Omaha Truck Accident Attorney
If you were in a passenger vehicle and collided with a large commercial truck, chances are you were seriously hurt. When a fully-loaded, 80,000-lb semi tractor-trailer collides with a 3,000-lb passenger vehicle, it is not usually the truck driver who suffers the serious injuries.
Truck Accident Services
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- Truck Equipment Failure
- Trucking Regulations and Violations
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At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we serve people in Nebraska, Iowa, and Texas, providing personalized legal services to those who have been injured in truck accidents. Our founder, Jason Bottlinger, has been awarded membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, elite groups of attorneys who have achieved high-value settlements and verdicts. You can rely on us for the skilled and dedicated representation you need after a serious accident with a semi tractor-trailer. Call (402) 807-0116 to set up a free consultation.
As stated in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study Analysis Brief published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), of all the large trucks studied that were involved in single and multi-vehicle accidents, 55% of the trucks or their drivers were “the critical cause” for the crash.
Researchers in this large study found that the top 10 factors in traffic accidents associated with the large trucks, in descending order, were:
- Truck brake problems: A truck weighs up to forty tons when it’s operating at full capacity. With that much inertia, it takes a considerable amount of time to slow down. If the brakes aren’t operating at their highest capacity, a truck is a hazard for everyone on the road.
- Interruption of traffic flow: Truck drivers are often tired from working long hours, and they can become distracted like anyone else. If they don’t respond immediately to disruptions in traffic, such as traffic congestion or a wreck, the consequences can be deadly.
- Driver prescription drug use: The misuse of prescription drugs is a huge problem in our society, and when truckers abuse prescription drugs, it simply isn’t possible for them be alert enough to do their job in a responsible manner.
- Traveling too fast for conditions: Many truckers are working long hours just to get by. Unfortunately, they often feel like they have to drive too fast to meet quotas. This makes them a danger to everyone on the road, especially in hazardous conditions.
- Driver unfamiliar with roadway: Every road and highway has its own unique hazards. Being in unfamiliar territory can put a truck driver and others at risk.
- Roadway problems: In many cases, the roads in this country are not as well-maintained as they should be. This creates safety problems for everyone.
- Stopping time: Stopping time is a lot longer for trucks, and if drivers are not watchful for crosswalks and traffic signs, they will not be able to stop in time to protect pedestrians and other drivers.
- Over-the-counter drug use: When overused, over-the-counter drugs such as antihistamines and stimulants designed to keep people awake can cause a driver to be sleepy or too edgy to do their job safely.
- Distracted driving: Driver distraction is a big problem these days, especially when truck drivers are using their cell phones or trying to perform some other task, such as changing the radio while driving.
- Driver fatigue: There are strict rules about the number of hours truck drivers are supposed to be working per week, but sometimes they break these rules to meet their schedule, leading to driver fatigue and endangering public safety.
Some wrecks are distinct to semi-trucks, and they can result in traumatic damage to both vehicles and passengers involved. These accidents include:
- Jackknifes: When a tractor-trailer jackknifes, the trailer folds in on the cab at a sharp angle, into a shape similar to a pocketknife. This can occur when the truck starts to skid out of control, or a driver operates the vehicle in a reckless manner. In Nebraska, one of the leading causes for jackknife accidents is poor weather conditions. In the winter months, our roads and highways can be extremely dangerous for vehicles. However, jackknifing can occur due to equipment failure. If the truck’s load is heavy or unevenly balanced, it is more likely to jackknife.
- Underrides: An underride occurs when a passenger vehicle collides with a truck and the front end goes partially or completely under the rear or side of the trailer, sometimes sheering the roof off the vehicle. This is incredibly dangerous for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle, and often ends in serious injury or death.
- Rollovers: Due to their large size, trucks have a higher center of gravity and are particularly vulnerable to rollover accidents. These accidents can result in a large amount of debris, wreckage, and machinery spilling out all over the road, presenting serious dangers to oncoming vehicles.
- Runaway trailers: A runaway trailer occurs when the speed of the trailer and the speed of the cab differ, which results in the truck veering out of control, or the trailer detaching from the cab. There is no stopping a runaway, out-of-control trailer once it broken away from the truck. The results of such a crash can involve numerous vehicles and be deadly for those involved.
When it comes to determining blame for a truck accident, there are several parties that can carry the brunt of the responsibility. This includes:
- The driver: Truck drivers have the same duty of care to the vehicles around them as other motor vehicle operators on the road – even more so, because they are professional drivers with a commercial driver’s license. When they behave in a negligent manner and it results in an accident, this duty of care is violated. While most commercial truckers care about safety, too many drive recklessly or under the influence of narcotics, and do not take their legally mandated breaks.
- The trucking company: There are times when truckers drive recklessly or violate federal regulations because their parent companies put unreasonable expectations on them. This can lead to overloaded trucks or deadlines that do not allow drivers to rest appropriately. Your lawyer should investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine if the trucking company put profit over safety.
- Truck and part manufacturers: Defective motor vehicles present distinct dangers to drivers on Nebraska’s interstates and highways. This is especially true when the vehicle in question is a massive semi-truck, with thousands of vital parts. If you were involved in a truck accident due to an equipment malfunction, we can pursue legal action against the manufacturer to get you and your family justice.
Since the victims of these crashes often suffer catastrophic injuries, like shattered bones, spinal cord trauma, crushed limbs, organ rupture, and brain damage, it is important to get them medical treatment first, and to continue treatment until maximum recovery.
After listening to your full account of what happened and reviewing police reports, company documents, eyewitness reports, and medical records, our team will be able to determine the precise amount of compensation you deserve. This will include all costs incurred as a result of your accident, such as:
- Reduced quality of life
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
An accident that involves a truck is significantly different from a typical motor vehicle accident. Truck wrecks are complex cases that often have several responsible parties and teams of lawyers representing the other side. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a detailed set of standards and safety regulations that apply exclusively to truck drivers and trucking companies. You need an attorney representing you who is fully aware of these special guidelines, who knows exactly when a federal violation has occurred.
The insurance companies will try to show that the accident was not caused by the truck driver or company, or they will try to convince you to accept a lowball settlement out of court. Even when dealing with your own insurance company, their number one objective is to save their shareholders' money. After a serious truck crash, it is vital to have an Omaha auto accident attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience with these kinds of accidents.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., our founding attorney began his career defending insurance companies in high-value disputes. This unique knowledge of how the other side operates gives us an edge in representing individuals in personal injury matters, including claims against large trucking firms.
If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer, call today and schedule a FREE consultation at (402) 505-8234. If we take your case, we’ll get you the best settlement we possibly can.
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