Everyone is used to driving on the highway with large trucks. But they may not expect the driver to be unfocused or not in complete control of their vehicle. Sometimes the trucker driving the vehicle may believe that it’s safe, but then experience issues while driving that leads to accidents. When a driver or trucking company acts negligently, people can sustain severe injuries or even lose their lives. But there are legal options. A dependable Little Rock truck accident lawyer will stand by your side to defend your rights and seek justice.
The lawyers at McMath Woods P.A. have been looking out for the people of Arkansas for years. We understand how a serious accident can completely upend your life. When you’re balancing recovery, bills, and insurance claims, it can be too much to handle and you may get caught in a situation where you get a settlement that’s less than what you’re owed. We won’t let that happen.
How Often Do Semi-Truck Accidents Occur?
Big rig accidents easily cause injuries and sometimes fatalities because of their size and weight. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), tractor-trailer wrecks have caused the following in 2016:
- 4,564 fatalities occurred in 4,079 truck and bus accidents.
- Large semi-trailers or buses were involved in 51 percent of fatal crashes.
- About 39 percent of people in fatal truck crashes weren’t wearing a seatbelt.
Semi-truck collisions harm a large number of people every year. If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, you don’t have to make the claim on your own. McMath Woods P.A. is dedicated to helping injured parties stand up to negligent companies and reckless drivers.
Their unsafe methods seriously injured you and that cannot be ignored. They need to understand the severity of their actions. There’s also a chance that your claim could be a wakeup call to the company. They won’t want to go through this again. They may implement stricter policies to make sure their drivers and vehicles are safe for the road.
How Do Arkansas Big Rig Collisions Happen?
Truck wrecks can happen for a number of reasons, but one thing that unifies them is that they’re usually caused by negligence and are entirely preventable. All it takes is for someone to make a risky decision and the result could be injuring someone else in a collision.
Causes of accidents include:
- Weight Exceeds Limitations. Semi-trailers can bear a certain amount of weight. If the cargo exceeds that weight, it would put too much stress on the axles. It could cause something to weaken or break and cause an accident.
- Improper Distribution. The cargo needs to be distributed so it bears an even weight. Having too much weight up front or in the back could throw the vehicle off balance and the driver could lose control while on the road.
- Driver Fatigue. Truck drivers often drive long hours for days on end. While they’re supposed to take breaks to sleep, they may choose to adhere to their schedule than rest. Exhausted drivers can fall asleep at the wheel and drift into other lanes or run off the road.
- Driver Error. Driving a semi-trailer takes skill and practice. An untrained or inattentive driver may not give themselves and other drivers enough time to signal a turn or a lane change or may try to maneuver when they’re going too fast.
- Distracted Driving. This mistake isn’t unique to truck drivers. Many people drive while they’re distracted and cause accidents. Typical distractions include using cell phones to make phone calls, text, or check social media. The driver could also lose focus on the road if they’re changing the radio station or trying to eat and drink while driving.
- Reckless Driving. No matter if the truck driver is new or experienced, they can still choose to make unsafe driving decisions. Speeding and tailgating are dangerous when any motor vehicle is involved, but even more so with a big rig because it takes longer for them to slow down or stop.
- Inclement Weather. Drivers need to drive cautiously when the road conditions aren’t perfect. Driving in snow and rain requires more care and slowing down. Drivers should also look out for ice or blizzard warnings, in which case it’s probably safer to not drive.
- Mechanical Failure. Trucking companies are supposed to regularly inspect their vehicles to make sure they’re safe to drive. Failing to do so could mean putting a semi-trailer with faulty brakes, a bad engine, or broken steering wheel on the road. There’s also a chance that the manufacturer of an auto part made a defective product that broke while the truck was being driven.
- Road Debris. Objects or other forms of debris in the road is dangerous for anyone to drive over. A big rig driver could either get in a wreck because they swerved to try and avoid the debris or ran over it and lost traction with the road.
You’ll need a skilled lawyer to investigate your case. McMath Woods, P.A. will figure out what went wrong and caused your accident. This can include speaking to eyewitnesses of the accident and checking out the scene of the wreck. Once we have the reason, then we can start determining how it affected you. We’ll review medical records that detail your diagnosis and any tests, treatments, or medication you’ve needed as part of your recovery. We also consider the care you’ll need in the future. After calculating the damages, we’ll have a settlement in mind and we’ll start the process for getting you fair compensation.
18 wheelers can pose a unique threat on the road when they jackknife. A jackknife is when the tractor loses control of the trailer, and the trailer swings forward to form an angle. The truck will be stuck in the shape of an L or a V. Cars can get trapped in the collision course and the trailer’s broadside can hit them. These accidents can quickly turn fatal.
Jackknifing happens for a number of reasons. The trailer can skid out when the roads are slippery and the trucker is going too fast. There can also be situations where the trailer’s brakes lock because the driver isn’t using the brakes properly. A truck needs to slowly decelerate—slamming on the brakes isn’t effective or safe. In some cases, the jackknife may not be the cause of a collision, but the result of one. An accident that happens for another reason could lead to a jackknife and cause further injuries.
How Severe Are Tractor-Trailer Injuries?
Tractor-trailers are much heavier than cars and tend to cause more serious injuries. Some of the injuries can be catastrophic, which are debilitating injuries that can last for the rest of the person’s life.
- Traumatic Brain/Head Injuries. The impact of a collision can potentially cause brain damage or head injuries that could affect cognition or memory. These injuries usually need medical attention and could take a long time to heal.
- Neck/Spinal Cord Injuries. These injuries can cause permanent damage to the area below the injury site. Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis or issues with mobility.
- Loss of Limb. People can lose arms or legs during the accident or have so much damage that doctors have to remove it later.
- Broken Bones. While these injuries aren’t as severe, a broken bone can take a long time to heal and prevent people from working.
- Burn Injuries. An accident involving an 18 wheeler can cause painful burn injuries. While injuries to the first and second layers of skin can hurt and may require medical attention, severe burns can cause nerve damage and will need immediate medical attention.
- Fatalities. It’s possible for tractor-trailer collisions to cause fatalities. If you’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident, you can seek justice for them. McMath Woods P.A. can help you with your wrongful death claim. We realize this won’t undo the loss, but you can have peace of mind that you stood up for your loved one’s rights.
All these injuries could leave you with medical bills, the inability to work for a long time, chronic pain, or requiring some form of medical equipment or medication. You shouldn’t have to deal with the financial pressures of recovery for an accident that was someone else’s fault. Our Little Rock truck accident lawyers are ready to hold the right people accountable and help you get through this.
Get Peace of Mind from McMath Woods P.A.
When you’ve been wrongfully injured because of negligence, you may not know where to start when it comes to taking legal action. McMath Woods P.A. will help you through this process and will always answer questions and keep you up to date on your case.
We’ll stand by your side and fight to get you the compensation you need. We’ll do everything to get you a favorable settlement that will help cover costs of medical bills and future medical care, lost wages, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering.
For a free consultation, get in touch with us today. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can start taking steps to financial recovery. You’ll be able to rest easy because we’re looking out for your best interests.