Truckers Have Higher Fatal Injury Rates Than Any Other Job
Driving a big-rig truck has always been one of America’s deadliest jobs. However, the rates of truck driver fatalities have slowly increased over the past decade, putting trucks at even greater risk.
In 2016 alone, the number of truck driver deaths increased by 7% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. During that year — the most recent that complete data was available — truckers had higher rates of workplace deaths than any other occupation.
At Seattle Truck Law, we know that a single negligent truck driver or trucking company can put countless dedicated and responsible truckers in danger. Read on to learn more about why truck drivers face such high rates of injuries and how the Seattle Truck Law team can help if you’ve been injured while driving a truck.
Why Is Truck Driving So Dangerous?
Truck drivers operate heavy tractor-trailers for long periods of time while covering countless miles of interstate. Because they spend so much time on the road, it’s not surprising that truck drivers are at high risk for crashes. Common reasons for a truck wreck include:
- Driver fatigue and illness
- Improper truck maintenance and loading
- Poor road conditions and weather-related issues
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Reckless and aggressive driving
- Defective and dangerous truck parts
Of all these issues, driver error from other truckers poses the greatest danger to responsible truck drivers.
Unfortunately, many drivers face significant pressure from their employer to break safety rules and regulations and drive while fatigued. Due to driver shortages, more inexperienced truck drivers are on the road, and even veteran drivers are being pushed to drive for longer times and at faster speeds. And while trucking companies could implement safety technology on their vehicles, many decide to prioritize short-term profits over highway safety and truckers’ well-being.
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Because of commercial trucks’ heavy weight, long braking distances, and limited handling abilities, it’s hard for truck drivers to avoid an accident once a mistake occurs. To make matters worse, heavily-loaded tractor trailers add extra force to the impacts. If the trailer or tanker contains hazardous or combustible substances, there’s an increased risk of an explosion, fire, or chemical exposure as well. All these factors, when put together, too often lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries for truckers.
Injured Truck Drivers May Be Eligible for Compensation
After a serious truck wreck, you’re likely to face significant medical bills, lost income, and a lot of uncertainty. However, you might have multiple legal claims related to the collision, including:
- Liability claims against a negligent driver: You may be able to work with an experienced attorney to file a personal injury claim against a driver or trucking company’s liability insurance policies. By doing so, you can demand compensation for lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
- Claims with your personal insurance company: Depending on your insurance coverage and state laws, you might have personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments (MedPay), and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claims with your own insurance company.
- Products liability claims: When a defective truck part like a brake or tire causes a wreck, you can file claims against the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer who put you in harm’s way.
- Workers’ compensation claims: Workers’ compensation laws and benefits vary dramatically from state-to-state, but they typically cover medical expenses and some lost income for workers who suffer injuries on the job. (We don’t handle workers’ compensation claims at Truck Wreck Justice, but we can refer you to a lawyer who does.)
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An Experienced Truck Wreck Lawyer Can Make a Big Difference in Your Claim
Compared to the average fender-bender, truck drivers’ injury claims are much more complicated. If you’re driving out-of-state, you’ll need to determine which state’s laws apply. You’ll also have to identify all the insurance policies involved and assess how their terms and conditions impact your claims. And trucking regulations and technology make the prompt recovery of crash data vital to your claims. Without help from an experienced truck accident lawyer, you might make serious mistakes that hurt your chances of receiving financial compensation for your injuries.
After a truck wreck, the trucking companies and their insurers rush in their “emergency response teams.” These teams aim to find evidence that helps their employer’s case, impede a neutral investigation, and shift blame to the crash victims. At Truck Wreck Justice, we work quickly and investigate our clients’ claims thoroughly to level the playing field for injured truck drivers.
In addition, unscrupulous trucking companies sometimes try to avoid liability by claiming their drivers are independent contractors. Courts have repeatedly rejected this argument, but it’s still important to work with an experienced lawyer who can anticipate and counter this defense.
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At Truck Wreck Justice, we focus our practice on claims involving trucks and other commercial vehicles, which means we have the experience and resources needed to handle these complicated claims. In fact, other lawyers frequently refer their most complicated truck crash claims to us.
Contact Seattle Truck Law if You Suffered Injuries in a Truck Accident
Even the most careful and responsible truck drivers can suffer life-changing injuries when other truckers or trucking companies engage in negligent behavior. Injured truckers deserve respect, support, and fierce advocacy. The Seattle Truck Law team dedicates itself to providing the legal and emotional aid that injured drivers need.
If you’re a commercial truck driver and you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, Attorney Morgan Adams has years of experience fighting for hurt truckers and is ready to discuss your case and legal options right away at no risk to you. Call our offices today at 866-580-HURT (4878) or fill out the contact form on our website. We’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017, December 19). Census of fatal occupational injuries summary, 2016 (USDL-17-1667). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.