Have you been injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer? Were you or your family members harmed after getting crashed into by a big rig? Tractor-trailer accidents can be devastating for many reasons, not the least of which is how large tractor-trailers are, especially when compared to other vehicles. After you’ve received care for your injuries, contact Belal Hamideh, an experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer, for a free case evaluation.
Damages You Can Receive for Your Accident
If you’re in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, you can receive economic as well as non-economic damages.
Economic damages are compensation for tangible costs, those which you have had to pay for “out of pocket” as a result of the accident. This can include compensation for your medical bills, any rehabilitation, medication, physical therapy, transportation to and from the doctor’s office, doctor’s visits, and more.
We understand that some may not have a medical care provider, health insurance, and so forth. Belal Hamideh has, over the years, amassed a network of medical care providers that he trusts. They can provide you with the care that you and yours may require after a tractor-trailer injury.
Like Belal, these medical professionals work on contingency. So, you will not have to pay for their services upfront. Instead, their compensation, like Belal’s, will come out of your eventual settlement.
Non-economic damages are compensation for that which is intangible. This is compensation for all of the pain, the suffering, the anguish, the emotional distress that you may have experienced as a result of the accident. If you’ve lost enjoyment of life, lost consortium, or suffered similar loss, we can help you to receive compensation for all of it.
In the worst tractor-trailer accidents, lives may be lost. If so, we can file a wrongful death suit against the liable parties. No amount of compensation can make up for the loss of your loved one. What we can do is to get you compensation for funeral costs and similar prices, so that you can have compensation to start the next phase of your life.
What is a Tractor Trailer?
“Tractor trailer” is often used interchangeably with “truck,” “big rig,” “semi-truck,” and so forth. Each semi-truck has two distinct parts. The “tractor” is the part that houses the engine. The “trailer,” on the other hand, houses the cargo.
“Tractor-trailer” and “18-wheeler” tend to just be other ways to classify a semi-truck and the attached trailer. The tractor can detach from a trailer on a semi-truck. The term “18-wheeler,” in fact, comes from the number of wheels on the trailer as well as the tractor combined.
Regardless of how you refer to the vehicle, “tractor-trailer,” “big rig,” “semi-truck,” “18-wheeler,” or anything else, it’s much larger than even the largest domestic vehicles. As such, these accidents can be dangerous indeed.
Types of Tractor Trailer Accidents
Below are some of the more common tractor-trailer accidents. All tractor-trailer accidents, however, can be dangerous or even deadly.
When a truck “rolls over” onto its side, it can crash into several vehicles at high speeds. This can occur on account of the truck speeding, the roads being slippery or otherwise dangerous, some other form of error on the driver’s part, etc. Rollovers can also be caused by factors such as improper maintenance (or negligent maintenance) on the truck itself, cargo that wasn’t loaded properly, or for other reasons that were set in place before the truck got on the road.
Compared to a tractor-trailer, most cars are comparatively short. As such, they can slip beneath a truck more easily than a driver may think. This can lead to serious accidents, crushing the car and injuring those inside. Even though many trucks have designed “underride guards,” those are often not enough to keep a car from sliding underneath.
When the trailer and the tractor/cab of a truck fold at their joint, this is called “jackknifing.” Something causes the trailer’s rear to move faster than the tractor/cab, swinging forward, causing the truck to face in two directions. When this occurs, the driver is not in control of the vehicle.
This can be caused by the driver going too fast, improper driving/maneuvering, and other driver errors. That said, often, jackknifing is caused by some part of the equipment failing, such as the brakes, the wheels, or even environmental threats such as the weather, debris on the road, and so forth.
There are many federal laws in place to ensure that cargo is properly stored in a tractor-trailer. The cargo must be secure and immobile. If it isn’t, if it can move around, or if there’s more cargo than the truck can handle, this can create a dangerous situation, causing an accident.
Blown Out Tires
Tractor-trailer tires have to be maintained. When they aren’t, when tires aren’t maintained and deal with significant wear and tear, they could “blow out,” which causes the driver to lose control. Even if the driver does maintain control, tire debris could harm your vehicle or pedestrians, potentially causing an accident on its own.
Those are just some of the kinds of tractor-trailer accidents. If you believe there’s a chance that you’ve been injured in such an accident, it’s worth reaching out to Belal Hamideh to learn the truth about your case.
What to Do After a Tractor Trailer Accident
First, get to safety. To the extent that you’re able, remove yourself from further harm. Assess your injuries as well as anyone else in your vehicle. Contact law enforcement. Even if (hopefully) no one is hurt, you’re going to want the police report from the accident itself.
Tractor-trailer accidents are a little different than other kinds of vehicle accidents in terms of what kind of information you’re to collect from the other driver. For example, after a tractor-trailer accident, you’re going to want to get the driver’s name, their address, contact info, the insurance policy number, the license plate number of the truck, and other information that you can use to identify the trucking company.
When speaking to the driver of the truck, be polite and cordial. Don’t admit fault or say anything that could be taken that way.
What you should take, however, are photographs and videos of the accident. As much as you can without putting yourself in further harm’s way, take pictures and videos of the vehicles involved, environmental damage, and anything else that might be fixed or removed. Cataloging any injuries sustained is a good idea as well.
On the subject of injuries, be sure to get professional medical care as well. Too often, someone may believe that they’ve escaped an accident unscathed only to find that they suffered a serious injury. Receiving medical care as quickly as possible can help you not just your body but your case as well.
Once you’ve done all of the above, contact Belal Hamideh for a free case evaluation.
Finding Who’s Liable for Your Tractor Trailer Accident
Once Belal Hamideh takes your case, he conducts a thorough investigation to find all of the parties liable for your accident. Then, he brings a case against all of them, so that you receive the maximum compensation.
Yes, the driver of the tractor-trailer very well may be liable for your accident. They were the one driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. If they were under the influence, speeding, or otherwise breached their duty of care as a driver which led to your accident, then they could be liable. However, they might not be the only party liable. Additionally, the trucking company who hired that driver could be liable, too.
Perhaps the accident was caused, in part, because those whose responsibility it was to load the cargo did so improperly. Maybe the truck has some manufacturing defect which led to the accident. Or, alternatively, perhaps the truck wasn’t maintained properly. Then, the manufacturer and those responsible for the truck’s maintenance could be responsible, respectively.
Those are just some of the parties that could be responsible for your accident. We’ll find all of those responsible and then build the best case possible on your behalf.
Belal Hamideh: Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer Who’s Ready to Help
Tractor-trailer accidents can be among the scariest, most dangerous on the road. It is perfectly understandable if, in the aftermath of an accident, you procrastinate on reaching out to an attorney. However, there is a statute of limitations on how long you can wait to file a case. The sooner you file, the better a chance you give yourself to receive the compensation you deserve for everything that you’ve been through.
Belal Hamideh and the rest of the staff here work on contingency. That means that clients do not have to pay out of their pocket. Rather, Belal’s payment comes out of the eventual settlement. So, clients only pay if we win. Belal wins 99% of the time.
For a free consultation to see how we can help, contact us through our site or call.