As a driver of a tractor-trailer, I am sure you hear all of the time, that it's those "big trucks" that cause all those accidents on the interstate! If they would just slow down and pay attention, that would help a lot! You and I know the reality. The reality that shows that most of the time, the more dangerous driver is the one weaving in and out of traffic in their sports car or the family van that is oblivious to their surroundings or to the fact that a semi cannot stop on a dime.
Tractor trailer accidents are a common workplace injury.
A tractor-trailer and heavy truck accidents are one of the most common types of fatal work accidents in the United States. In fact, in 2015, heavy and tractor-trailer drivers accounted for 755 fatal injuries, the most of any occupation. (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf) Not only that, the overall transportation industry accounted for 26% of all fatal workplace injuries in 2015, up 9 percent from 2014. Trucks were involved in almost half of them.
One could conclude that driving tractor trailers and heavy equipment are one of the most dangerous occupations. So what does happen if you are driving a truck and you are injured? Is it covered under workers compensation or injury insurance? The answers to these questions depend on a lot of factors. As a driver, are you an independent contractor or do you work directly for a company? Do you drive your own truck or that of a corporation? Does the person that caused the accident have enough insurance to cover your injuries and the damage to the vehicle?
Drivers of Tractor Trailers are First to Blame After and Accident
I guarantee after any accident involving a tractor-trailer, there will be a lot of finger-pointing, and most of those fingers are going to point at the driver of the "big truck." If you find yourself in this type of situation, make sure you prepare yourself for the long haul. With any accident involving a driver and a large vehicle, expect records and documents to be reviewed and expect all of your actions to be questioned. Most insurance policies that cover larger vehicles are more expensive and so the involved insurance companies have a larger stake in the claim and will defend themselves even more vigorously then when there is a smaller, less expensive claim to be decided on.
If you are the driver of a tractor-trailer that was involved in an accident caused by another party, the first thing you should focus on is getting well. Your livelihood may be at stake if the truck was damaged, but if you are not healthy, you cannot work. Your truck should come second to your health in every circumstance. Let the insurance companies hash it out over your property damage. Once you have gotten better and followed up with your doctors, then and only then should you consider going back to work.
Insurance Companies of Tractor Trailers will be Difficult After an Accident
Dealing with insurance companies can be tricky (Discover the three traps insurance companies set after an accident), and dealing with those that insure large trucks, will be even more difficult. In order to get through the paperwork, make sure you get compensated for your lost wages and get you back on the road, you will probably need to speak with a lawyer that can help you work through that "maze." It is important to have all of the information you need to make the best decisions for you and your family. Find out what your future holds and what you can do to put your life back together after an accident. As a truck driver, you are not only the lifeblood of your family, but you are part of the lifeblood of commerce in our country and we want you to be at your best when you get back behind the steering wheel, your life may depend on it.