Truck Accidents Involving SpeedingLast updated on: February 6, 2012
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH a truck accident LAWYER IN TEXAS FOR FREE
Large trucks, while a very necessary part of our economy, can present a danger to other drivers on the highways, especially smaller, lighter, passenger cars. This danger is multiplied when truck drivers exceed safe speeds. Truck accidents can leave victims with mounting medical bills as well as with injuries that may prevent them from returning to work. That’s why it’s important to know a trustworthy truck accident attorney in the event you are in an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident where the driver was speeding, you should contact the skilled truck accident lawyers from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
TRUCK ACCIDENTS INVOLVING SPEEDING
Accidents involving large trucks can be especially dangerous, and they are likely to cause serious injury or even death. Large trucks are considerably heavier and larger than passenger vehicles, and this disproportion in size and weight can translate into devastating damage in the event of a collision. In 2018, 151,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks, and over 4,900 were killed as a result of a collision with a large truck.
Large trucks, due to their size and weight, present a variety of challenges their drivers must take into account in order to prevent an accident, and speeding can drastically increase the chances of an accident occurring. While driving over the posted speed limit is the most common definition of speeding, an excessive speed by a truck driver may also be a speed that is under the speed limit. Speeding can also refer to driving faster than is safe to do so in certain road conditions, such as rain or snow, where it may be unsafe to travel even at the posted speed limit.
WHY IS IT SO DANGEROUS FOR TRUCK DRIVERS TO SPEED?
Even at normal speeds, large trucks take time to slow down or come to a stop, due to their size and weight. However, if a truck driver is speeding, circumstances are likely to become even more dangerous than usual.
Compromised Stopping Ability
It can be even more difficult for the speeding trucker to react to sudden events and slow or stop in time to prevent an accident from occurring. Speeding reduces the time a driver has to react, and every second could mean the difference between avoiding an accident or causing a collision. With the size and force of a large truck, being unable to stop in time because of the truck’s speed—even rear-ending a passenger vehicle—could result in severe, life-threatening injuries. Even death can result, especially for occupants in a passenger vehicle with much less protection.
Large trucks and 18-wheelers have large blind spots due to their size. Truck drivers are often unable to see other drivers and objects in these blind spots. If a truck driver is speeding, it becomes even more difficult for drivers to detect other vehicles or objects that may have moved into their blind spots. As a result, the driver may cause an accident by speeding and switching lanes or turning, causing a collision with the vehicle that was in the trucker’s blind spot.
Large trucks and 18-wheelers experience a reduced ability to maneuver as a result of their size and weight as well as the presence of a trailer they may be hauling. A truck driver who is speeding may be unable to successfully round a curve, possibly causing them to lose control or jackknife, which is when the trailer comes perpendicular to the cab of the truck.
Poor Road Conditions
All drivers must practice increased caution when experiencing poor road conditions due to weather such as rain, snow, or ice. Truck drivers who do not reduce speed in these conditions increase the risk of causing an accident, as these conditions make it especially difficult for large trucks to stop or maneuver.
If the load a truck is carrying is not properly secured or balanced, it may shift during transit, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. This can be exacerbated by speeding, increasing the likelihood the load may shift as well as making it more difficult for the driver to retain control of the truck.
Over time, mechanical parts may wear down and eventually fail, and sometimes due to manufacturing errors, they may fail prematurely. While the failure of a crucial part or system, such as the brakes, always represents a dangerous situation for a truck driver, speeding may increase the chance of such failure occurring due to the increased stress upon the parts. Speeding may also magnify the impact a part failure can have, making it more difficult for the driver to retain control of the truck and prevent an accident from occurring.
HOW CAN A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER HELP ME?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you should consult a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Pursuing a truck accident claim can be a complex undertaking, one not made easier by an insurance company’s attempt to avoid paying any compensation. Hiring an experienced attorney may often help show the insurer you are serious about pursuing your claim. A truck accident attorney may be able to investigate your claim and help determine if speeding may have played a role in the accident. Your lawyer may also be able to help determine who may be liable for the accident and how much compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries and damages.
Determining whether the Driver Was Speeding
It can be difficult to prove a truck driver was speeding after an accident has occurred. However, many large commercial trucks are required to have recording devices installed, similar to black boxes aboard aircraft, which record multiple aspects of the operation of the truck, including speed. A truck accident attorney may help you secure this data. A truck accident attorney may be able to send the truck’s operator a spoliation letter, which informs them of your claim and demands that they preserve any evidence pertaining to the accident, such as any data from the device that may have been aboard the truck. Your attorney may also arrange for supervision from an expert during the transfer of the data, to ensure it is safely retrieved intact.
WHO MAY BE LIABLE FOR AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY A TRUCK DRIVER SPEEDING?
A truck accident attorney may be able to help you determine who may be liable for the accident. In many situations, the truck driver may be liable, especially if they were engaging in negligent behavior such as speeding. However, in some cases, the trucking company, loading company, or manufacturer may also be liable. Poor hiring practices, poor truck maintenance, improperly loaded trucks as well as other factors can all influence who may be liable for an accident involving a truck. A truck accident attorney may investigate your accident and use the information gathered during the course of the investigation to discover who may be liable for your injuries.
NEGOTIATING WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY
In truck accident cases, insurers will usually offer the victim an amount that is often far less than what their claim may actually be worth, in an attempt to settle the claim quickly and for as little as possible. Insurers know that victims may be in immediate need of funds to pay medical bills and other expenses caused by the accident, and hope the offer of a small, but quick settlement, will prevent them from potentially paying out more.
A truck accident attorney can help you to seek the compensation you may be entitled to after a truck accident. Truck accident attorneys may be able investigate your claim and use the details and facts they discover to help strengthen your claim. By supporting your claim with as much evidence as possible proving the liability of the other party and the extent of your injuries, your truck accident lawyer may be able to successfully negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
You may be able to seek both economic as well as noneconomic damages for your truck accident case. Economic compensation covers such things as:
- medical expenses
- property damage
- loss of income
- loss of penitential income
You may be able to claim compensation for medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, which may include cost of hospital stays, treatments, medication, and therapies. If your injuries require ongoing or future treatments, you may be able to seek compensation for future treatments as well.
Compensation for property damages may include expenses related to repairing your vehicle after the accident, or in cases where repair is not possible, you may be entitled to the fair market value of your vehicle.
Loss of Income
If your injuries caused you to miss work for any length of time, you may be able to seek compensation for your lost wages during that period.
Loss of Potential Income
If your injuries leave you no longer capable of performing the duties required by your job, you may be able to claim compensation for your lost earning potential. This type of compensation will take a variety of factors into consideration, including your salary, health before the accident, and age.
Meanwhile, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may also be able to pursue compensation for non-economic damages, such as:
Pain and Suffering
You may also be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional anguish you may have experienced due to your injuries. Compensation for pain and suffering is influenced by the type and severity of your injuries and how they have impacted your life.
Loss of Companionship/Loss of Parental Guidance
If you have lost a spouse due to a truck accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for your loss of companionship. Children who have lost a parent may be entitled to compensation for the loss of parental guidance in their life.
Statute of Limitations
States place a limit on how long you have to file most personal injury claims, known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations varies from state to state. However, many states have a statute of limitations of two to three years for personal injury claims, including for trucking accidents involving a truck driver speeding.
CONSULT THE TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, a truck accident attorney may be able to help you after you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck driven by a speeding driver. Our skilled team of lawyers have years of experience helping victims pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after being injured because a truck driver was negligent in causing an accident.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.