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May 3, 2018

62 million registered and approximately 6.4 unregistered vehicles cruise United States’ highways, making them busy places indeed. U. S. highways are also dangerous places: Approximately 44,000 people die on American highways each year.

Semi-trucks, construction vehicles, and heavy machinery vehicles represent roughly 32 percent of vehicles on American roads. And unfortunately these vehicles, along with other kinds—tractor-trailers, single unit trucks, and heavy cargo vans—account for a disturbingly large percentage of traffic deaths per miles traveled. Traffic accidents involving trucks and similar vehicles occur 50 percent more frequently than accidents involving other vehicles, and, though large trucks make up four percent of all registered vehicles, they are involved in 11 percent of all traffic fatalities. The crash rate for large trucks is 2.4 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Unfortunately, drivers of smaller vehicles end up suffering fatalities in crashes with large trucks.

Large vehicle-related accidents carry an exorbitant price tag: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the costs of large truck crashes exceed $19 billion dollars in a year.


Accidents involving large trucks can be attributed to a number of causes, chief among them typically being negligence. Negligence is a legal term used in the common law legal system and is mostly applied in tort cases, or those cases involving civil wrongs not arising out of contractual obligations. The term negligence can be defined as “conduct that is culpable because it falls short of what a reasonable person would do to protect another individual from foreseeable risk of harm.” A claim of negligence is often worth pursuing, because the victim stands to recover compensation for the damages to property or person suffered as a result of the culpable party’s negligence.

Act of negligence in accidents involving large trucks frequently fall under certain categories. Driver fatigue is frequently to blame for accidents involving large trucks, but there are many other specific reasons for the horrendous accidents involving large trucks on American freeways. The following causes are among the most common behind traffic accidents involving trucks:

  •  Use of prescription drugs that interfere with concentration
  •  Exceeding posted speed limits
  •  Use of over-the-counter drugs like stimulants or cold remedies
  •  Unfamiliarity with the roadway
  •  Execution of an illegal maneuver
  •  Distraction by exterior factors
  •  Use of illegal drugs like cocaine or marijuana
  •  Engagement in aggressive driving behavior
  •  Failure to take adequate evasive action

Many times truck drivers will keep inaccurate or falsified records of their actions. Trucks drivers are required to keep detailed logs of the hours they have spent driving, the time they have spent in their sleeper berth, and any maintenance they have performed on their vehicle. These log books can help provide evidence in the case of an accident, as they will reveal whether the truck driver was keeping accurate records of his or her professional obligations.

Acts of negligence by tractor-trailer and semi-truck drivers on the road are not limited to those listed above. Sometimes, acts of truck driver negligence can be due to the driver’s exceeding the speed limit in order to increase their profits or to the driver’s sending emails or text messages while behind the wheel. Regardless of the cause of the accident, if negligence is suspected, then a claim must be filed in order to address any wrongdoing.


If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with a large truck, follow these steps to ensure accurate reporting of the incident:

  •  Call the police. You should have a police report filed immediately.
  •  If you are able to, check for injuries. Even if you feel fine, make sure to seek medical attention after the police report is filed.
  •  Remain at the scene of the accident. If you leave the scene of the accident, the trucker’s word will serve as the foundation of the police report.
  •  Exchange information with the truck driver involved in the accident. Exchange driver’s licenses and vehicle registration information. Make sure to write down the following information: name, address, telephone number, date of birth, driver’s license number and expiration date, written description of the other vehicle (make, model, license plate number, expiration date and vehicle identification number), and the trucker’s insurance company and contact information.
  •  If possible, take as many pictures as you can of the crash scene. These will come in useful when settling a claim.


Once you have filed a police report, make sure to contact an attorney trained in the rules and regulations governing trucking accidents. An attorney trained in trucking accidents will conduct additional investigations into the causes of the trucking accident. They will ensure that the police report was not influenced by the trucker or trucking company. A trucking accident attorney will also locate witnesses and take additional photographs of the accident scene. Most importantly, a trucking accident attorney will be able to recover any cellular phone records necessary for establishing the driver’s negligence, to recover receipts required to show speed, and to obtain temporary restraining orders to prevent trucking companies from destroying or concealing evidence, like log books.

Accidents involving large trucks are a serious matter. Many times they involve acts of negligence. If you are involved in an accident involving a large truck, contact an attorney trained in trucking accidents. Only a trucking accident lawyer can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for any injuries and damages sustained in a trucking accident.

Find more like this: Personal Injury

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“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

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