The massive trucks that haul heavy cargo across our roads every day are much larger than the vehicles we drive. Even a relatively minor truck accident can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, it is typically the occupants of the passenger vehicle whose lives are seriously endangered.
If a truck driver’s negligence causes you or someone you love to be injured in a truck accident, don’t wait to reach out to an experienced Lawrenceville truck accident lawyer.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer at Scholle Law Now for a Free Consultation
Because semis are fueled by our bustling economy, their numbers continue to grow. As a result, so does the number of truck accidents. If you’ve been harmed by a truck driver’s negligence, seeking the compensation you need to cover your damages is imperative.
The surest path forward is with a dedicated Lawrenceville truck accident lawyer at Scholle Law in your corner. We are on your side and here to help with all the following legal services:
- Documenting your accident and compiling all relevant data in our mission to build a solid case – in pursuit of compensation that covers your physical, financial, and emotional damages in their entirety.
- Ensuring that the insurance company has an accurate representation of the full range of your damages.
- Negotiating skillfully with the insurance company on your behalf for a just settlement that allows you to achieve your most complete recovery.
- Preparing to skillfully move forward to trial if the insurance company isn’t interested in negotiating fairly.
We offer a free consultation that can help you obtain a better understanding of the strengths and challenges of your claim. Let us help you plan the best way forward for your unique situation.
What is the truck’s black box and what does it track?
A truck’s black box is an onboard electronic recording device that monitors the truck driver’s driving time. Some also record the trucker’s speed.
While the information that can be gleaned from a truck’s black box varies according to the manufacturer, the kind of information that is often available includes the following:
- The truck’s speed immediately before the accident
- Whether or not the truck suddenly accelerated or decelerated prior to the accident
- Whether or not the truck’s brakes were applied and, if so, when
- Whether or not the trucker was using cruise control at the time of the accident
- The truck’s log of daily and monthly activity
- How often the truck was driven over the legal speed limit
- Whether or not the airbag was deployed during the accident
- GPS location information for the truck
- The number of times the truck has been involved in a crash and the time between these events
Truck accident claims are complicated, but the information gathered from the truck’s black box can be compelling in its ability to bolster your claim.
Electronic Control Modules
The black box discussed above is not quite the same as the actual black boxes that airplanes are equipped with. Instead, they are actually electronic control modules (ECMs), which are small computers that collect relevant data.
The basic function of a truck’s ECM is controlling and monitoring the truck’s operations, which in addition to the above, includes factors like the following:
● Engine performance
● Fuel efficiency
● Mechanical problems
● Stereo volume
Additionally, a truck’s ECM runs performance diagnostics and can detect mechanical issues as well as turn on dashboard warning signals. Some ECMs record comprehensive data if the truck is involved in an accident, which can provide definitive information about how the accident happened.
Electronic Logging Devices
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains federal oversight regarding compliance with trucking laws. One of the requirements it imposes is that truck drivers must keep careful records of their driving activities, including their rest periods and the total number of hours they spend behind the wheel on every trip.
Truckers used to keep paper logs that were easy to alter, allowing them to drive more hours while appearing to remain compliant. As of 2019, all truck fleets are required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs), which automatically record all of the relevant information that used to be recorded in those paper logbooks.
ELDs track a significant amount of information that can include all the following:
● Hours of service
● Driver inspection reports (routine safety checks made on the rig)
● Truck speed
● Hard braking
● Information about idling
ELDs can also incorporate routing and mapping functions that report where the truck has been and when. They can help truckers navigate construction work more safely and bypass heavy traffic.
Event Data Recorders
ECMs that are equipped to provide crash data for analytics also have an event data recorder (EDR) function. It is generally kicked into operation by the kinds of events that are closely associated with truck accidents, such as when a truck driver brakes hard or comes to a quick stop.
While EDRs do not typically record information for long periods, some do store pre-crash information for up to approximately 20 seconds before the accident.
Why Commercial Truck Black Boxes Are Crucial for Tractor-Trailer Accident Claims
Truck accident claims come down to the evidence, and because many truck accidents are caused by truck driver negligence, the truck’s black box can prove invaluable. To have a viable truck accident claim, the following elements must apply:
● The truck driver owed you a duty of care, which every motorist owes everyone else on the road. However, because truckers are professional drivers, they owe an even more significant duty of care.
● The truck driver’s negligence breached this duty of care, which means that the truck driver did not live up to their considerable responsibilities.
● The truck driver’s negligence caused you to be injured.
● You suffered physical, financial, and/or emotional damages as a result.
The black box often proves invaluable when it comes to demonstrating truck driver negligence. As professional drivers, truckers are held to precise rules, regulations, and restrictions that are wide-ranging. The truck’s black box can help claimants pinpoint exactly how the truck driver’s negligence played out in the truck accident.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Every truck accident is utterly unique to the situation and circumstances involved. However, there are some first steps that may apply, depending upon your ability to perform them post-accident. These first steps include:
● Pull your vehicle out of the path of danger, if you are able to do so.
● Call 911. Request an ambulance if you believe someone is injured.
● If someone is injured at the scene and you are able to help, do so.
● Accept medical attention if it’s offered at the scene. If it isn’t, seek the medical care you need as soon as you are clear to leave the scene.
● Refrain from talking about the accident at the scene – the insurance company will attempt to find out what you had to say and is skilled at twisting such comments to their advantage.
● If the officer at the scene asks you questions, answer truthfully but also as succinctly as possible. Do not make guesses about what happened or ramble.
● If you’re able, take pictures and videos of the accident from every angle and perspective possible.
● Collect statements from eyewitnesses at the scene, with contact information.
● Do not post about your accident on social media or post anything which could be used by the insurance company to diminish your claim.
● Carefully follow your medical team’s advice and instructions -it helps to ensure your fullest recovery and also helps to show the insurance company that your injuries are just as serious as you say they are.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
One of the primary causes of truck accidents is truck driver negligence, which can come in many different forms.
Truckers are professional drivers, and there is no room in their job description for distraction. Maneuvering an immense 18-wheeler over the road safely is a massive undertaking, and if the truck driver has anything else on their mind, it can lead to disaster.
The most dangerous of all distractions is texting and other smartphone activities. Because texting marries all three classifications of distraction (visual, manual, and cognitive) into one deadly distraction, it has earned top billing on the list of most dangerous activities behind the wheel.
When a trucker (or any other driver) takes the average five seconds required to write or read a text, they take their eyes off the road for the same approximate amount of time it takes to drive the length of a football field.
We all know that it isn’t okay to drink and drive, but the law takes an even harsher view when the driver in question is a truck driver (or another professional driver). Alcohol leads to physical, cognitive, and sensory impairments.
Because truckers operate 80,000-pound behemoths, the law is harsh on impaired truckers.
The trucking industry has never been busier. Now that we order everything from toilet paper to furniture online, drowsy driving is a larger concern. This is why there are exacting hours-of-service restrictions in place, but truckers still manage to cheat the system and remain on the road longer than is safe.
Rules related to hours of service not only address consecutive hours behind the wheel but also the number of days on the road within a given period, the number of breaks taken, the hours of rest in between trips, and more.
The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more likely it is to get into an accident and the more likely the accident is to be deadly. When the vehicle involved is a semi, it makes the matter much more life-threatening.
Further, driving at a safe speed is about more than just adhering to the speed limit. All drivers – including truck drivers – are responsible for taking road conditions into careful consideration.
Aggression behind the wheel is terrifying, but when the driver exhibiting that aggression is a truck driver, it boosts the danger involved to entirely new levels.
Aggressive drivers tend to engage in more than one dangerous driving practice at a time with little or no concern for the threat involved. If you spy an aggressive trucker on the road, it’s time to take safe leave of the road and alert the authorities. You could help prevent a deadly accident.
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
If you are injured in a truck accident, the chances are higher that your injuries are going to be serious. While they can take nearly any form, the most common include:
● Broken bones, which are painful injuries that are slow to heal and that can lead to serious secondary health concerns if the break is complicated.
● Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which may have unpredictable consequences that can be life-altering.
● Spinal cord injuries, which are closely associated with a significant decrease in range of motion that can prove physically debilitating.
● Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash that can lead to chronic pain and a precipitous decline in your range of motion.
● Cuts and burns that are very susceptible to dangerous infections and can be permanently disfiguring.
How much does it cost to hire a truck accident lawyer?
It is only natural to be concerned about how much it is going to cost you to hire a truck accident lawyer. After all, your earnings have decreased and your medical bills are through the roof.
Fortunately, you typically take on none of the financial risks when you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer. Most reputable truck accident lawyers work on contingency, which means they don’t get paid until your claim either settles or receives a court award.
At that point, your truck accident lawyer will receive a prearranged percentage of your settlement or award.
What is the average truck accident settlement in Lawrenceville?
While it is impossible to determine a truck accident’s value before the claim has made its way through the legal process, some basic principles likely apply.
Your truck accident lawyer will skillfully advocate for a settlement that addresses all of your physical, financial, and emotional damages. Your ability to fully recover your losses will hinge on the strength of your case and your ability to successfully negotiate fair terms with the insurance company.
This is exactly why having a dedicated Lawrenceville truck accident lawyer in your corner is paramount.
What damages can I collect in a truck accident?
Your truck accident claim should carefully address all your covered losses, in addition to property damage to your vehicle.
Your Medical Costs
The kind of serious injuries that are closely associated with truck accidents often require ongoing care and can lead to secondary health issues that leave you needing more extensive care into the future.
Ultimately, it’s important to ensure that your overall medical expenses (not just your costs to date) are thoroughly addressed in your claim.
Your Lost Earnings
While you tend to your health and recovery, you will very likely be unable to work, leading to lost earnings. If your future earning potential is affected, the financial losses you experience can be even more substantial.
Your Pain and Suffering
In addition to your economic losses (those losses that you can put a price on), you can experience noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages generally encompass your physical and emotional pain and suffering. When it comes to violent truck accidents, the associated pain and suffering can be significant.
How Our Lawrenceville Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You
You’ve been injured in a truck accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence and you may not have any idea where to turn. At Scholle Law, we recognize the gravity of your situation. We are prepared to harness the full force of our experience and legal skill in defense of your rights and in the focused pursuit of your deserved compensation.
Maximum Results for People Injured in Truck Wrecks
You’ve suffered serious losses as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, and you need maximum legal results to help ensure that you’re able to fully recover. Truck accident claims are complicated. Without professional legal guidance, obtaining just compensation is going to be an uphill battle.
Working closely with a practiced Lawrenceville truck accident lawyer is the best path forward.
Call a Lawrenceville Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured by a truck driver’s negligence, obtaining the compensation you are entitled to is critical to your ability to fully heal. The Lawrenceville truck accident lawyers at Scholle Law have the experience, legal insight, and dedication to help guide your claim toward a favorable outcome that supports your most complete recovery.
We dedicate our practice to skillfully defending the rights of all our clients, and we’re here for you, too. To learn more about how we can help, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 866-972-5287 today.
Truck Accident Questions and Answers
What can I do to protect my rights after a truck accident?
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident that was caused by the truck driver’s negligence, one of the most important first steps that you can take after seeking the medical attention that you need is consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer.
What should I do if someone from the trucking insurance company calls me before I’ve picked a truck accident lawyer?
You can count on hearing from an insurance rep very soon after a truck accident. Yes, you’re injured and vulnerable, but the insurance company is going to want you to make a formal statement, and they won’t be shy about asking.
The most important point to remember is that you are not required to provide the insurance company with a statement. You should let them know that they will be hearing from your truck accident lawyer, who will provide them with all the information and documentation they need. This is yet another reason why seeking legal counsel earlier rather than later is well advised.
What should I tell the police on the scene of a truck accident?
After a truck accident, there will be an officer on the scene, and they are very likely to ask you questions about what happened. While you are generally advised to remain as quiet as possible, you will need to answer the officer’s questions.
The best policy is to carefully listen to their questions and answer them as honestly, clearly, and succinctly as you can. This isn’t a good time to become expansive or be creative with your words.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online