Get The Help You Deserve After an 18-Wheeler Accident
Every 16 minutes, a person is killed or injured in a truck accident. Eighteen-wheelers, in particular, injure more than 90,000 people every year, and in 2020 alone an estimated 4,965 people died in 18-wheeler accidents. For the last 10 years, fatal large truck accidents have been on the rise while the trucking industry continues to call for relaxed safety regulations.
If you or your loved one has been injured or killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler, get help from an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer. Call one of the nation’s leading truck accident lawyers at Munley Law today for a free case review.
Our law firm is dedicated to helping victims of all types of truck accidents, including 18-wheeler commercial vehicles. We have spent years fighting against trucking companies and winning cases for victims of truck accidents just like you. We have the experience and resources to take on these companies and we want to put that work in to help you. There is no charge for the consultation, and we do not get paid unless we win your case.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for My 18-Wheeler Crash Case?
If you or someone you love suffered a collision involving an 18-wheeled truck, you may know that you did nothing wrong and believe that the injuries and costs that the accident caused are obvious. You might wonder why you would need a lawyer to represent you.
An 18-wheeler crash is not the same as a car accident. 18-wheeler accidents can result in severe injuries that could take months or years to recover from. While car accidents only involve you and the other driver, trucking accidents can have multiple parties involved.
Here are a few other reasons why hiring a lawyer is beneficial for your 18-wheeler accident claim.
Trucking Companies Regularly Deny Responsibility
Because there are thousands of accidents every year, trucking companies are well-versed in the best strategies for denying responsibility and avoiding the costs associated with crashes caused by their 18-wheel truck drivers. Most trucking companies will have their representatives on the scene of an accident within hours or minutes. These representatives will work to collect evidence in an attempt to reduce or negate any claim you may have against them.
Our attorneys have decades of experience and are considered to be the go-to law firm for truck accidents all across the nation. Our lawyers have had numerous settlements and verdicts against 18-wheeler trucking companies. When you hire one of our attorneys, the trucking company will know they are up against the best and most experienced 18-wheeler truck crash firm in the nation.
18-Wheeler Truck Collision Cases Are Complicated
Because 18-wheelers, car collisions, and medical injuries are complicated by nature, truck accident litigation is too. These cases implicate complex concepts in the areas of physics, chemistry, federal trucking regulations, biology, medicine, driving standards, and economics. When a claim based on an 18-wheeler collision goes to trial, accident victims will have to prove their case to a jury by explaining what happened using these complicated scientific and industry-specific ideas and principles.
Our team at Munley Law has spent more than 60 years learning the ins and outs of the trucking industry, the science behind truck collisions, and the best negotiation and trial tactics to win big for our clients. We have built a team that understands how to use field experts, graphics, witnesses, and technologies in order to explain why victims like you deserve to be compensated.
Getting the Award You Are Entitled to Require a Lot of Resources
Trucking and insurance companies have lots of money and manpower at their disposal, which they use to pressure accident victims into walking away or accepting settlements for far less than they deserve. In order to fight for the award you are entitled to as a victim of an 18-wheel accident, you will need to match the trucking and insurance companies’ vast resources. Our attorneys can work with experts to testify at trial and make use of the most cutting-edge technologies in order to prove your case to a jury.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive for My 18 Wheeler Accident Claim?
Eighteen-wheeler accidents usually result in serious injuries requiring a long recovery period. Some financial losses a truck accident injury victim could face include medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, and possible funeral expenses.
For a successful injury claim, you could receive economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to any financial losses that you accrued after the accident. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and earning potential
- Funeral costs
- Property damage
Non-economic damages can compensate you for any non-financial losses that you experienced. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment or consortium
Unfortunately, insurance will rarely cover all these expenses. Your best option is to speak with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer to move forward.
Why Are 18-Wheeler Accidents So Catastrophic?
Eighteen-wheelers are much more dangerous than most other types of vehicles. Some of the reasons why include:
- Heavy Loads – With a full load, an 18-wheel truck weighs 80,000 pounds, which is 400 tons. To put that number into perspective, the average car weighs about 2,700 pounds, which is just over 1 ton. That means that 18-wheelers are 400 times heavier than most of the cars that they share the road with. When 18-wheel trucks collide with other motor vehicles, their massive weight often causes serious injuries, incredible property damage, and tragic deaths.
- Largest Vehicles on the Road – 18-wheelers can be up to 176 feet in length and can have up to four trailers! That means the 18-wheel truck driving next to you on the highway is longer than half of a football field and over 10 times as long as the average car. It can be difficult for drivers to avoid crashing as they navigate sharp curves in the road, turns, merges, expressway exits, and narrow streets. Their massive size also amplifies the danger of roadside negligence, like speeding. An 18-wheeler truck traveling at 70 miles per hour has twice-as-much energy as one going 50 miles per hour.
- Require More Time and Space to Stop – The length of time needed for an 18-wheeler to slow down or come to a complete stop is about 40% longer than the time that a car requires. Many motor-vehicle operators that drive behind 18-wheelers do not realize how much space they should be left between their car and the massive truck in front of them.
- Huge Blind Spots – Unlike a sedan, hatchback, SUV, minivan, or pickup truck, 18-wheelers lack a rear window. 18-wheeler truckers must therefore rely on their rearview mirrors in order to see what is behind them, but given the truck and trailer’s massive size, there are huge blind spots.
What Should I Do After an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident?
The first and most important thing to do after an accident is to hire an experienced 18-wheeler crash lawyer as soon as possible. Fighting large trucking companies is something you will need the experience to do. These companies have vast resources, including teams of lawyers and experts more than prepared to fight against any lawsuit that comes their way. Having a lawyer by your side gives you the peace of mind needed to help you recover.
An experienced attorney will get the evidence needed to prove your accident claim, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, represent your interests in the courtroom, and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Steps you can follow immediately after an accident with an 18-wheeler to help protect your future truck accident claim:
- At the accident scene, remain calm and stay in your vehicle unless you need to exit for safety reasons. Call 911 and do not leave the scene.
- Record all the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any parties involved, particularly witnesses. Write down the names and badge numbers of any police officers investigating the accident.
- Photograph and take a video of the scene, including vehicles and injuries. Make sure you get the truck driver’s employer information.
- Seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you were injured at the time of the accident. Injuries might not present themselves until hours or days after the accident.
- Immediately notify your insurance company to start the claim process. When speaking with your insurance company, stick to the facts of the case and do not admit fault.
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone except the police or your insurance agent. You are not required to give a statement to anyone but the police and your insurance company.
What Should I Do in the Days Following an 18-Wheeler Semi-Truck Accident?
Here is what truck accident victims need to do in the days after an 18-wheeler crash:
- Get a copy of the accident report from the police. Do the same with a property damage valuation from your insurance company. Both reports will give your lawyer a better idea of what your claim is worth.
- Keep a record of all visits with doctors and healthcare providers. Write down all symptoms, diagnoses, and pain you have. Get copies of all test results, medications, treatments, and any other medical care.
- List all out-of-pocket expenses you incur while injured or due to your semi truck accident.
- Keep a record of missed work or other activities your injuries prevented you from joining.
- Do not speak to the other party’s insurance company without speaking to your 18-wheeler accident lawyer first. Remember, you do not need to speak with anyone about the accident except for your lawyer, the police, and your insurance company.
- Do not accept any settlement offers until you speak with one of our experienced attorneys first.
Why Choose Munley Law?
Many law firms claim to handle truck accident cases, but few can claim the level of experience and expertise it takes to successfully represent a truck accident victim. Accidents involving commercial trucks and large 18-wheelers should only ever be handled by a lawyer with a record of success taking on big transportation companies. The right attorney for the job requires in-depth knowledge of trucking industry regulations, technology, insurance, and practices.
That kind of expertise and impressive track record makes Munley Law one of the country’s top 18-wheeler crash law firms. Our attorneys have earned national recognition as the legal profession’s leading truck accident lawyers.
We are the only law firm in the United States with two lawyers who have served as chair of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. Marion Munley and Daniel Munley are among a select few lawyers who have earned board certification in Truck Accident Law from the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our 18-wheeler accident attorneys get record-breaking results because that’s what our clients deserve.
When you’ve had an accident with an eighteen-wheeler, the stakes are high. You may be facing large medical bills, physical pain, and an uncertain future. You’ve never dealt with a major lawsuit before, but the trucking companies have — they have teams of people tasked with minimizing your claim or denying it altogether. We won’t let that happen. Let us take it from here.
Frequently Asked Questions in 18-Wheeler Crash Cases
Q: What Are the Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents?
A: One of the first tasks for your 18-wheeler accident lawyer will be establishing what factors and behaviors caused your crash. Accidents with 18-wheelers happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- Overloaded or improperly loaded trailers: It is the responsibility of the shippers to make sure the cargo is properly secured. If the cargo isn’t secured, items may fall out of the trailer during transport, hitting vehicles and causing an accident. In addition, if the 18-wheeler is overloaded, the truck will not be balanced properly. All that’s needed is one sharp turn and the truck can overturn on the road.
- Fatigued driving: Truck drivers have a deadline to keep. They also have strict regulations called hours of service. These regulations are put in place so the truck driver does not drive drowsy which could cause them to fall asleep behind the wheel and cause an accident. Unfortunately, many of these drivers are under pressure from the trucking company to meet an unrealistic deadline and they will ignore the regulation, causing fatigued driving to occur.
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Drunk driving is illegal and especially dangerous for those driving 18-wheelers. They need to be alert at all times when driving. However, even taking a single drink, their reaction time can decrease. Mix that with the additional time it takes a big rig to fully stop, and the results can be catastrophic.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers spend many lonely hours behind the wheel, looking at nothing but the highway. They can easily become distracted by not only their cell phones but by eating food, using the navigation system, or fiddling with the radio.
- Speeding: Taking a corner too fast or stopping suddenly after going too fast in an 18-wheeler can result in the truck jackknifing on the road. What this means is the front of the truck will stop but the trailer will keep moving behind the vehicle, taking any cars with it.
- Inclement weather: Snow, sleet, fog, and rain can make visibility and road conditions difficult for any vehicle on the road. Although truck drivers may think they’re less vulnerable to bad weather conditions, accidents do occur on a regular basis.
- Failure to perform required inspections and maintenance: It is the truck owner’s responsibility to maintain and regularly inspect the 18-wheeler for any problems. However, many owners ignore regular inspections. This can result in wear and tear on the vehicle such as tire blowouts and worn brakes. In addition, if something was installed improperly on the truck, say the wrong type of tire, those responsible for the maintenance of the vehicle could be held responsible.
- Manufacturing defects: Sometimes the accident was not caused by the driver but by the truck’s manufacturer. Vehicle defects are common causes of any type of traffic accident. When there is a defect in the manufacturing of the vehicle that results in an accident, the manufacturer could be held responsible.
To determine the exact cause (and hold all the negligent parties accountable for the harm you suffered) our 18-wheeler accident attorney will work with the best experts and perform a thorough investigation.
Q: Who Can You Sue in an 18-Wheeler Crash Case?
A: Truck accidents can be more complicated because of the long list of parties who could be at fault.
Involved parties in an 18-wheeler crash lawsuit could include the following:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Owner of the truck/trailer
- Third party manufacturers
- Facility responsible for loading the truck
- Any group responsible for the contents of the trailer
The best way to determine the right course of action for your unique 18-wheeler accident case is to speak with a lawyer.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?
A: In most states, the statute of limitations to file your 18-wheeler crash claim is two years from the date of the accident.
Do not wait two years to file. Your case will be much easier to investigate and recover compensation closer to the date of the accident so the details and evidence are fresh. If you wait, important evidence could be lost or destroyed. It also gives the trucking company and its own team of investigators and experts on the scene of the crash more time to build their defense.
Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorney?
A: We work on a contingent-fee basis, meaning we do not collect a fee unless we win your case. You will owe us nothing up front or out of your own pocket. At Munley Law, we will not get paid until you get paid.
Get the Justice You Deserve With Munley Law
Because we have been handling 18-wheeler cases for decades, our experience and knowledge are unmatched. We have what it takes to get you the maximum recovery.
Munley Law is a family-run law firm. We approach your 18-wheeler accident case with the full force of our entire team and work together to achieve the best possible result. In addition to representing you in negotiations and court, we will be available as your resource to guide you through this difficult time.