Car accidents can leave behind an aftermath of serious injuries and damages. But this is typically nothing compared to that of 18-wheeler accidents. Read on to discover the common causes and potential consequences of an 18-wheeler accident and how a seasoned Toronto truck accident lawyer at Merricks Law Group, P.A., can aid you in the unfortunate event that you are involved in one.
What are the effects of an 18-wheeler accident?
Put simply, the sheer size and weight of an 18-wheeler can create far more damage than that of a passenger vehicle. More specifically, data has shown that if a truck is fully loaded, then it can weigh, approximately, up to 80,000 pounds. This weight is, approximately, 20 to 30 times more than other passenger vehicles that share the Toronto roads. With this reasoning alone, the injuries for those involved in an 18-wheeler collision can be quite severe, if not fatal.
What are the common causes of 18-wheeler accidents?
Firstly, data has shown that fully-loaded trucks require, approximately, 40 percent more space to stop than passenger vehicles. Meaning, truck drivers have less reaction time to other drivers and other road conditions. While this is a common cause of 18-wheeler accidents, other common causes include the following:
- A truck driver is driving while fatigued, which leads to a significantly reduced reaction time.
- A truck driver is driving recklessly, whether that be by speeding or neglecting to check large blind spots before proceeding.
- A truck driver is driving while distracted, whether that be by texting or navigating a GPS.
- A truck driver is driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What should I do if I am involved in an 18-wheeler accident?
If you, unfortunately, find yourself involved in an 18-wheeler accident, you may be able to seek financial compensation or otherwise justice via a personal injury claim. That is, you have a valid case if you can tie your injuries and damages directly to the negligence of a truck driver. You will be better able to collect the evidence needed to prove this by following the below steps:
- Call the authorities: a law enforcement officer will arrive on the scene to conduct an official police report, which you should collect afterward.
- Document your accident: take photos and videos of the scene, including your injuries, damages, and any contributory hazards. Collect the same from present witnesses.
- Collect contact information: ask the truck driver for their name, phone number, commercial driver’s license number, employer’s name, etc. Collect similar information from present witnesses.
- Seek medical treatment: an ambulance should have been dispatched to the scene by a law enforcement officer. Also, seek medical treatment at the hospital afterward, and collect relevant medical documentation and bills.
- Employ a competent Ontario personal injury lawyer: importantly, do so before the statute of limitations, which is usually two years from the date of your accident.