Rear Ended by a Semi-Truck? Know Your Rights

According to a in-depth investigation by The Kansas City Star, over 4,300 people were killed in crashes involving semi-trucks in 2016, and in many of those collisions, the larger vehicle rear-ended a smaller, passenger vehicle. “Many of these crashes could have been mitigated, or possibly even prevented, had rear-end collision avoidance technologies been in place.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has failed to “take action that would prevent trucks from rear-ending other vehicles.” If you’ve been rear-ended by a semi-truck, know your rights.

A rear-end collision can range from a small fender-bender to a fatal crash. When a semi-truck is involved, it is far more likely that the crash will be severe. At 80,000 pounds to a car’s 5,000, semi-trucks pose a serious threat on the road. They are sometimes driven by distracted or exhausted drivers and can be subject to poor safety practices to cut corners for profit. Additionally, trucks require 40% more time to come to a stop than smaller vehicles. 

If you’ve been involved one of these all too frequent crashes, your rights should come first. You have the right to report the event, claim insurance, and fight for justice and compensation.

Report the Event

In every car crash, the police play a key role. Outside of calling an ambulance in the case of any injury, calling the police should be the first step after the accident. Their assessment and report will play a key role in insurance and legal claims. When dealing with being rear ended by a semi-truck, the report from the police can ensure fault will be appropriately assigned

If the truck driver refuses to cooperate with police or attempt to dissuade you from calling the police because the accident “isn’t serious,” they are infringing on your rights. It may be in the truck driver’s best interest to keep their record clean. Their insurance premiums and licensing record and even their job may be at stake. However, it is your right to report the crash, and doing so will protect your rights in future proceedings.

Claim Insurance

When you are the victim of a rear ending accident from a semi-truck, you have the right to an insurance claim. Commercial truckers are often required to maintain a minimum insurance liability limit of around $1,000,000. However, trucking companies employ teams of insurance experts that make it their goal to minimize the costs paid by the trucking company. Often, receiving insurance payments from a commercial trucking company can come up short and leave victims with medical bills and damages to cover from their own insurance or out-of-pocket. You have the right to be compensated fairly if you are rear ended by a semi-truck.

Fight for Compensation

If the insurance settlement is insufficient or non-existent, you still have the right to fair compensation. It is your right to pursue legal action to get the compensation and justice you deserve. Individuals rear ended by semi-trucks often find themselves against formidable opponents with entire corporations backing them. You need someone in your corner who can face a trucking company’s legal team.

The lawyers at Joseph Deliso and Associates have years of experience and are dedicated to finding the cause of the crash, the responsible parties, and the maximum compensation that you deserve. Call today for a free consultation.

by Allison Theres