Unique Injury Risks Posed by 18-Wheelers

Mar 8, 2019 - Truck Accidents

Bethlehem Truck Accident Attorney

If you’ve been harmed in a Pennsylvania truck accident due to another party’s fault — such as a trucker’s reckless driving — then you may have a right to bring a lawsuit against the defendant and secure significant compensation for your losses.

Effective strategies for litigating a claim vary depending on the details of the case itself.  In a case where the defendant’s vehicle was an 18-wheeler (otherwise known as a “big rig,” trailer truck, or semi-truck), there are a number of unique injury risks that may be useful to consider when moving forward with litigation.  Drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility not to expose others to an unreasonable risk of harm, and in doing so, they must be considerate of the inherent injury risks posed by their fleet of 18-wheelers.

Let’s take a closer look.

Large Blind Spots

18-wheelers have significant blind spots, making it more difficult for their drivers to identify whether they are going to cause a collision with a simple lane change or another basic traffic maneuver.  Many people understand that 18-wheelers (and other large trucks) suffer from blind spot issues and make efforts to either fall back to a reasonable distance or overtake the 18-wheeler truck so as to avoid remaining in the blind spot.

Maneuverability Challenges

18-wheelers can weigh up to 40 tons, making it nearly 15 to 16 times the weight of the average motor vehicle.  The significant weight of an 18-wheeler, in conjunction with its unique structural profile (with a trailer lagging behind and swiveling on an anchor point), can make it rather lacking from a maneuverability perspective.

Fundamentally, an 18-wheeler requires more time, energy, and physical space — compared to a smaller, lighter vehicle — to conduct basic traffic maneuvers.  This can cause accidents even when the 18-wheeler driver is aware of an impending collision and is attempting to maneuver away from the collision.

Drivers Not Paid Hourly, Leading to Risky Driving

Many commercial truck drivers are paid only for completing a trip, and do not get paid on an hourly basis.  In fact, they may even receive substantial monetary bonuses for completing the trip in a shorter period of time.  This dynamic can incentivize 18-wheeler drivers to drive somewhat recklessly (i.e., speeding, driving despite being exhausted, etc.), thus exposing others to a heightened risk of harm.

Contact Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC for a Free Consultation

Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, our attorneys have decades of experience aggressively representing the interests of those who have been harmed in quite a wide variety of truck accident scenarios, including ones that involve an 18-wheeler cargo truck.

Over the years, we have routinely been faced with the truism that “every case is different.”  The unique circumstances surrounding a given accident require serious consideration when developing a case strategy.  We invest the necessary time and effort to customize our advocacy to suit the specifics of each case.

If you’d like to learn more about your claims and how we can help you litigate them effectively in a Pennsylvania court of law, call 610-433-3910 or send us a case evaluation form online to request a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Bethlehem truck accident attorney at our firm.

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"My situation with my case happens in PA and I’m from New York. I thought he couldn’t help me because of me living in New York, because of the distance and all, but he took my case, he handled my case with such professionalism. He won my case. I’m very thankful."
Posted By: Ricardo Yepez

Drake, Hileman & Davis

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