When a person decides to investigate trucking jobs to find a career, they often don’t consider that drivers are involved in at least one accident during their trucking career.
Big rigs cover 139.3 billion miles each year, so it’s not surprising that there are 368,000 accidents involving trucks over 5 tons (4,000 fatalities and about 77,000 injuries) annually.
Odds are that you will be involved in one of them—and whether or not you’re at fault, whether or not you’re injured, it’s important that you protect yourself with a qualified attorney.
Don’t Pay Out of Pocket
An attorney will make sure you don’t pay out of pocket for any medical bills or property damage. Attorneys can find mitigating factors that show you’re not at fault. These can include:
- mechanical failure−in your vehicle or another driver’s
- non-commercial driver error−more than 80% of truck accidents are due to other drivers.
- Other contributing factors−undiagnosed medical conditions; too many hours on the job, etc.
Having a good attorney on your side, even when you are innocent, is the best way to ensure you don’t have to pay huge amounts out of pocket and may instead win compensation.
Injury is another reason to consult an attorney−even if you think you’re not hurt. Many injuries don’t surface for weeks, or even years after an accident. But such dormant wounds can surface later, cause debilitating pain and prevent you from working. An attorney will refer you to specialists who can detect such hidden injuries and can secure compensation to treat any ongoing consequences they might cause.
Recovering Operating Expenses
If you’re an owner operator, your truck is your source of income. If it’s wrecked, it might cost thousands to repair it, and blue book values might not be enough to replace it. An attorney can help you recover any lost wages while you’re out of operation and win you the money to buy a new rig.
Accidents are unavoidable: In 1896, there were four cars in the United States. In that same year, two of them collided! It was the first documented auto accident, and it illustrates the likelihood of your being involved in an accident sometime in your trucking career. Make sure you’re protected: Contact a qualified attorney.