A Semi-Truck Accident Attorney Can Help Your Case
An accident with a semi-truck is a devastating event for most everyone involved. No matter if you are the driver of a passenger vehicle or a semi-truck driver, being injured in a commercial truck accident could leave you with months or even years of physical therapy and a mountain of medical bills.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a semi-truck collision caused by another driver’s negligence, you do not have to go through the recovery process alone. The personal injury attorneys with The Advocates know how to build the strongest truck accident claim possible.
Our experienced attorneys have helped thousands of semi-truck accident victims, and we can help you too. We represent clients in Salt Lake City and throughout the rest of Utah. The attorneys with The Advocates are ready to help you make a full recovery from the injuries and losses you have suffered. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation.
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Side Impact Auto Accident
Side Impact Car Crash
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What Can an Advocate Attorney Do for My Semi-Truck Accident Case?
When you hire a semi-truck accident lawyer with The Advocates, you won't have to pay any upfront consultation fees or hidden costs. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don't get paid unless you do. If we are unable to win your case, then you won't owe us a dime in attorney fees. This is The Advocates' promise to you. Below are a few ways your Advocate attorney can help you:
- Compile all of your medical records
- Build your semi-truck accident claim
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters
- Obtain fair compensation for your losses
"Hiring The Advocates was the best move I could have made after my accident. They were very professional and made me feel confident my case would go smoothly. They really put me at ease. I would recommend them to anyone!" - Robert S.
Why You Need a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
Hiring an experienced semi-truck accident attorney is the best way to prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you. Over the years, studies have shown that hiring an attorney to represent you can increase the value of your case by up to 3.5 times the amount you can get settling on your own.
Don’t let the insurance companies pay you less than you deserve. The Advocates personal injury law firm has been handling commercial vehicle accidents for more than two decades. We know how to avoid common mistakes and get you a fair settlement.
The Advocates Semi-Truck Accident Claim Process
Step 1: Investigate the Accident
First, your Advocate will investigate all the facts from your accident and collect evidence. We will obtain police reports, photos and videos from the scene of the accident, and witness statements. After we have determined fault, we will begin building your injury claim.
Step 2: Build Your Claim
Building a successful truck accident claim is one of the longest steps in the claims process. Your attorney must wait until you’ve completely finished all your treatment before we can compile a comprehensive file of all your medical records. While this is a time-consuming process, it is the most important step.
Step 3: Negotiate a Settlement
After you’ve finished treatment for your injuries and we’ve collected all your medical records, your attorney will send out a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Once these documents have been received, The Advocates will begin the negotiation process. Most insurance companies try to low-ball accident injuries, but your Advocate will fight to get you the settlement you deserve.
Step 4: Litigate Your Case
If you are not satisfied with your offer, then you have the option to file a lawsuit and litigate your case in court. Keep in mind, this is the longest step in the claim process and you may need to appear before a judge and a jury should you take this route.
Commonly Treated Semi-Truck Accident Injuries
As most motorists are aware, a crash with a semi-truck can cause severe damage to all vehicles involved, especially passenger cars. Many times, these accidents result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Some of the most common semi-truck accident injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Head injuries
- Skin lacerations
- Seat belt injuries
- Damage to the shoulders and neck
- Paralysis or damage to the spinal cord
If you’ve suffered an injury from an accident with a tractor-trailer, it’s your right under Utah law to recover just compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered. Contact The Advocates for a free consultation. Our experienced Utah semi-truck accident lawyers are ready to help you get on the road to recovery.
Trucking Laws in Utah
In order to keep everyone on the road safe, large trucks operate under different laws than regular motor vehicles. Below are some common questions regarding laws that semi-truck drivers in Utah must abide by while driving.
What is required to obtain a CDL?
In order to operate a commercial vehicle in Utah, you must get a Commercial Driver’s License. To qualify for a CDL, a potential driver must be 18 years old or older, have held a regular Class D license for at least one year, and pass vision and medical screenings.
A qualified applicant must then pass a written test, a training course, and a skills test.
What condition must a truck be in to drive?
For a commercial vehicle to be driven on Utah roads, the driver must complete a pre-trip inspection. This inspection is done to verify that all components of the truck are in good working order. This includes the engine, brakes, wheels, lights, wipers, mud flaps, mirrors, and horn.
“Good working order” means that all of these parts of the truck must be functioning as intended. If any component of a large truck malfunctions or breaks during travel, it could mean disaster.
How large can a commercial truck be?
Semi-trucks must meet size restrictions for the roads they intend to be driven on. The various combinations of trucks and trailers have different regulations for size. In general, a semi-truck may not exceed the following sizes:
- Height: 14 feet
- Width: 8 feet, 6 inches
- Length: Trailer may not exceed 53 feet
As long as a semi-trailer is less than 53 feet, there is no limit on how long the truck-trailer combination can be.
Transporting anything over these sizes requires the trucker to obtain certain endorsements and permits, and may require one or more escorts.
Can truckers in Utah use the left lane?
In general, the left-most lane on Utah highways is reserved for passing. No one, regardless of the vehicle they are driving, should travel in the left lane, unless it is a designated HOV lane and they meet the requirements for that lane.
On two-lane freeways, a semi-truck may use the left lane to pass slower traffic.
On freeways with three or more lanes traveling in the same direction, Utah law states that a person may not operate a vehicle in the left-most lane or HOV lane if:
- The vehicle is pulling a trailer or semi-trailer
- The gross vehicle weight is greater than 12,000 pounds
The exceptions to this law include drivers preparing to make a left turn and those safely moving left to avoid an obstruction in the road.
What is the speed limit for semi-trucks in Utah?
In many states, large trucks must adhere to a lower maximum speed limit than other motor vehicles. Utah’s maximum speed limit does not differ between trucks and passenger vehicles, except in certain areas where the truck speed limit is posted. In most cases, the maximum speed limit on Utah freeways is 80 miles per hour for all vehicles.
Truck Accident Claims and Time Limits
The Utah statute of limitations for most motor vehicle accidents, including truck accidents, is four years. After this length of time has passed, you will be unable to file a suit. It is best to contact a Utah semi-truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident, in order to have the best chance at receiving a settlement.
How Many Hours Are Truckers Allowed to Work?
There are federal regulations regarding the number of hours a trucker may drive without a break. This is called the “hours of service” rule.
The hours of service rule states that a semi-truck driver may not drive more than 11 hours at a time after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Additionally, drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for 8 hours.
This law is in place to prevent driver fatigue. Because many trucking companies pay per mile driven, truckers have incentive to keep driving, even when tired. If a semi-truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel, however, it creates a major safety hazard for everyone on the road. By stopping to rest periodically, truckers can prevent fatigue and keep themselves and others safe.
Truck Accident Facts
Knowing the facts surrounding the causes of accidents can help you avoid them. Below are some truck accident statistics for the state of Utah and the United States as a whole.
What are common causes of truck accidents?
Truck accidents can be caused by negligent drivers, poor driving conditions, and mechanical errors. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Failure to check blind spots
- Improper turns
- Improper passing
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
When a malfunction with a large truck causes an accident, the most common faulty part was the tires of the truck.
When do semi-truck accidents often occur?
Truck accidents most often occur during daylight hours; nearly 50% happen between 6:00 am and 3:00 pm. Most accidents occur in rural areas at non-intersection locations.
The months of June through October see the most accidents each year, and nearly 85% of truck accidents happen on weekdays.
Most truck accidents occur in dry conditions, likely because motorists are more likely to drive carefully when roads are wet or icy. However, adverse weather conditions do play a part in a significant number of accidents each year.
How many semi-truck accidents occur in Utah each year?
In recent years, there have been an average of 33 fatal accidents involving large trucks in Utah annually. These accidents have resulted in an average of 37 fatalities each year. Most often, it is the drivers and passengers of regular cars and trucks that are seriously injured or killed in these accidents.
The good news is that when compared to other states, Utah ranks 35th in the nation for truck accident fatalities. However, when most of these deaths could be prevented by paying attention and following the rules of the road, even one fatality is too many.