With its busy streets and intense commercial activity, South Memphis is all too familiar with incidents involving 18-wheelers. These colossal vehicles, called semi-trailers or tractor-trailers, are crucial to the transport sector. A South Memphis personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC can provide guidance, defend your rights, and work diligently for you.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Despite establishing rules and implementing safety measures, accidents involving 18-wheelers can and do occur for many reasons. Recognizing these common causes is a crucial step in raising public awareness and fostering preventative actions that can significantly reduce the occurrence of these accidents. Let’s delve into some of the typical causes that contribute to these incidents:
One of the most significant factors, driver fatigue, stems from the grueling nature of truck driving. Truckers often face long hours on the road, with strict deadlines and demanding schedules that lead to exhaustion. This tiredness can critically impair their ability to react promptly and make sound decisions, amplifying the risk of accidents.
The presence of fatigue management strategies in the trucking industry is essential but sometimes insufficient or poorly adhered to, leading to this ongoing issue.
Truck drivers are not immune to the distractions that plague other motorists. A momentary lapse in concentration while engaging in activities such as texting, operating a GPS device, eating, or even participating in in-cab conversations can divert their attention from the road. This lapse, especially at high speeds and over long distances, significantly increases the likelihood of accidents.
Improper Loading or Cargo Shifting
The dynamics of an 18-wheeler change dramatically when cargo is not loaded or secured properly. Improperly handled cargo can shift during transit, disrupting the truck’s balance and stability. This imbalance increases the risk of severe incidents such as rollovers or losing control of the vehicle, which can have devastating consequences.
Another major cause of 18-wheeler accidents is equipment failure. Defective or poorly maintained equipment, including brakes, tires, steering systems, and other essential components, can malfunction unexpectedly while the truck operates. Routine and thorough maintenance is paramount to prevent such failures, but lapses in these practices can lead to accidents.
Violation of Traffic Laws
A common yet preventable cause of these accidents is the violation of traffic laws. Speeding, tailgating, improper lane changes, failing to yield, and other such violations can significantly escalate the likelihood of collisions involving 18-wheelers. These actions endanger not only the lives of the truck drivers but also those of the other road users.
The complexity of 18-wheeler operations requires the continuous attention and commitment of all stakeholders, from drivers to regulatory bodies, to reduce these contributing factors and make our roads safer.
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Typical Injuries Resulting from 18-Wheeler Accidents
Given the significant size and weight difference between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle, injuries from these accidents are typically severe and can drastically alter one’s life. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common, resulting from the force of impact and leading to conditions like concussions, contusions, and long-term cognitive impairments. Another frequent consequence is spinal cord damage, which can induce paralysis, loss of sensation, or impaired motor function.
The immense force of an 18-wheeler collision can cause many fractures and broken bones. These injuries often require comprehensive medical attention, including extensive treatment and prolonged rehabilitation. Also, the impact can lead to internal organ damage, causing internal bleeding, organ failure, or necessitating immediate surgical intervention.
The aftermath of such a severe accident isn’t confined to physical injuries. Victims often experience profound emotional and psychological trauma, manifesting in various forms. These may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and phobias, further highlighting the extensive impact of 18-wheeler accidents.
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Recoverable Damages in 18-Wheeler Accident Cases
Following an 18-wheeler accident, victims may have the right to seek compensation for their losses. The remuneration can cover medical expenses, such as current and future medical bills arising from hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and ongoing rehabilitation. It can also extend to lost wages, reimbursing victims for lost income, and the potential decrease in earning capacity due to temporary or permanent disability caused by the accident.
Victims may also receive compensation for property damage. This covers repairing or replacing damaged vehicles and property, including personal belongings destroyed in the accident. Apart from these tangible losses, non-economic damages may be awarded for pain and suffering. This compensation intends to cover the physical pain, emotional distress, and the general impact of the accident on the victim’s quality of life.
In tragic instances where the accident results in losing a loved one, wrongful death compensation may be pursued. Surviving family members could be entitled to seek remuneration for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional distress resulting from the loss. This helps to alleviate some of the financial and emotional burdens of such a devastating event.
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Steps to Take After an 18-Wheeler Accident
If you or a loved one finds yourselves involved in an 18-wheeler accident in South Memphis, certain key steps should be taken to safeguard your rights and streamline the legal proceedings. The following actions are crucial:
- Seek Medical Attention: Always prioritize your health by getting immediate medical attention. This is crucial even if no injuries are evident initially, as some damages may not be apparent immediately but could worsen over time.
- Contact Law Enforcement: Report the accident to the local authorities, providing a detailed and accurate account of the incident. Always request a copy of the police report for your records.
- Gather Evidence: Collect evidence at the accident site if the situation allows. This could include photographs of the vehicles involved, skid marks, road conditions, and visible injuries. Don’t forget to gather the contact information of any witnesses who can validate your version of events.
- Preserve Records: Maintain all relevant documents associated with the accident. This includes medical records, receipts for medical expenses, repair bills, and correspondence with insurance companies or the involved trucking company.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the accident promptly, giving them all the necessary details. Be mindful during these discussions and avoid admitting any form of fault.
- Consult with an Experienced South Memphis 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer: Contact a trustworthy 18-wheeler accident attorney in South Memphis. An 18-wheeler accident lawyer in South Memphis can offer legal advice, safeguard your rights, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
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ontact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC for a South Memphis 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney
The experience, knowledge, and strategic approach of a South Memphis 18-wheeler accident attorney from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC can make a profound difference in the outcome of your case. Consulting with our team is an investment in your future and a crucial step toward justice and recovery. Contact us today.