I was pulling into a rest stop and an 18-wheeler backed into me
After a long tiring trip across the country it’s time to pull into that rest stop and stretch your legs for a while. The last thing on your mind is the possibility that a large 18 wheeler will back right into you. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 333,000 large trucks involved in traffic crashes in the year 2012 (1). The majority of these semi-trailer truck accidents result from driver’s negligence.
Semi-trucks on American Roadways
Semi-trucks make up a large percentage of the vehicles on American roadways. They are not only very large and heavy but require special training to operate. This is why the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a specific test and license endorsement as well as regulations for these drivers before they are allowed on the road.
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Requirements
In order to operate a commercial vehicle, a driver must obtain a commercial driver’s license. Some of the requirement of obtaining a CDL include:
- 21 years of age
- Read and speak English sufficiently to understand signs and traffic signals and converse with the general public, respond to official inquiries and make entries on reports and records
- Safely operate the vehicle and pass the CDL exam
- Be physically able to operate the vehicle
- Not be disqualified to hold the CDL
If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck there are certain things you should do right away.
Call the police: A police report can be one of your most important pieces of evidence. The police report will include:
- The semi-truck driver’s contact and personal information
- The name of his insurance company and that of his employer
- A diagram of the accident scene
- Witnesses’ names and contact information
- Weather conditions
- Notations of any tickets the truck driver received
Take notes: Write down all events leading up to, during, and after the accident. It is easy to forget details after the fact and you will want an accurate description of what happened if you have to testify later.
Get treatment: You should always make sure to get cleared by a medical professional if you’ve been in an accident. You may have sustained of which you are not even aware. Being seen by a medical professional is also important if you end up filing a lawsuit for damages and pain and suffering.
Contact an attorney
If you have been in an accident and/or injured by a semi-truck driver, you should contact our office today! We can do a thorough investigation as to the cause of the accident and the liable parties. If the driver of the semi was not properly qualified or actively DISQUALIFIED from operating the vehicles you may be able to be compensated for damages.
To schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable attorney, call our office at 281-280-8900 or use our contact form online.
(1) (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2015, from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf