will help you figure out what you should do next.
What are the Most Common Causes of Rear-End Semi-Truck Accidents?
When a semi-truck hits the back of a small passenger vehicle, the results can be disastrous. The sheer force of a semi-truck can cause a small vehicle to lurch forward into another vehicle, spin out of control, or flip over. Common causes of rear-end truck accidents include:
- Following too closely behind a vehicle, also called “tailgating”. If the vehicle in front of them suddenly slows down or stops, the driver won’t have nearly enough time to react.
- Not following traffic regulations. Speeding is one of the most common reasons associated with rear-ended collisions. Running through a red light, not obeying a stop sign, and not using a vehicle’s turn signal is often the cause of a rear-end accident as well.
- Inattentive or drowsy driving. Driving while tired is never a good idea. Trying to call or text, adjusting the radio, or eating while driving are all also inadvisable.
- Human error. If their foot accidentally slips, they could press the gas pedal instead of the brakes, and inadvertently ram into another vehicle
- Driving under the influence of any substance. Prescription, over-the-counter, or otherwise illegal drugs can all affect someone’s ability to drive.
- Road conditions due to traffic, bad weather, or limited visibility. Icy roads, for example, could cause another driver to lose control over their vehicle and skid into someone else’s.
- Faulty brakes or other mechanical issues. A defect in the car’s brakes could prevent someone from stopping in time.
- Being an inexperienced driver. An inexperienced driver is far more likely to cause a rear-end collision than a truck driver who’s been on the road for years, if not decades. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between the age of a driver, and how likely they are to cause a crash.
Who is at Fault in a Semi-Truck Rear-End Collision?
Usually, the driver who was behind the victim is deemed the wrongdoer. It’s imperative that, while driving, the driver pays attention to the vehicle in front of them. But it isn’t always that clear cut, and the fault may even be shared between two parties. You should always speak to an experienced rear-end collision lawyer about your options. Even if you were partially at fault, an experienced lawyer might be able to provide the most optimal outcome. You generally only get one chance to make your case and receive compensation, so you have to make sure that you do anything within your power to receive what you rightfully deserve.
What Compensation Can I Expect?
Every case is different, so there is no “one size fits all” answer. However, if the other party is found to be at fault, you may be eligible for compensation due to:
● Physical injuries
● Dismemberment or disfigurement
● Paralysis (total or partial)
● Hospitalization bills
● Treatment and rehabilitation costs
● Any additional medical expenses
● Out-of-pocket expenses
● Loss of earning capacity (e.g. becoming unable to work due to the accident)
● And all the mental pain that came with this accident
What Should I do Next?
The first thing you should do after getting to a safe place (such as a hospital), is to reach out to an experienced lawyer. Don’t discuss the accident with anyone else, don’t consent to anything, sign anything, or agree with anything. It’s also important to make and save copies of all your medical documents as well as any billing information. These records are good to have handy.
After a Rear-End Collision, Contact Darrigo & Diaz
While these accidents are horrifying, they happen more often than you might think. It’s important that you talk to an experienced rear-end collision lawyer, so the perpetrator can be punished, and you can receive the compensation that is appropriate. Darrigo & Diaz will fight for your rights and get the compensation you need for medical bills, repairs, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us at (813) 774-3341 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation right over the phone. You can also contact us online with any questions you have.