Rear-end collisions are extremely common in Texas and the rest of the country. They typically occur when a vehicle is stopped for a red light or stop sign or due to heavy stop and go traffic and is struck from behind by another vehicle. Such an accident can be serious and leave you dealing with whiplash injuries. However, if the vehicle that hits you in a rear-end accident is a big truck, it can be even more devastating.
The reason why these accidents are so much more serious when involving a big truck is simply due to the vehicle’s massive size and weight compared with a regular car. Any accident involving a semi-truck can easily result in serious, debilitating injuries that can result in lifetime disability. If you have been involved in an accident of this nature, it’s important to immediately call 911 for help. The police and an ambulance should come to the scene so that a police accident report can be made and you can get medical attention. The ambulance can transport you to the hospital to ensure you get a serious medical exam.
One thing that you may not know is that an experienced truck accident attorney can also be a tremendous source for obtaining proper medical treatment. Due to regularly dealing with these types of accidents and clients, they can assist you in directing you to medical professionals who know what medical tests to give victims of these types of rear-end accidents. Therefore you can be confident that you are receiving the correct medical treatment. These medical professionals also know how to properly document your injuries so that you can maximize your claim.
In addition to helping you receive the correct medical treatment an experienced truck accident attorney will understand the complexities of these cases due to dealing with a commercial trucking insurance adjuster or legal counsel.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
Even if you are a conscientious, safe driver, it’s essentially impossible to avoid a rear-end collision, especially if it involves a huge truck. There are certain situations that can easily result in this type of accident, most notably the following:
- Tailgating: If a semi-truck is following too closely behind you, it means less time to be able to stop or even slow down. Trucks should give a considerable amount of time to prepare to stop, especially in inclement weather and poor road conditions.
- Distraction: Distracted driving often leads to a rear-end collision. If the trucker’s attention is off the road even for a second, an accident can occur.
- DUI: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common cause of rear-end accidents. A driver doesn’t have the same judgment or reaction time as a sober driver.
- Bad weather: Rain, fog, wind, snow and icy roads can affect visibility and the ability to slow down or stop in a timely manner, which can result in a rear-end accident.
- Abrupt stops: An abrupt stop can lead to a rear-end accident, but there may be a legitimate reason why the front driver suddenly stops, such as an animal or child in the road, traffic jams, accidents, police activity, construction or poor road conditions.
Proving Negligence After a Rear-End Accident with a Truck
In most cases, the vehicle that strikes another from behind is at fault for the accident. However, there are certain situations that can render the front vehicle responsible. The police will investigate how the accident occurred to determine who is liable.
If you choose to file a personal injury claim after suffering injuries after being rear-ended by a truck, you must prove the driver’s negligence. Meeting with an experienced truck accident attorney can be greatly beneficial in this instance. There are four elements that have to be proven: duty of responsibility to act in a reasonable, safe manner to ensure the safety of others on the road; that the duty was breached; the breach caused the accident; and that you suffered damages as a direct result of the accident. An experienced truck accident will understand the best ways to maximize your claim.
Documentation to Back Up Your Claim
It’s important to retain all documentation of your accident to show the damages you suffered as a result of the accident with the truck. This means you must keep all medical bills and records, information regarding missed time from work and lost wages, an estimate of the cost of repairs to your car and non-economic damages like lost wages, pain and suffering, future medical expenses, long-term disability, permanent scarring or disfigurement and more. Your truck accident attorney can use this information as strong evidence in your claim.
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