An accident with a large commercial vehicle can cause severe injuries and fatalities. The 18-wheeler accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm stand ready to help. Our award-winning truck accident attorneys have collected over $1 billion for clients using our experience and effective approach. We work hard to get the justice and compensation you deserve. Call us 24/7 at (800) 501-3011 to get started on a free case evaluation.
Table of contents
- How our Best 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers Can Help
- Determining Liability in an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
- How Our 18 Wheeler Accident Law Firm Pursues Your Compensation
- Statistics for 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
- Reasons for an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
- Common Injuries and Damages in an 18-Wheeler Truck Crash
- Wrongful Death After an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
- 18 Wheeler Insurance Requirements
- Statute of Limitations in 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
- Free Case Review with our Trusted 18-Wheeler Wreck Lawyers
How our Best 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers Can Help
After an 18-wheeler truck accident, many people feel alone and hurt. They worry about supporting their family when they cannot work and feel emotionally spent. It does not have to be that way.
The reliable and accomplished 18-wheeler truck accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm can help. Our team works hard to protect your rights and work to pursue the compensation you deserve. The legal teams focus exclusively on their clients and are available to take phone calls, answer questions and provide clients with their options going forward.
We get results for our injured clients and work to resolve your truck accident case in your favor and make every effort to win a life-changing settlement or award. Wilshire Law Firm considers its clients’ emotional situations and tries to help in every way possible.
Get started by scheduling your free case evaluation. Call us 24/7 at (800) 501-3011.
Determining Liability in an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
Determining liability is critical in a personal injury case. Wilshire Law Firm’s 18-wheeler truck accident lawyers send our investigators to scour the area, aiming to provide proof of liability. We do this by
- Investigating the accident area: Our investigators must search the crash area for clues. Skid marks are an example since their presence tells them that the driver applied the brakes, the length speaks to the vehicle’s speed, and their absence infers that the motorist had little control. They note the location of the accident and take pictures.
- The police report: Wilshire Law Firm investigators review the police report to see if mistakes are evident. During negotiations and in court, this report’s accuracy is essential.
- Reconstruction techniques: A reconstructionist can detect liability by examining the vehicles in the crash and detailing their position before, during and after the accident.
- Video surveillance: Traffic lights, businesses and dash cams can record the 18-wheeler truck collision. Our truck accident lawyers can subpoena the images and use them in court.
Every case is unique. To confidentially discuss the details of your injury claim, call us 24/7 to book a free case evaluation.
Statistics for 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
The National Safety Council offers statistics on accidents involving 18-wheelers from 2008 through 2021. A 49-percent increase in fatalities involving big trucks has occurred in the past decade. The increase in deaths accounts for around 9 percent of all accidents. Injuries are on the upswing also, with about a 12-percent increase from 2020 to 2021. Most fatal accidents occurred during daylight hours in urban, non-interstate areas.
Reasons for an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
18-wheeler crashes have many causes, some of which only involve big rigs and similar large commercial trucks. Below are common types of crashes and reasons why they often occur:
- Jackknife accidents: A jackknife occurs when a tractor-trailer skids out of control and forms an angle greater than 90 degrees with the trailer. This type of accident is hazardous due to its high speed and potential for multiple-vehicle involvement. Common causes of a jackknife include worn or malfunctioning brakes, inexperienced drivers, speed or overloaded trailers.
- Blind-spot collisions: Blind spots surround 18 wheelers, particularly on the right. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 100,000 truckers in accidents involving no-zone areas occur yearly. Examples include inexperience, misaligned mirrors, fatigue, and distracted driving.
- Underride accidents: An underride accident happens when a smaller vehicle slides beneath the trailer of a tractor-trailer. These accidents are hazardous as they may cause severe head trauma when the car is underneath the trailer. Causes can include sudden braking, tail light malfunctions and lack of or damaged underride guards.
- Brake Failure: Brake failure is one of the most common causes of a tractor-trailer accident, as seen by the emergency exit ramps for 18 wheelers in hilly areas. Because brakes for eighteen-wheelers are so expensive, drivers or the companies that employ them may put off repairs or replacements. Brake failure in an 18-wheeler can lead to an override accident. A truck’’s brakes often fail due to fluid leaks, sticky calipers, overheating, misalignment and air supply or hydraulic fluid problems.
- Rollover accidents: When an overloaded or improperly loaded trailer loses balance while turning, it may roll over onto its side or roof, creating a hazard in the roadway for other drivers. Common reasons for a tractor-trailer rollover are fatigue, distractions, speeding, swerving and misjudging a turn.
- Rear-end accidents: A rear-end accident happens just as it does with drivers of passenger vehicles. The trucker fails to stop and collides with the car in front of it. These accidents often occur at high speeds, resulting in catastrophic injuries for those involved because an override collision can occur. Most causes of a rear-end collision involving a semi include tailgating, speeding, distractions, road construction and failure to yield.
- Tire blowouts: Truckers can lose control of their vehicles if a tractor-trailer’s tires suddenly lose pressure. Throwing a detached tire across the highway may also cause a car to collide with another. This type of accident can be unpredictable and may injure those in other vehicles, motorcycles and even pedestrians if it occurs in traffic. If the tires are too worn, a blowout can occur on a trailer, even transporting a light load. Common causes are improper tire pressure, defects and balance problems that cause uneven tread and cupping.
- Head-on collisions: Two vehicles collide head-on in this type of accident. Often, collisions between high-speed vehicles are severe. The most common reason a tractor-trailer causes a head-on crash is when a trucker slides into an oncoming lane, which is caused by distractions, fatigue, drug use, and mechanical problems.
Common Injuries and Damages in an 18-Wheeler Truck Crash
While fatalities frequently happen due to the vehicle’s mass and length, other injuries are possible:
- Traumatic brain injury: A TBI causes severe, life-threatening symptoms. From a concussion to a subdural hematoma, TBIs can cause significant changes in the person’s ability to work. In addition, family members should help them readjust to taking care of themselves. Extended stays in the hospital for the most severe forms of TBI and rehabilitation facilities are standard.
- Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury can cause serious problems such as paralysis and the inability to care for yourself. When the damage is in the cervical (neck) area, the likelihood of being paralyzed from the neck down is high. If the trauma is lower on the spinal cord, lower motor neuron damage and other issues can occur. A person with a spinal cord injury may lose the ability to work.
- Fractures: Multiple fractures are often present. Depending on the nature of the fracture, healing may occur in about six weeks or cause disability.
Disclaimer: The above injury information should not be construed as medical advice. When injured, visit your healthcare provider or the emergency room immediately, even if you are not symptomatic following the accident. Failing to attend medical appointments may indicate to those representing truck drivers and trucking companies that you are not as seriously injured as your complaint suggests.
Wrongful Death After an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
The risk of dying in an 18-wheeler accident is high due to their increased size and weight. If the accident is because of negligence by the trucker or the trucking company, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This claim helps the family get by financially after the death of a loved one. Some awards may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The loss of the person’s wages until retirement
- Insurance and pension benefits typically received
- The cost to hire someone to fulfill the person’s duties around the house
- The loving and nurturing a child would receive
- The intimacy, support and love lost by a spouse
- Loss of inheritance
18 Wheeler Insurance Requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires 18-wheelers to carry significant insurance coverage because of the danger of severe injuries and fatalities in an accident.  The insurance available depends on what the truck transports, such as:
- General freight transport requires a policy of $750,000 in liability insurance.
- Liability insurance for the transport of household goods is $300,000.
- Tractor-trailers hauling oil must carry $1 million in liability insurance.
- Hazardous materials haulers require $5 million in liability insurance.
Statute of Limitations in 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
The statute of limitations refers to the time a person has to file a claim after an accident. In California, the time limit is two years. Some deviations include when a government agency is at fault or if a child dies.  A qualified 18-wheeler accident lawyer at Wilshire Law Firm will be able to explain these time limits and make sure you file on time.
Free Case Review with our Trusted 18-Wheeler Wreck Lawyers
If an 18-wheeler truck hurts you or a loved one, we are here to help. With over $1 billion in recovered compensation for our clients, we have helped injured victims win their cases and obtain the compensation they deserve.
Our personal injury lawyers have the experience and resources to handle your case. Our primary focus is on our clients, remembering that they suffered a catastrophic accident from which they need to recover physically, mentally, and financially.
Contact us at (800) 501-3011 for a free case review. Have your questions answered, and find out your options moving forward. For your convenience, reach out to us online. You pay no fees unless you win.