It is probably not surprising that while semi-truck accidents account for one of the fewest types of automotive accidents, they also account for one of the highest fatality rates. In short, if a person in a passenger vehicle gets in an accident with a semi-truck, they are probably not walking away from it. Obviously, this is partially due to the enormous size and heavy weight of semi-trucks, but it is also due to their vastly increased stopping distance.
National Semi-Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,951 fatalities and an estimated 151,000 people injured in accidents involving large trucks that included an estimated 531,000 trucks involved in police-reported traffic crashes during 2018. When you consider that a total of 36,560 people were killed in traffic crashes across the nation in 2018, that means that nearly 15% of all fatalities were in accidents involving large trucks, which only account for about 5% of all vehicles on the road. In Washington State alone, large trucks were involved in 7.6% of all fatal crashes in 2018, according to the NHTSA.
Importance Of Contacting An Attorney
If you have been involved in one of the many semi-truck accidents in Vancouver, it is critically important that you call an attorney. In addition to suffering far greater damages than most passenger vehicle accidents, getting compensation in semi-truck accidents can also be significantly more difficult. Driver fatigue is frequently a contributing factor in many, if not most, semi-truck accidents. To begin with, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allows drivers to drive up to 11 consecutive hours in a shift, but in some cases may be legally allowed to drive as long as 15 consecutive hours.
It is extremely unlikely for a driver to not experience driver fatigue after that long of a time behind the wheel, but many companies also offer large bonuses for completing long hauls in a short amount of time, which means many drivers push beyond these already overly generous legal limits. If an insurance company can prove that a driver was driving beyond these legal limits, they may refuse to pay a claim or try to pass liability onto the company paying the bonus. In semi-truck accidents, there are almost always multiple parties involved: the driver, the insurance company, and the company the driver was driving for, which means you definitely want to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you do battle with these much larger companies.
If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck accident within Washington our experienced Vancouver, WA auto accident attorneys are here to help. We have helped individuals who have been injured on Interstate 5, highway 14, surface streets and even parking lots within Clark County, Cowlitz County, Skamania County, Pacific County, and other areas of Washington and Oregon. If you need the help of an experienced accident injury attorney, please contact our firm today for a FREE case review.