Personal Injury Lawyers • Portland and Waterville, ME

Maine 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers

Call the Portland personal injury attorneys that Mainers trust

When a passenger car collides with a large 18-wheeler – also called a “semi” tractor trailer – it’s obvious which vehicle and its occupants will get the worst of it. An 18-wheeler truck accident can leave people with very serious injuries. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Jabar LaLiberty, LLC fight to help them recover financial compensation.

The increased risk of operating big rigs on the public roads, and the potential for severe injury and death when they are in an accident puts a lot of responsibility for safety on the shoulders of the truck drivers and trucking companies who hire them. That’s why big rig drivers are held to high standards for training and competence, why we regulate the hours that the drivers can work without rest, and why we have extensive regulations about truck safety (all discussed under the section below on federal regulations).

Our Maine personal injury attorneys have recovered tens of millions for the injured

There are several characteristics of big rigs that make them more likely to be involved in collisions. There are areas around the truck which the driver can’t see (blind spots). Trucks also have longer stopping times – if a big rig and passenger car are both travelling at 5 mph, it takes twice as long to bring the big rig to a stop. Big rigs also have less maneuverability, especially in making turns.

That’s why when truck drivers and trucking companies are negligent, the result is often a devastating crash. Types of truck accidents involving 18-wheelers include:

  • Head-on collisions – the truck collides with another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. Tremendous forces are generated in these collisions—the speed and mass of the vehicles essentially “cumulate.” Deaths are common and severe injuries even more so, among occupants of both vehicles.
  • Rear-end collisions – these typically involve the truck crashing into another vehicle travelling in the same direction. Injuries are more likely and tend to be more severe for occupants of the front vehicle, especially if there’s a full load in the truck.
  • Underride collisions are those in which a smaller vehicle crashes into the rear of much larger truck, and the momentum carries the front of the small vehicle under the trailer. The passenger compartment of the smaller vehicle continues forward until it hits the bottom edge of the trailer.
  • Jackknife accidents often happen when the driver of an 18-wheeler starts to lose control and slams on the brakes. The wheels lock up and the trailer swing out in the shape of a jackknife as the truck skids down the road.
  • Side collisions involve the front of one vehicle crashing into the side of the other. This often happens when: (1) one vehicle is turning across the path of the other; (2) One vehicle fails to stop at a traffic light or stop sign; and (3) One vehicle makes a sudden and very sharp lane change.
  • Rollovers occur when the balance of the truck is upset by other forces. Many rollovers are single vehicle accidents in which the truck’s center of gravity is beyond its wheelbase. Other rollovers happen because the truck’s balance is upset when the truck is struck by another vehicle.

Drivers who cause 18-wheeler accident may have been falling asleep, operating while impaired or texting. In some cases, the trucking company was to blame for failing to check the qualification of drivers or failing to make needed maintenance or repairs. Other negligent parties may include the owner of the cargo or trailer, the company that loaded the cargo and truck or part manufacturers.

Our legal team conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to identify the negligent parties. Then we build a strong case to hold them accountable and help you recover the financial compensation you deserve.

If you were hurt in an 18-wheeler accident in Waterville, Portland or anywhere in Maine, we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney.

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