Fort Smith Truck Accident Attorneys
Seek Legal Help after a Collision in Arkansas
It is the job of insurance companies and the adjusters they hire to settle your accident and injury claim for the least amount of money. It is our job at Caddell Reynolds Law Firm to settle your insurance claim for the most money. It’s that simple. We are your advocate and will go the distance to represent your best interests at all times. You deserve maximum compensation for your claim and should not have to face the insurance company alone. The harsh reality is that many insurance agents are paid bonuses to keep claims low and do not always have your best interest in mind.
Tractor trailer accidents occur daily in the United States. With so many trucks on the roads working to transport goods throughout the country, drivers are pushed to maintain strict schedules and timelines. Often this alone can cause undue stress on truck drivers, which can lead to accidents.
What Can Cause a Truck Accident?
The Fort Smith truck accident lawyers at Caddell Reynolds Law Firm understand that the driver may share liability with other parties, including the following:
- Trucking companies – Drivers must follow the rules and regulations set forth by their employers. Companies may require them to drive too long without rest, put inexperienced drivers on long hauls before they are ready to handle them, or even put trucks on the road with an imbalanced load or without proper maintenance.
- Maintenance personnel – Improper inspections or rushed maintenance can cause serious problems, particularly when brakes or tires are involved. Whether the maintenance personnel works for the company or maintenance is performed by an outside shop, a truck accident attorney needs to know the facts to ensure everyone responsible for an accident is named in a suit.
- Local, state, and federal governments – The true cause of a big vehicle accident may be an encounter with a sinkhole or other major road flaw that is the responsibility of local, state, or even federal government. Our attorneys have the skills and experience to pursue even these difficult cases.
Do 18-Wheeler Accidents Settle for More Than Regular Auto Accidents?
An accident with an 18-wheeler frequently results in severe injuries that can significantly alter the quality of life for everyone involved. An 18-wheeler accident lawsuit is different from other vehicle accident lawsuits due to the severity of the impact with a 70-foot long truck weighing 80,000 pounds. There are also strict federal laws and regulations in place concerning a driver’s conduct and truck maintenance. Attorneys at Caddell Reynolds Law Firm are well-versed in the trucking business and its governing laws, and have experience in litigation and negotiation. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
How Are Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
In 2014, there were more than 3,400 deaths and over 82,000 injuries stemming from 18-wheeler accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The number of deaths and serious injuries is considerably higher with truck accidents than it is with passenger vehicle crashes.
An accident lawsuit typically results in larger settlements due to the higher levels of primary liability insurance required by the FMCSA for 18-wheelers. Commercial freight vehicles are required to carry $750,000 to $5,000,000 – depending on the commodities transported – in insurance coverage and in some cases there is more than one policy on the truck and the trailer, which can contribute to higher settlements.
What Commonly Causes Truck Accidents?
There are a range of driver errors and equipment malfunctions that can cause 18-wheeler accidents:
- Driving under the influence: While most people do not think of commercial drivers drinking or taking drugs, there are 18-wheeler accidents every year that result from this reckless behavior.
- Shifting loads: If a load is not secured and balanced properly it can shift during transit, which can cause a driver to lose control or the truck to tip over.
- Speeding: Even with the threat of fines, increased insurance costs, and the potential for 18-wheeler accidents, some commercial drivers do speed, a choice that can have life-changing consequences for other drivers on the road.
- Jackknifing: This happens when the trailer skids forward from behind and faces backwards while the truck still faces forward. The 18-wheeler will cover most of the highway and can severely impact any vehicles in the immediate vicinity.
- Driver fatigue: There are strict guidelines for the hours a commercial truck drivers can be on the road, but that still does not stop some drivers from continuing on when they are tired and in need of sleep.
- Tire blowouts: Depending on the circumstances at the time of a blowout, a driver can lose control of their truck.
- Brake malfunctions: When trucks have to repeatedly stop quickly the brakes can overheat, reducing the effectiveness of the brakes and significantly extending the stopping distance. A driver must keep all work and repair orders so they can prove they are in compliance with road safety standards. An attorney can subpoena documentation to determine if the truck’s equipment has been maintained and is in full compliance of federal regulations.
By working with an attorney who has handled these types of cases before, you are more likely to receive a fair and adequate settlement with the appropriate compensation for your damages and injuries.
If you have been involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, contact our Fort Smith truck accident lawyers at (800) 889-6944 to start the investigation for your case and help you get a fair settlement.
Class Action $21,700,000
Tractor Trailer Wreck $9,500,000
Auto Accident $4,500,000
Tractor Trailer Accident $2,000,000
Defective Product Design $2,000,000
Tractor Trailer Wreck $1,800,000
Tractor Trailer Wreck $1,500,000
Motorcycle Wreck $1,250,000
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