Bismarck Truck Accident Attorneys
Helping Victims Injured by Commercial Trucks and 18-wheelers throughout Burleigh County
The type of motor vehicle accidents that have the most costly, devastating outcomes are those involving commercial vehicles. Semis, delivery vehicles, and construction rigs outweigh the average passenger vehicle by several dozen tons. Collisions with these vehicles can cause crippling damage to your vehicle and the people in it. Each year, there are over 100,000 injuries and nearly 5,000 deaths caused by large truck accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. With this level of frequency and the often serious associated injuries, the topic is worth paying attention to.
The attorneys at Sand Law know how serious these accidents can be. They can have expensive, far-reaching consequences for you and your family. Seeking compensation in truck accident cases can be a long, complicated process, as there are many routes the case can take and many entities that can be held liable. If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, our experienced attorneys can help.
US and North Dakota Truck Accident Statistics
America’s economy is highly dependent on the men and women of the trucking industry. They work long hours transporting materials, both important and banal, across the country, ensuring the flow of products like food, gasoline, and construction materials. The flip side of all that commuting, unfortunately, is an increased frequency of accidents involving their vehicles.
The statistics are alarming; in 2014, there were 136 fatalities in car accidents across the state. North Dakota’s car crash fatality rate is actually higher than the national average. This equates to a fatality every three days, and many of those fatalities came from accidents where one of the vehicles involved was a semi-truck.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Bismarck
There are numerous state and federal regulations attached to the trucking industry, many of them governing the safety and responsibility of the drivers. But as with any set of rules, the truck drivers or the companies they work for can see fit to bend them, leading to accidents. This kind of negligence takes many forms, such as:
- Drivers not adhering to proper guidelines revolving around appropriate amounts of sleep, leading to them driving while exhausted. Furthermore, to offset the exhaustion, some drivers turn to stimulants like amphetamines to compensate, which can hamper their reactions and is considered driving under the influence.
- Drivers ignoring the speed limit or using illegal maneuvers while driving.
- Drivers operating their vehicles while distracted, such as using a phone.
While truck drivers often cause truck accidents, they aren’t the only potential liable party. Unlike car accidents, truck accidents often include a third party, such as the trucking company. If the driver isn’t at-fault for the accident, it’s likely one (or more) of the following parties.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company is the most frequently liable third party. The trucking company could be liable in the following scenarios:
- They hired inexperienced drivers and didn’t provide adequate training before allowing them to drive.
- They didn’t ensure that the truck was safe to drive.
- They overscheduled a driver past the legal driving limits.
- They didn’t perform routine maintenance on the vehicle.
- They didn’t replace a part that had been recalled.
The Loading Company
Sometimes the loading team is a separate entity from the trucking company. If an outside team loaded the truck, they could be liable for any accidents caused by improper loading. For example, an accident could occur if the load wasn’t properly tied down or if it was unbalanced.
The Rental Company
In some cases, trucks are borrowed from a rental company. If this is the case, the rental company would be responsible for any mechanical issues and maintenance. If an accident occurs because of a maintenance issue and the truck is a rental, the rental company could be liable.
In the case that a mechanical failure causes the accident, it may be the fault of the manufacturer. For example, if a defective or recalled part causes an accident.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
The average sedan weighs just over a ton. In an average tractor-trailer, the front truck itself weighs almost ten tons, not even taking into account the weight of the cargo it’s pulling. This disparity in weight is what causes the majority of truck accident injuries to be catastrophic. The many types of injuries that can result from truck accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures from the impact itself or from cars overturning
- Whiplash from the impact
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
What to do After a Truck Accident
In the aftermath of a truck accident, there are steps you can take on the scene to protect yourself and aid your claim (just like in a car accident.) Actions you take in the immediate minutes and hours after the incident itself can be critical to proving injuries as a result of the accident and help your claim argument.
- Get medical help at the scene to make sure that you and your passengers are not in immediate danger.
- Obtain as much information as possible about the other party or parties in the accident. This includes collecting their driver’s license plate number and contact information. Get the contact information of any witnesses on the scene as well.
- Take photographs of everything: your vehicle, the other vehicles, any injuries, road conditions, and the whole scope of the accident scene.
- Seek further medical evaluation after the accident from a physician. Even if you’re cleared at the scene, the full damage of injuries you sustain may not be apparent until days afterward, and these will play into any claims you make.
- Contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Commercial Truck Accident Liability
As stated previously, there are many parties that are involved in transport using semi-trucks, and as such, there are many entities who can be held liable. It can be the fault of driver error, the driver’s employer, the truck manufacturer, or the shipping company or other company involved in the loading of the truck’s cargo.
You can seek compensation for damages from any of those entities, as one or more of them may be responsible for injuries or death to you and your loved ones.
Experienced Bismarck Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents in North Dakota are a common occurrence that often result in devastating and lasting injuries to its unfortunate victims. When it comes to the devastating injuries resulting from a truck accident in Burleigh County, you need an experienced team to advocate for you. You deserve compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, and our team is the best to help you get it. Contact our experienced truck accident lawyers at (701) 609-1510, or fill out our online contact form today.