Being involved in a car, truck, SUV or any other type of vehicular accident can be a nerve-wracking experience. When your accident is a truck accident, the injuries sustained can be much more severe due to the greater vehicle sizes, and thus greater forces involved. Following your accident but before you take any action or sign any statements, meet with an experienced truck accident attorney serving Fayetteville, Arkansas. We can handle your and the other driver’s insurance company while negotiating for a favorable outcome. If settlement is not in your best interest, we are always prepared to take your case to trial.
What Should I Do Immediately Following an Accident with a Truck?
In the moments after an accident your first concern should be your safety. If you are able to exit the vehicle be sure to stand in a safe location away from the flow of traffic. If you see smoke or detect a burning odor, be sure to increase your distance from the vehicle because a vehicle fire or explosion may occur following an accident. Once you have reached a safe location, call 911 for emergency assistance. If you were driving a commercial vehicle while hauling cargo, be sure to advise emergency responders if the cargo is or could become hazardous.
When you have handled all safety concerns, you may wish to document the accident scene. Most modern mobile phones allow an individual to take high-resolution photos and videos. This evidence may assist your attorney in recovering monetary damages for your injuries. However if you have suffered an injury or if it is unsafe to take videos, do not further endanger yourself –wait for medical and emergency responders to arrive.
Types of Injuries Commonly Suffered
Every accident’s unique circumstances produces different types and severity of damages and injuries. However some injuries common to trucking accidents include:
Traumatic brain injury is a particularly troubling injury because processes in the brain makes up who we are and how we act. Injury to the brain and its structures can alter your personality, make communication difficult, cause problems with focus and attention, and can result in many other cognitive deficits.
Whiplash injuries are perhaps the most common injury suffered by those in auto accidents. Whiplash is an injury caused by rapid acceleration or deceleration. The rapidly applied forces can cause shearing of muscle and nerve tissue leading to headaches, problems with focus, memory issues, nausea, and other problems.
Broken or Fractured Bones
Many times the impacts involved can result in a single or multiple broken or fractured bones. Bone injuries typically take many months to heal and often require extensive and painful physical therapy to recover functionality.
After an accident the fuel tank or fuel line may become ruptured or other mechanical damage may occur that increases the likelihood of fire or explosion.
If you have suffered one of the above injuries or something else, be sure that you seek medical attention. All too often people conceal their injuries due to pride or because they think it “isn’t that bad”. However sometimes even seemingly mild symptoms can indicate a serious condition. Other times adrenaline may conceal the full extent of the pain and only hours later will you realize that medical treatment was necessary.
How Do Trucking Accidents Occur in Arkansas?
Each and every accident is the product of a unique combination of factors. However, certain factors tend to be more common than others. Certain factors that are common to many trucking accidents include:
A commercial driver may be come distracted for the same reasons any driver can. The driver may be looking for a place to rest, operating a mobile phone, feeling ill, or be involved with a multitude of other distractions.
While FMCSA regulations require drivers to take breaks after driving for certain durations, some may be tempted to forego these mandated rest periods. A drowsy or exhausted driver can fall asleep at the wheel and cause a catastrophic accident.
Improper Securement of Cargo
Cargo that is improperly secured or not secured can shift during transit. This shifting of cargo can cause the truck to jackknife or overturn. Cargo should be secured as per FMCSA regulations using a combination of securing devices and tie-downs.
A tire blow-out can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Trucks may swerve or veer after a tire blow-out.
Poor Weather Conditions
Like for any motorist, poor visibility and slippery road conditions can greatly increase the likelihood of an accident. Snow and ice present the biggest risk during the winter, while violent summer storms with torrential rainfalls or hail are the chief concern in the summer months.
Who Regulates Commercial Trucks?
In 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was formed. The FMCSA oversees most activities by commercial vehicles and other covered industries and organizations. The FMCSA can craft and enforce rules regarding driver safety, cargo securement, cargo loading, and in many other areas of concern. While commercial transportation of cargo is certainly under the purview of the FMCSA, the agency also regulates bus companies and other organizations who are transporting 15 or more individuals.
Arkansas also has its own state regulations involving certain types of cargo and loads. For example, Arkansas law 8-6-407 Commercial refuse hauling by uncovered vehicles prohibits any commercial garbage-hauling company from transporting their cargo without covering it with a tarp or ensuring the design of the truck is such that the cargo will not leak, drop, or fall from the truck. Such regulations can reduce the likelihood that cargo becomes roadway debris and causes and accident. Additionally, Arkansas has laws and regulations regarding the transport of hazardous materials on its roadways.
Our Fayetteville, Arkansas Truck Accident Injury Lawyers Can Help
Put our trucking accident experience to work for you by calling Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law at (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today. All consultations are free and confidential.