According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks are just two things that make tractor-trailers so dangerous. A tractor-trailer can weigh upwards of 40 tons and require the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop when traveling at 65 miles per hour.
Many catastrophic and fatal injuries happen as a result of collisions with tractor-trailers. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, you may want to consider what a personal injury lawyer can do for you.
Factors That Can Lead to Tractor-Trailer Accidents
To answer the question of what makes tractor-trailers so dangerous, let’s take a look at how these large trucks are different from passenger cars.
Some factors that may contribute to the severity of a collision involving a tractor-trailer include:
- The weight of a truck and its cargo. A tractor-trailer weighs 20 to 30 times more than a passenger car, according to the FMCSA. When you factor in how much a truck’s cargo weighs, it is easy to see why a large, heavy truck hits with a greater force of impact. It is a simple matter of physics.
- Braking distance. Because of their large mass, a tractor-trailer needs more time to stop than a passenger car. This fact is critical because a hazard can develop quickly on the road. As the driver of a passenger vehicle, you might be able to stop suddenly if there is a hazard in front of you. A loaded big rig behind you, however, might not be able to stop in time.
- Maneuverability. Large trucks can fishtail, jackknife, flip over, skid, or lose control. Let’s say that a car in front of you has a tire blow out. In a passenger vehicle, you might be able to swerve and avoid a collision. However, sudden steering changes can make a tractor-trailer careen out of control. When this happens, everyone on the road is at risk of suffering serious injuries.
These are just some of the reasons why collisions with tractor-trailers can be so serious. Truck drivers need to have optimal reflexes and attentiveness to respond to situations on the road and avoid accidents. For this reason, the FMCSA sets strict limits on the number of hours that truck drivers can work without taking a break and getting rest.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
How Long You Have to Sue for Injuries from a Tractor-Trailer Accident?
In Ohio, per Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2305.10, you typically have two years from the date of a truck accident to file a lawsuit for compensation. The American Bar Association reminds us that you can lose the right to go after compensation for your losses if you miss this deadline.
After an accident with a tractor-trailer truck, the insurance company’s claims adjuster might purposefully delay the progression of your case. They might make you think that they are negotiating with you in good faith, but in reality, they are hoping that the state’s statute of limitations will expire on your case. If that happens, the insurer will not have to pay you any money.
To protect your legal interests, you should consider how a lawyer can help you recover fair compensation from the insurance company.
Damages for a Tractor-Trailer Accident
The amount of compensation you might collect for your losses will depend on the facts of your situation. Every injury claim is different.
You may be eligible to recover the following types of losses:
- Lost income. Most people experience out-of-pocket loss of income when they suffer a serious accident. You might have had to spend weeks or months getting your health and strength back after a tractor-trailer accident. If you did not get paid while recovering from your injuries, we can factor the value of your lost income into your claim.
- Diminished earning capacity. You might not be able to perform all of the tasks your job requires after a significant injury. If you had to take a lower-paying position or work fewer hours, we can help you recover compensation for this expense.
- Medical bills. Typically, you can go after the reasonable cost of the medical treatment you needed for your injuries. These items can include things like the ambulance, emergency room or trauma center visits, hospitalization, surgery, doctors, diagnostic testing, x-rays, pain management, physical therapy, and prescription drugs.
- Mental anguish. After a crash that resulted in severe injuries, you might have noneconomic damages, like disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and pain and suffering.
- Costs associated with wrongful death. If a close relative died because of a tractor-trailer collision, you may be able to obtain the cost of the decedent’s medical bills, funeral, and loss of income.
These are but a few examples of the many potential types of monetary damages a lawyer might be able to pursue on your behalf, depending on the facts of your case.
Getting Help for a Tractor-Trailer Collision Injury Case
At Bressman Law, we understand what makes tractor-trailers so dangerous. We work tirelessly to get our clients the compensation they deserve so that they can rebuild their lives.
You can call us today at (877) 538-1116 for a free, no-obligation consultation.