18-wheelers, also known as tractor trailers, can be found on any American highway. They are the trucks that keep our economy moving, bringing goods from their manufacturers to their distribution centers, then out to the stores where consumers can purchase them. Moving freight by truck is the most efficient way to transport most consumer goods within the United States in some cases, is the only way to transport goods.
Because of their size, 18-wheelers are much more powerful than passenger vehicles. Due to their shape, they are also susceptible to certain types of accident like jackknifing. They also handle much differently than passenger vehicles because of their shape and center of gravity. When you share the road with these trucks, it is important that you are aware of these differences so you can take the necessary precautions to reduce your chance of being involved in an accident with one. If you are involved in a truck accident, you can potentially recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.
How Are Truck Accidents Different from Other Vehicle Accidents?
Truck accidents share many similarities with other types of vehicle accident. Driver negligence like drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding can all cause a car and a truck to collide.
In addition to the types of negligence that can cause car accidents, there are a few hazards that are unique to tractor trailers. These include:
- Larger blind spots. A tractor trailer can be 50 feet long or longer. The driver of the truck generally cannot see cars immediately behind the truck or traveling along the sides of the trailer;
- More stopping distance required. Because tractor trailers are so heavy, they need a longer amount of roadway to come to a complete stop after the driver brakes. Cars can easily rear-end or be rear-ended by trucks if they do not allow the truck enough space; and
- A truck driver can lose control of his or her trailer. This is known as jackknifing, which occurs when the trailer makes a “V” shape with the tractor.
Who is Liable for my Damages in a Truck Accident?
When you file a truck accident claim, you need to know the party with whom to file it. If the truck driver is an employee of the company for which he or she is transporting goods, you need to file the claim with his or her employer. If the driver is an owner operator, which means that he or she is an independent contractor driving his or her own truck, you need to file the claim with the driver’s motor carrier’s insurance provider.
Work with an Austin 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
Each type of vehicle on the road comes with unique risks and precautions that need to be taken when sharing the road with it. 18-wheelers are no exception. If you are involved in an accident with a large commercial truck, work with an Austin truck accident attorney who has experience handling this type of claim. Contact our team of experienced Austin personal injury lawyers at The Law Office Of Robert L. Buford today to start working on your claim with our firm.