About every eight minutes there’s a motor vehicle crash somewhere in the state of Utah. Close to half of those crashes leave someone injured, and a small number of those victims die from their injuries (281 in 2016). About twice each month, one of those fatal accidents involves a large truck.
Our way of life depends on being able to move large amounts of raw materials and consumer goods across long distances. To do this efficiently, we need large trucks on the roads. Unfortunately, one of the things that makes trucks most useful—their size—also makes them dangerous to other vehicles. Even when empty, a typical semi-truck and trailer weighs in at more than 20,000 pounds. Heavy commercial trucks are often ten times as heavy as the passenger vehicles around them.
Trucks tend to have fewer accidents than cars, and truck drivers overall are safer than other operators (they drive drunk at a fraction of the rate of others, for example). But truck accidents tend to be more deadly for those not in a truck: In 2015, 84 percent of deaths and 77 percent of injuries in crashes involving a truck were to occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians. Technology may be on the way to reduce truck crashes and their severity, but it’s not widely in place yet.
If you’ve been involved in a truck crash, you should take the same basic steps you would after any vehicle collision. Collect all the information that you can about the precise location of the accident and all the vehicles involved, such as the truck description, color, and license number. Most trucks will have a USDOT number prominently visible, which is also good to capture. Report the crash to the local police, especially if anyone has been injured or killed or if there has been major property damage. Don’t move crash victims before qualified medical assistance arrives, unless you absolutely must.
As with any motor vehicle accident, sorting out fault and recovering for the costs of property damage or medical treatment after a crash with a truck can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience. The process has only just begun once you’ve generated an accident report with the police and filed a claim with your insurer.
The attorneys at Craig Swapp & Associates have extensive experience with motor vehicle crashes of all kinds, including truck accident cases. If you’ve been harmed in a crash, give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 or -contact us online through the form below to see how we can help (you can also launch the chat feature from any page of this website for more information). We offer all clients a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation, so you have nothing to lose.