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Were you or someone you love recently injured in a truck accident in Delaware? If your answer is yes, you are probably going through an overwhelming time in your life right now. You may be dealing with severe emotional, physical, and financial issues that, unfortunately, have the potential to affect you for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, you were able to seek proper medical attention after your accident, and also be able to receive the continuing treatment needed to put you on the path to recovery.
Being injured in a serious truck accident can be a life-changing and traumatic experience. You may be facing long-term medical issues, emotional trauma, and even permanent disabilities. It is extremely common for crash victims to suffer from depression, anxiety, and even PTSD after their collisions. These paired with serious physical injuries can feel debilitating. Depending on the circumstances of your truck accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses and damages, which can help relieve some of the stress you may be feeling.
Do you know how your accident occurred? If it was not your fault, you need to know that you have legal options that may be able to help you recover. A Delaware truck accident lawyer from the law offices of Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson can help you figure out if you qualify for compensation for the injuries and losses you incurred as a result of your wreck.
Compensation Available for Truck Accident Injuries/Damages
If you or someone you love were hurt in a truck accident caused by driver negligence, you may be able to collect financial compensation for an array of different damages with the help of a Delaware truck accident lawyer. Damages in a truck accident claim refer to the injuries, losses, and expenses incurred by those victimized in a truck accident. Damages may include economic and non-economic losses and are intended to compensate victims for the harm they have endured related to their truck accidents.
Economic damages may entail medical costs, wage loss, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses sustained due to the collision. Non-economic damages, on the contrary, may include emotional turmoil, pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages may also be included in a truck accident lawsuit. These are designed to punish the party responsible for causing the accident. Punitive damages are designed to serve as a dissuasion and to prevent similar negligent behavior in the future. They are not included in every case and your attorney can advise you on whether to pursue these damages.
Generally speaking, damages in a truck accident claim are paid to victims to make sure they are completely financially compensated for the harm they have endured so that they are able to recover from their losses and injuries without incident. Some of these damages, explained in further detail, include:
In the United States, the cost of being hospitalized after sustaining a severe traffic accident injury can range from a few thousand dollars to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the average cost of hospitalization related to a serious motor vehicle accident is around $57,000. On top of the initial hospitalization, you may face other costs related to doctor visits, physical therapy, prescriptions, ongoing treatment, and more.
If the severity of your injuries has prevented you from returning to work, you may be eligible to collect financial compensation for lost wages. If you are unable to go back to work in the future, you may also be able to gather compensation for future lost earnings.
Pain & Suffering
The emotional suffering and physical pain that resulted from your injuries may be financially compensated when you file a personal injury claim. Intangible damages like pain and suffering are impossible to put a price on, but there are methods for figuring out what this amount should be for each case. This money can help ease the financial burden you may be facing, which will allow you to focus on your physical and mental well-being and that of your loved ones.
If your vehicle or other belongings were damaged during the crash, you should be able to get compensation for the cost of replacing or repairing your property. Sentimental value may also be considered in some circumstances.
If the truck driver acted carelessly, recklessly, or maliciously, with intentional disregard for your safety, punitive damages may be available for compensation. These are designed to punish the at-fault party and keep them from repeating the same dangerous behavior in the future.
The damages available in your specific situation will depend on the facts of your case. When you consult with a skilled Delaware truck accident lawyer from Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson, we will thoroughly evaluate your case and help you pursue full and fair financial compensation for your injuries and losses.
Differences Between Truck Accidents & Car Accidents
A semi-truck is a large vehicle used to transport goods from one place to another. Other names for a semi-truck are tractor-trailer, big-rig, or 18-wheeler. In the United States, the average size of a semi is about 13.5 feet tall, 8.5 feet wide, and around 72 feet long. They can weigh 8 tons or even more with a special overweight permit. The majority of truckers operate vehicles that weigh about 25,000 pounds on average. In comparison, average passenger vehicles weigh about 3,000 pounds, so the size difference alone is astounding.
What makes truck collisions different from regular car accidents is the disproportionately large size and weight of tractor-trailers to passenger vehicles. Semi-trucks are approximately 20 to 30 times heavier than passenger cars. This poses a serious and even deadly threat when traffic collisions occur.
Additionally, semi-trucks are often transporting hazardous materials like toxic chemicals and flammable liquids. They also take approximately 40% longer to come to a complete stop than passenger vehicles, and slippery road conditions and poorly maintained brakes can lengthen the time it takes for them to stop.
Negligence in Trucking Accidents
Negligence in a truck collision refers to any situation where the trucking company, truck driver, or any other person/party involved in operating and maintaining the truck fails to demonstrate reasonable care, ultimately leading to a crash that harms others. Negligence among truck drivers happens frequently, given the long hours and demanding nature of the job. Driver negligence has become the most common cause of auto accidents throughout the United States. In 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute for Highway Safety, over 20,000 drivers were involved in fatal, negligently caused accidents.
Some truck drivers may become distracted, fatigued, or even turn to drugs to stay awake and drive. Additionally, some trucking companies may prioritize profit over safety, which may ultimately lead to negligently caused accidents. Negligence in a truck collision can take on numerous forms, including:
Truckers are often forced or incentivized to work too many hours which can directly contribute to their ability to safely operate their rigs and properly judge situations while driving. A truck driver may become over-tired while operating their vehicle, which could result in an injury collision.
A trucker’s ability to safely operate their rig can be affected by driver distraction, which can happen for numerous reasons, including tablets, cell phones, GPS systems, radios, or any other reason they might take their eyes off the road. Driver distraction has become a severe problem in the United States, causing more than 400,000 traffic accidents every year.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Truck drivers work under strict deadlines that must be met in order for them to keep their jobs or make enough money to survive, which can cause them to drive at speeds that are over the speed limit. Accidents caused by speeding drivers can easily result in catastrophic injuries.
The trucking company has a duty to maintain the condition of the semi-truck so it remains in safe working order. If they fail to do so, severe collisions can occur that end in injuries and even fatalities.
All tractor-trailers have cargo limits, and when these are breached, dangerous situations can occur. Improper loading or overloading a truck beyond its capacity can cause it to overturn, or cause the truck driver to lose control.
Failing to Follow Traffic Rules
A truck driver may fail to properly follow traffic rules and regulations, such as running red lights or stop signs. This can result in accidents that harm or take the lives of innocent people.
Proving negligence in a truck accident case requires valid evidence that the truck driver or some other entity did not exercise reasonable care in the operation and/or maintenance of their vehicle, which directly caused an injury collision. Evidence may include police reports, surveillance footage, eyewitness testimonies, and expert testimony.
When negligence is established, you will be able to collect compensation for the damages previously discussed, as well as any other damages specific to your personal situation.
Many trucking accidents happen due to driver negligence, whether drivers are intoxicated, speeding, or distracted. Other times, negligence may be demonstrated by the trucking company. No matter what causes it, a semi-truck accident is a frightening experience with often devastating consequences. If you were hurt in a truck crash caused by a negligent driver, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer from Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson.
Outlining Different Types of Truck Accidents
Large semi-trucks seem to dominate the roadways in the United States, which can place other drivers at a higher probability of becoming involved in accidents. Tractor-trailer accidents can cause devastating damage for everyone involved, often resulting in severe injuries and wrongful death.
Understanding the various types of truck collisions may help to promote better accident prevention techniques and more mindful road safety. Some of the most commonly seen types of truck accidents on American roadways are as follows:
Rear-end crashes happen when a truck collides with the back of another vehicle. These accidents can result in severe damage to smaller passenger cars and their occupants due to the substantial size and weight difference between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles. Common causes of rear-end commercial truck collisions may include:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Following too closely
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, large commercial trucks were involved in seven percent of all rear-end crashes.
A rollover truck accident happens when a semi-truck tips onto its side or roof. These collisions may be life-threatening in nature due to the cargo of the truck spilling onto the road, creating a potential for other crashes to happen. Some common contributing factors to rollover collisions may include:
- Uneven surfaces
- Sharp turns
- Abrupt steering maneuvers
Unsecured or improperly loaded cargo may contribute to the cause of a rollover crash involving a semi-truck. This can affect the center of gravity of a semi-truck, increasing the chance of a collision.
A jackknife accident happens when the trailer of a large truck swings out and stops at an angle to the tractor, forming a 90-degree angle resembling that of a folded pocket knife. This usually happens when truckers are forced to brake suddenly, their equipment fails, the roadway is slippery, or their cargo was improperly loaded and/or secured. This type of collision is particularly hazardous because, usually, the truck is totally blocking the roadway, causing the potential for other cars to crash into it.
An underride collision can happen when a passenger vehicle slides underneath a semi-truck. These traffic accidents usually result in neck/head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or even fatalities for those occupying the smaller vehicles.
The truck’s inadequate protective barriers and high ground clearance can result in deadly underride collisions. Common causes of this type of traffic disaster include:
- Sudden braking
- Poor visibility
- Following too close behind semi-trucks
Tire blowouts involve the unexpected puncture of a truck tire, which can cause the tractor-trailer driver to lose control of the rig. Tire blowouts can end in tragic accidents, especially if the semi-truck swerves into opposing traffic lanes or crashes into other vehicles. Common causes of tire blowouts include:
- Overloaded or inadequately placed cargo
- Insufficient tire maintenance
- Damaged/old tires
According to the FMCSA, tire-related problems were the most prevalent contributing factor in large semi-truck accident fatalities between 2018 and 2020.
Common Injuries in Trucking Accidents
Commercial trucks are wide and long, presenting difficulties when their drivers attempt to maneuver around corners, through narrow roadways, and around obstacles and debris in the road. Additionally, other vehicles may be easily pushed underneath the trailer of a semi-truck during a crash.
Injuries that result from truck collisions may resemble those sustained in other types of accidents, however, they are often more severe. Some of the most common Delaware truck accident injuries that truck accident victims suffer include:
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Orthopedic injuries
Emotional Impacts of Serious Truck Accidents and Injuries
Oftentimes, significant emotional/psychological damage can result from being seriously hurt in any type of accident. Truck accidents involving large commercial trucks, unfortunately, are often more severe than other types of traffic accidents. The aftermath of a truck accident may significantly affect the well-being, both psychological and emotional, of crash victims.
The emotional issues related to chronic pain, physical restrictions, and the unforeseen disruption of one’s life can be extremely overwhelming and stressful. Truck accident victims may experience the following emotional issues:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sleeping problems/insomnia
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Fear of driving/traveling
These mental health issues may severely alter the lives of truck accident victims. It can become extremely difficult to engage in social activities, and they may even struggle with simple tasks like preparing meals and socializing with loved ones. Going to work can also become impossible for those who are seriously hurt in truck accidents. Seeking vital support from mental health professionals, such as counselors and therapists, can help truck accident victims cope with the psychological and emotional fallout.
Truck Accident Facts & Statistics
Truck accidents are often more severe than other traffic accidents, especially those that involve tractor-trailers. Tractor trailers are much larger than average passenger vehicles, weighing up to 80,000 pounds. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average passenger vehicle weighs just over 4,000 pounds. More severe damages often result from traffic collisions involving semi-trucks due to the impact being much stronger.
Due to their size and weight, commercial trucks also require a longer stopping distance than other vehicles. This means that when a passenger vehicle is able to safely stop, a semi-truck may not be able to, causing a crash. Additionally, truckers often work grueling hours that cause them to operate their rigs when exhausted, increasing the risk of accidents.
In 2019, there were 4,119 deaths in collisions involving commercial trucks, according to information provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Of those fatalities, nearly 70% were the occupants of passenger vehicles, while approximately 16% were the occupants of large trucks.
The National Safety Council reports that since 2009, the number of people who have lost their lives in trucking accidents has increased by over 30%.
Information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over 5,000 fatal truck accidents occurred in 2019, taking the lives of more than 5,200 people.
The most common causes of Delaware truck accidents in the United States are related to driver errors. Speeding, impairment, driver fatigue, and distraction are the top three reasons truck crashes occur in the United States.
It is vital for drivers everywhere to remain aware of the dangers related to sharing the road with large semi-trucks. Demonstrating reasonable caution when traveling near them can help to prevent collisions from taking place.
According to information gathered from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 74% of large truck accidents in 2020 involved semis. Extensive working hours and safety problems are major contributors to large truck accidents. In 2020, at least one commercial truck was involved in approximately 15 percent of work zone injury collisions and 26 percent of deadly work zone accidents. Fatal large truck collisions have risen by 27 percent from 10.6 to 13.49 fatal accidents per million individuals throughout the country.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Choose Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson to Help You Recover Compensation
Have you or someone you love sustained injuries in a Delaware truck accident caused by a negligent driver? At Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson, we are acutely aware of the emotional, physical, and financial damage that may have been caused by your crash. Our main goal is to help you gather full and fair financial compensation when you file your truck accident lawsuit so you can focus on your well-being and that of your loved ones.
Why Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson?
With an impressive track record of recovering millions of dollars in compensation for our clients who have been hurt by driver negligence, the legal team at Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson has what it takes to fight for your legal rights and get you the financial compensation you need and deserve after you or someone you love were hurt in a Delaware truck accident. We will aggressively negotiate with the insurance companies so you are able to receive a fair settlement and are not taken advantage of.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often attempt to take advantage of those injured in commercial truck accidents by trying to get them to settle for little to no compensation. This is wrong and unethical, which is why our truck accident lawyers have made it a professional goal and duty to help people like you recover the maximum compensation available for injuries and losses. We are completely dedicated to providing our clients with top-notch legal representation so you can get your life back on track as quickly and easily as possible.
For decades, our skilled and experienced Delaware truck accident lawyers have been protecting the legal rights of injury victims and helping them stand up against the insurance companies. It is our job to help you get the compensation you deserve, and we will stop at nothing to do it right.
Free Initial Consultation
Our team of truck accident lawyers offer free consultations because we believe in providing you with the knowledge needed to move forward without charging you a dime. We know that you may already be going through financial difficulties after being hurt in a Delaware truck accident, so we want to make it as easy as possible for you to get on the path toward recovery. That is why we offer free, no-obligation consultations to our potential clients. You can reach an injury lawyer from our Delaware office by filling out the contact form on our website or calling 302-504-4815.