Imagine sitting in your vehicle at a traffic light or stop sign waiting for your cue to go. You're dialing through radio stations, glancing at your phone or chatting with a friend in the passenger seat when you glance in your rear view mirror and see an 18-wheeler barreling toward you at top speed. What do you do? Unfortunately, by the time most drivers realize they need an answer to this particular question, it's too late to react. This why you need an experienced Nebraska truck accident attorney.
Loaded to their maximum legal limit, 18-wheelers weigh upwards of 117,000 pounds. At a speed of 60 miles per hour, they require 250 to 330 feet to stop depending on their date of manufacture and other factors. Of course, that's assuming the driver is fully trained and alert, well seasoned in his or her profession, has finely honed reflexes, and the road is dry.
There are over 500,000 trucking accidents a year and approximately 5,000 of those accidents result in death. Nebraska drivers are among those most at risk of becoming victims of an 18-wheeler crash, but Nebraska trucking accident attorney Larry Demerath and the legal team at Demerath Law Office is here for you.
Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Personal injuries and wrongful deaths are, by definition, results of someone else's carelessness, and this is certainly true where accidents involving 18-wheelers are concerned. Commercial transport drivers are no less susceptible to modern distractions than those of personal vehicles. Exhaustion tends to play a role in these types of accidents more so than others.
Tractor-trailer operators are now limited to no more than 11 hours of driving each day and must log the required amount of rest time. Regardless, some drivers falsify their log books in order to meet deadlines or earn more money. Many logistics companies are having electronic devices installed in their vehicles to ensure those regulations are upheld; however, laws regarding these measures are not yet all-inclusive. Some of the other typical elements a trucking accident attorney in Nebraska may handle include:
- Road Conditions: Ice, snow and rain factor into trucking accidents just as they do with other types of crashes, but speed and their greater weight tend to make matters worse. If it takes more than 300 feet for an 18-wheeler manufactured 10 years ago to stop on dry roads, imagine the distance needed when patches of black ice are present.
- Lack of Proper Training: Drivers must undergo extensive learning in a classroom environment as well as complete a specified number of hands-on driving hours before acquiring their CDL's, but some manage to slip through the cracks. Trucking companies sometimes allow unqualified drivers behind the wheels of their vehicles in an attempt to save money or quickly deliver a shipment. In some cases, licensed operators bring inexperienced buddies along on hauls to help double their earning potential. It's illegal, but our Nebraska trucking accident attorney realizes it happens nonetheless.
- Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance: Logistics companies and independent owner-operators are all held to strict standards when it comes to keeping their trucks maintained; of course, this entails a certain amount of downtime, which affects the almighty bottom line. Some overlook certain maintenance issues like worn tires or brake components in order to keep their trucks up and running, and innocent victims end up paying the ultimate price.
- Failure to Perform Required Inspections: The law dictates tractor-trailers must undergo thorough inspections prior to each haul to catch any potential equipment malfunctions before they become an issue. If any problems are found, they're required to be taken care of before taking to the roads. Though this is a simple step and one of the most effective methods of preventing faulty equipment-related injuries or deaths, our Nebraska trucking accident attorney sees this oversight crop up far too often.
- Poor Loading Practices: With flatbeds and other types of open trailers, securing a load well is critical. When measures aren't taken to ensure the load is properly tied down, and covered in some cases, it becomes a hazard to everyone on the road. For enclosed trailers, if those items being transported aren't balanced as they should be, they could cause the trailer to sway significantly or overturn. Improperly distributed loads could shift, leading to stopping and turning issues.
In each of these situations, negligence is the prevailing factor. Whether this lack of appropriate action comes at the hands of a tractor-trailer operator, a trucking company, a maintenance technician, parts manufacturers, vehicle designers or a warehouse crew, you deserve compensation for your injuries or the loss of your loved one. Our legal team has the resources needed to help prove who is at fault, and our trucking accident attorney in Nebraska represents clients with 40 years of experience and comprehensive understanding of this realm of the law.
Details have a way of fading following an accident, and evidence tends to disappear. These elements are crucial to building a strong case against those responsible. At the same time, the at-fault party's insurance company will be contacting you from the moment a report is filed. They'll try to intimidate you into dropping the matter or insist you sign certain documents.
Never give a statement to the trucking company's representative or sign any paperwork they produce without first talking to your trucking accident attorney in Nebraska. Refer them to your legal counsel instead. You'll also be facing a statute of limitations when it comes to filing your personal injury or wrongful death claim, so bring your case to us as quickly as possible, and let us put our knowledge, experience and desire to ensure justice is served to work for you.
Contact our Nebraska truck accident attorneys by phone at (402) 677-5656 or fill out the form we've provided here on our website to get the process started. You can also set up a free consultation by chatting with our live online representative.