Lee M. Schwalben, M.D., J.D., LLC
Personal Injury Law
Admitted to practice in Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and *Florida
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Lake Charles 337-494-5757 Baton Rouge 225-763-7777 Toll Free 855-755-5757

What to do if you're injured by an 18-wheeler

Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and even death in the United States. In fact, the number one cause of death for children in this country is death by vehicular accident. Any collision between vehicles can cause damage to property and risk the life and bodily health of those involved. When there is a massive discrepancy between the size of the vehicles, as is the case when semi-trucks or 18 wheelers are involved in the accident, the chances of severe injury or death of the people in the smaller vehicle rises substantially. While the rates of fatal accidents have declined in recent years, there are still thousands of trucking accidents that kill or maim people every year.

What causes trucking accidents?

Many professional truckers will routinely bend or break the law to improve their paychecks. This often takes the form of lying in log books and attempting to drive faster and for longer hours than they are permitted to under law. Typically, truckers working longer than they are supposed to has no ill effect, until the day that it does. They may grow confident that they can operate their vehicle expertly while suffering with sleep deprivation and work-base exhaustion, but it is a gamble every time they get on the road in a sleep-deprived state.

Compound the common issues of working too long with a vehicle that requires extra attention to drive safely, and that is a recipe for disaster. Semi trucks and eighteen wheelers take longer to stop and need more space to turn. Their massive size can quickly change them from an inconvenience to an imminent threat within seconds on the road. If you, or a loved one, were injured or killed in an accident involving an eighteen wheeler, you should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

The impact of trucking accidents

Many semi-truck accidents are fatal for the driver and/or passengers in the other vehicle. This is due to size, weight, and momentum; larger vehicles simply can't stop as quickly and their size and weight can cause catastrophic damage to passenger vehicles on the road. Even in cases where no one is killed by a trucking accident, there are often massive costs associated with the accidents and its fallout. Beyond the direct damage to or loss of a vehicle, the costs can quickly skyrocket for those injured in a trucking accident.

Injury fallout

If there were injuries, there are the immediate medical expenses incurred in being transported to the hospital or medical facility and treated. Typically, with severe accidents, the nature of the injuries may require ongoing care. From broken bones and spinal damage to traumatic brain injuries and soft tissue damage, such as whiplash, the injured party may require weeks, months, or even years of ongoing treatments, medications, and therapies to recover the use of the injured areas. There are also lost wages, for both the injured party and any familiar caregiver who provides for them during their recovery to consider.

In the event of a fatality, there are the costs of the funeral, as well as the lost income of that person, the pain and suffering of their family, and the costs of therapy for those who were also involved in the accident (survivor's guilt and post-traumatic stress are common, but not the only possible issues). If you or your family have experienced a trucking accident and injury or death as a result, your best option for recouping the expenses inflicted on your family is by retaining the help an experienced attorney.