Unlike passenger vehicles, large trucks like semis have unique features that make them especially dangerous on the road and in an accident.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a collision with large truck in Nebraska, it’s advisable to consult an attorney before speaking with an insurance company representative or accepting a settlement offer. The Omaha injury lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop are dedicated to helping injury victims recover the financial peace of mind they need.
Please call us today at 402-241-5020 or contact us online to tell us your story and schedule your free consultation.
What Makes Large Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
“Large trucks” is a generic term that generally refers to commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of greater than 10,000 pounds. These trucks are also commonly known as semis, tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers.
Other types of large trucks that pose severe injury risks to passenger vehicle occupants in the event of an accident include:
- Charter vans or shuttles
- Construction vehicles
- Delivery trucks
In addition to their size and weight compared with passenger vehicles, many large trucks have other attributes that make them especially dangerous in accident scenarios:
- Tractor-trailers and other big trucks require longer stopping distances
- The air brakes used in many big rigs can fail without proper maintenance
- Freight can shift with sudden movements and affect a truck’s maneuverability
- Cargo may include toxic or otherwise hazardous materials that compound the severity of an accident and resulting injuries
Accidents involving large commercial vehicles result in higher rates of catastrophic injuries and death than crashes involving only passenger vehicles. According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, passenger vehicles were involved in 28,186 traffic accidents that resulted in 92 fatalities in 2016; conversely, large trucks including semis and buses were involved in fewer than 17,000 crashes that resulted in 99 deaths the same year. Approximately 15 percent of all fatal accidents in Nebraska in 2016 involved a heavy truck.
Factors in Truck Accidents
The commercial trucking industry is bound by federal regulations intended to protect tractor-trailer drivers and other motorists. But sometimes trucking companies, semi operators, cargo loaders, or maintenance personnel try to shortcut the rules in favor of profits.
Factors unique to semi-truck accidents may include:
- Overloaded, unbalanced or unsecured freight
- Inadequate vehicle or trailer maintenance
- Insufficient driver training
- Unrealistic delivery schedules
Other common causes of large truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- Driving too fast for conditions
Because there are so many issues that can play roles in trucking accidents, and because multiple parties may be liable, it’s a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable attorney if you or a family member was injured in a truck accident.
Aggressive Representation for Nebraska Injury Victims
Nebraska’s contributory negligence rule limits damages in personal injury claims based on a percentage of fault. In order to collect damages, an injury victim must be less at fault for the accident than other involved parties.
Establishing fault can be complicated in truck accident cases, in which insurance providers for trucking companies, cargo agencies and others may try to shift liability to limit what they have to pay. The Omaha lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop have been helping truck accident injury victims since 1989. We investigate, analyze, and diligently prepare truck accident claims to ensure our clients can recover the maximum compensation available.
Damages in truck accident cases may include money for:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
If you lost a loved one in a large truck accident that was caused by another’s negligence, our attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.
If you were hurt or a family member was killed in a Nebraska truck accident, please call Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop today at 402-241-5020 or contact us online. Our experienced injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, and we don’t charge for our services until we win your case.