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18-Wheeler Accidents Attorney

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What is an 18-Wheeler Accident?

An 18-wheeler accident refers to a collision involving a commercial truck, also known as an 18-wheeler or a big rig. These vehicles are significantly larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, making them more prone to causing severe injuries and fatalities on the road.

The distinguishing characteristics of an 18-wheeler, such as its size, weight, length, and numerous blind spots, contribute to the unique nature of these accidents. An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is approximately 20 times heavier than an average car. [1] This considerable size and weight make it difficult for these vehicles to stop quickly or maneuver easily, increasing the risk of accidents.

What is an 18-Wheeler Accident?

Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents

These 18-wheeler accidents can be devastating, resulting in catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death claims. These accidents can occur due to various reasons involving multiple liable parties. To gain a better understanding of the causes of 18-wheeler accidents, let’s delve into some commonly identified factors that contribute to these collisions.

Driver Fatigue and Distracted Driving

Driver fatigue and distracted driving are significant risks in 18-wheeler accidents. Fatigue can impair a truck driver’s judgment, reaction time, and overall ability to operate the vehicle safely. Drowsy driving can lead to lane departures, erratic driving, and even falling asleep at the wheel. Distracted driving, especially due to the use of mobile communication devices, diverts the driver’s attention from the road, increasing the likelihood of a fatal accident.

Driver Fatigue and Distracted Driving

Poorly Maintained or Malfunctioning Equipment

When equipment such as brakes, tires, or steering mechanisms fail, the consequences can be catastrophic. Malfunctioning brakes can lead to longer stopping distances, increasing the likelihood of rear-end collisions. Worn-out tires can result in blowouts, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Faulty steering mechanisms can pose challenges for drivers when operating trucks, potentially causing accidents during lane changes or navigating corners.

It is the collective responsibility of trucking companies, maintenance contractors, and truck drivers to ensure proper equipment maintenance. Negligence in fulfilling this responsibility can lead to serious accidents, injuries, and even loss of life.

Overloaded Trucks

Heavy trucks pose a significant risk when overloaded, particularly when it comes to brake failure. The excessive weight places enormous strain on the braking system of these heavy vehicles, causing a decrease in effectiveness and longer stopping distances.

As a result, rear-end collisions and other fatal rig accidents can occur, even though they could have been avoided with proper load management. 

Overloaded Trucks

Reckless Driving or Speeding

Reckless driving and speeding pose significant dangers when it comes to 18-wheeler accidents. The size and weight of these commercial vehicles make them more susceptible to causing severe damage and injuries when involved in accidents.

Reckless driving encompasses more than just breaking traffic laws; it also includes engaging in legal but dangerous behaviors such as using a phone while driving. Distracted driving can lead to loss of control, drifting across lanes, and delayed reaction times, increasing the likelihood of collisions.

When an 18-wheeler is traveling at high speeds, it becomes more challenging for the driver to maneuver safely. Quick lane changes, sudden stops, and turns become much more hazardous, especially considering the longer stopping distances required for larger vehicles.

Injuries Caused by 18 Wheeler Crashes

When an 18-wheeler is involved in a crash, the potential for severe injuries is significantly higher compared to accidents involving smaller vehicles. The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks can cause catastrophic damage to passenger vehicles, leading to life-altering injuries and fatalities.

Physical Injuries

Physical injuries resulting from 18-wheeler accidents can be severe and life-altering. These accidents often involve catastrophic force, leaving victims with a wide range of injuries. Some of the most common physical injuries associated with 18-wheeler accidents include:

Physical Injuries

Psychological Trauma

An 18-wheeler accidents can have devastating psychological effects on those involved. The size and force of these accidents often result in more serious psychological injuries compared to regular passenger vehicle collisions. The traumatic nature of these accidents can have long-lasting effects on the mental well-being of the victims.

One common type of psychological trauma experienced by the injured party in 18-wheeler accidents is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition can manifest in symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts related to the accident. The intensity and severity of the accident, combined with the potential for life-threatening injuries, can trigger PTSD in victims.

Anxiety and depression are also prevalent after 18-wheeler accidents. Survivors may experience intense fear, worry, and apprehension, making it difficult to resume their normal lives. The emotional burden of the accident, coupled with physical injuries, can lead to feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.

Statute of Limitation for 18-Wheeler Accidents

The statute of limitation for 18-wheeler accidents refers to the time period within which a victim must file a claim for damages resulting from the accident. It is important to note that the specific time limit varies by state and can be influenced by various factors, such as the date of the accident and the type of claim being filed.

In general, the statute of limitation for 18-wheeler accidents is two years. Some states may have a shorter time frame, while others may allow truck accident victims a longer period to file their claims. 

Statute of Limitation for 18-Wheeler Accidents

Who Can Be Held Liable for an 18-Wheeler Accident?

When it comes to a commercial vehicle crash claim, there can be various parties that can be held liable based on the circumstances surrounding the incident. The involved parties may include the truck operator, truck owner, truck manufacturer, trucking corporation, and even the entity responsible for the cargo being transported.

The rig driver is often among the first responsible parties in the accident. They may be liable if they were driving recklessly, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if they violated traffic laws or federal regulations. The truck company or owner can also be held liable if they failed to properly maintain the vehicle, neglected necessary repairs, or hired an inexperienced driver.

In some cases, the truck manufacturer may bear responsibility if a defect in the vehicle’s design or manufacturing contributed to the accident. Similarly, the trucking corporation can be held accountable if they failed to properly train the drivers, neglected safety regulations, or encouraged unrealistic schedules that led to driver fatigue.

The entity responsible for the cargo being transported may also be liable in certain situations. If improper loading or securing of the cargo caused the accident or exacerbated its severity, that party may share in the responsibility.

Why You Need an 18-wheeler Accident Lawyer

These types of accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and damages, and navigating the legal process can be complex and overwhelming. Here’s why you need our experienced truck accident attorneys by your side:

Determining Liability:

Semi-truck accidents usually involve multiple parties, such as the truck driver, trucking company, and other potentially liable parties. Our experienced wheeler accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate the accident scene, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and analyze the applicable federal regulations to determine liability accurately.

Determining Liability

Securing Maximum Compensation:

These 18-wheeler accidents often lead to severe injuries, extensive medical bills, and loss of income. Our personal injury lawyers will help you calculate the full extent of your damages, including current and future medical care, lost wages, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, and more. They will fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. Their primary goal is to minimize their liability and settle for the lowest possible amount. Our experienced truck accident attorneys knows the tactics used by insurance companies and will handle all communication, negotiation, and settlement discussions on your behalf to protect your rights and ensure fair compensation.

Navigating the legal complexities after a trucking accidents requires the expertise and guidance of our experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyers. We will be your advocate, fighting for justice and fair compensation while you focus on your recovery.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Have you been involved in a devastating 18-wheeler accident?

Contact Goldberg & Loren today to schedule a free consultation, and let us fight for your rights and the fair settlement you deserve. Don’t delay, your recovery starts now.


[1] How Much Does a Semi Truck Weigh? – Trucker Daily. (n.d.). How Much Does a Semi Truck Weigh? – Trucker Daily. https://truckerdaily.com/how-much-does-a-semi-truck-weigh/.

James Loren

If you've been injured in a recent 18-wheeler accident, don't hesitate to reach out to Goldberg & Loren. We're here to provide the answers to all your questions and assist you in your time of need.

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