Most people hate sharing the road with trucks. They are slow moving, slow to react, hard to see around, and when they drift into another lane or suddenly jerk around in their lane, it can startle other drivers into making their own mistakes.
Tractor trailers are made even more unsafe by the fact that they haul extremely heavy freight for long runs, and rely fully on the alertness of a driver who could be on the road for hours each day. If you have been injured in an accident with a truck in the Springdale area, you may now be stuck with medical bills, unable to work, or suffering from your injuries. Those who are less fortunate may have lost loved ones. This guide from Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law will hopefully help you understand your options and get the help you need to focus on recovery.
Trucking Can Be a Danger to Other Drivers
Trucks are much bigger and heavier than other cars on the road – even large SUVs and pickup trucks. They can take around twenty times the stopping distance of other cars, or significantly longer when the road is wet or icy. When a car is hit by a truck, the effects can be devastating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2015, in truck crashes that ended in fatalities, 97% of those fatalities were drivers and passengers in the other cars, not the trucks.
On top of this, trucking has a lot of incentives to create even more dangerous practices. While the federal government does place limits on how much a truck and a driver can drive in a week, there are incentives to break these rules. The more freight a truck can haul, and the longer a truck and driver can stay on the road, the more money a trucking company can make. Driver’s may be willing to break these rules, too, because of the promise of greater pay.
Even more worrying is the condition of truck drivers during long trips. The minimum required rest period after eleven continuous hours of driving is a ten hour period. Most people who work an eight hour job can probably guess at the exhaustion a trucker faces after eleven hours of work. Even following these rules, a truck driver’s tired driving can be nearly as dangerous as drunk driving.
In some cases, in order to stay alert, some truck drivers resort to using drugs – both legal and illegal. Some may even drink on the job, hoping that their “buzz” will either keep them alert or help pass the time. When drivers resort to using drugs or alcohol to give them energy and keep them alert, they are putting themselves and every other driver they encounter at risk.
What Kinds of Compensation are Available?
Auto accidents can cause a large range of injuries. Some crashes may cause minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises, but even mild car crashes have the potential to cause whiplash and other injuries to the neck, head, and back, or broken bones. The worst potential injuries, though, are loss of limb, permanent paralysis, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or even death.
If you have been injured in a car accident involving a tractor trailer, you may now be facing medical bills, immense pain, and may be out of work. Luckily, any of these financial burdens can be redressed in court.
Compensation for medical bills is the most straight-forward of the types of damages you may be entitled to receive. When someone is injured by the negligence or bad action of another, all medical care stemming from that injury is available as damages. This means that not only surgeries and in-hospital medical care would be compensable, but also things like ambulance rides, X-rays or MRIs, and even continuing medical care in the future.
If your injuries have made you miss work, you should be able to recover those lost wages. Whether you are temporarily out of work while you recover, or have lost your job altogether due to injury, you should be able to recover those lost wages. Even future lost wages, if you are no longer able to work, can be recovered.
Arkansas courts can also compensate people for their pain and suffering. Some trauma from car accidents can have intense pain and other side effects. Some states place limits on how much money you can receive for pain and suffering, but Arkansas actually has a constitutional ban on limiting damages. That means that, no matter how much your pain and suffering is worth, a jury can award you what is fair.
Trust a Springdale Truck Accident Attorney with Your Case
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car crash with a truck, or you have lost a loved one to a truck accident, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. Ken is an experienced personal injury lawyer serving clients in the Springdale area, and throughout Northwest Arkansas, for almost twenty years. For a free consultation, call (479) 316-0438.