It’s a common sight for Iowans to spot heavy commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks as they navigate roadways and highways. Big rigs can be found in busy intersections, cruising down highways, or circumnavigating quiet neighbors to local businesses. According to the American Trucking Association, the nation’s freight is moved on commercial trucks by about 3 million commercial truck drivers who operate all kinds of vehicles including semis.
It can be especially nerve wracking for Iowan drivers to share the roads with semi-trucks, especially in heavy traffic or serious weather conditions. The sheer size and stature of semi automobiles increase the chances of severe injury if somehow an accident occurs such as a rollover accident. If an incident happens such as a rollover, jackknife, or underride accident, then there’s a high possibility of catastrophic injury or even death to the parties involved.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a semi-truck accident, then it’s within your best interest to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for damages caused by the injury if the accident was due to negligence.
Semi-Truck Accident Attorney in Des Moines, Iowa
It’s extremely beneficial to have a personal injury attorney on your side if you decide to file a trucking accident claim. An experienced trucking attorney such as Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has in-depth knowledge on both state and federal trucking regulations that can be utilized for your case. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a semi-truck accident, consult McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.
McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Des Moines area including cities in both Polk County and Dallas County such as Ankeny, Altoona, Polk City, West Des Moines, Pleasant Hill, Johnston, Windsor Heights, Alleman, Runnells, Adel, Dallas Center, Perry, Waukee, Minburn, Redfield, Van Meter, De Soto and Woodward.
Semi-Truck Accident Statistics
It’s common knowledge that truck accidents are much more likely to result in severe injury or death. However, did you know that about every 15 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured in an accident caused by a semi-truck or 18-wheeler? The statistics indicate that annually around 500,000 trucking accidents occur in the United States with about 5,000 of those accidents resulting in someone’s death.
These statistics also revealed the following:
- There has been a 52 % increase in trucking accidents since 2009.
- 74 % of all fatal passenger vehicle cases include at least one large truck.
- It was found that tire defects account for 30 % of all truck related accidents.
- 68 % of all truck fatalities include passenger vehicle occupants.
In 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) conducted a large truck crash causation study to determine why and how semi-truck accidents happen. The following are some statistics collected from that study as to why large truck accidents may occur.
- 10 % of truck drivers feel under pressure to meet quotas.
- 27 % of trucks were found to have some sort of brake problem.
- 19 % of truck drivers were unfamiliar with their given route.
- 7 % of truck drivers reported to be overly tired and overworked.
- 3 % of truck drivers experienced constant tire problems.
- 5 % of drivers were found to operate their vehicles in an aggressive manner.
- 1 % were ill while on the job.
- 4 % were reported for using illegal substances on the job.
- 3 % were reported to have consumed alcohol on the job.
How Much Can You Get from a Semi Truck Accident?
Normally, people who have been injured in a large trucking accident will seek to recover damages from their insurance company. These insurance providers will in some cases employ an army of lawyers to dispute or oppose the claim or the amount of damages sought. They may even offer a settlement, but the initial offer will likely not even be close to covering the policyholder’s damages. If the policyholder is unable to receive fair compensation from their insurer, then they can hire legal representation and file a claim against the insurance company.
For these reasons, it’s highly advised you don’t speak to your insurance adjuster without counsel present. An experienced attorney can take the time to study your policy to ensure the adjuster isn’t misrepresenting anything from the contract. They can also negotiate with your insurance provider for you and aggressively advocate for a fair and equitable settlement.
If a negligent third-party is the cause for your injuries, you can file a lawsuit against them for damages. You and your counsel will be required to determine who the liable party is to file a claim. You will then be required to prove to the court that their negligence directly caused your injury or loss of a loved one by a preponderance of evidence.
Determining who is liable is not always an easy task. Often parties will deny fault or try to shift the blame onto another third-party. In some personal injury cases, there are multiple parties that are considered responsible. Some possible individuals and entities who may be responsible for the accident include, but are not limited to:
- The semi-truck driver
- The owner of the semi-truck
- The trucking company who hired the driver
- The company leasing the semi-truck
- The truck’s manufacturer
If the court rules in your favor, then you may be given a monetary award for your damages. The value of the monetary award will depend on the circumstances of the case and the extent of your losses. The following are some possible damages you may recover in a semi-truck accident lawsuit.
- Medical cost
- Future medical cost
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Large Truck Fatality Facts | 2018 – Visit the official website for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent, non-profit, scientific organization dedicated to reducing the losses from motor vehicle accidents. Access the site to research further into fatalities related to large truck accidents organized by truck type, number of vehicles in the crash, by year, road type, day of the week, and type of accident.
Number of Truckers at an All-Time High | U.S. Census – Visit the official website for the U.S. Census Bureau to learn more about the state of the trucking industry. Access the site to find out how the occupation has grown over the years, the median age of a truck driver, their average educational attainment, how many hours they work in a week, and other relevant information.
Des Moines Lawyer for Trucking Accidents in Iowa
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident, consult McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. to determine if you’re entitled to compensation. Our skilled and seasoned personal injury attorney Gregory Landry has represented accident victims for over three decades. With his extensive experience both in settlement negotiations and in the courtroom, you can trust Gregory Landry to advocate for your recovery.
Set up your first consultation with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. by calling McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including West Des Moines, Adel, Dallas Center, Perry, Waukee, Minburn, Redfield, Ankeny, Altoona, Polk City, Pleasant Hill, and Johnston.