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3 things 18-wheeler accident victims should know

Driving on I-10 in Lake Charles heading toward Lafayette or Houston is a dangerous ordeal. You have to drive near 18-wheelers, which is often a nail biting experience. Tractor-trailer accidents are often serious and can lead to severe injuries. Those injuries can lead to considerable medical expenses and other damages. You should consider these points regarding your injuries and the accident that caused them.

1. Multiple causes are possible

Semitruck accidents have a host of causes, including trucker fatigue, equipment malfunctions or driver distraction. The cause of the accident is important if you plan to seek compensation. When you seek compensation for an 18-wheeler accident, you have to show that negligence or recklessness caused the accident. You also have to show that the defendants caused the accident and that the accident led to the injuries that caused the damages that you suffered.

Determining the underlying cause of the accident is one step in this process. You will likely need to investigate the accident and the records associated with it to determine the cause. For example, reviewing the log book for the trucker can give you an idea of whether there are violations of laws and regulations or not.

2. Defendants in these cases can vary

While the trucker might be the most obvious defendant in the case, he or she might not be the only one. The trucking company, the equipment manufacturer and the insurance company might be defendants in the case. The defendants are the parties that have at least some liability in the 18-wheeler accident. You might be able to find additional defendants when you are reviewing the evidence and records of the accident.

For example, the trucking company might be liable for the accident if the trucker was being pushed to make a tight or unrealistic deadline like driving from Jacksonville, Florida to Houston, Texas in a single shift.

3. Cases are resolved in various ways

Semitruck accident cases have two primary methods of resolution -- going through trial and working out a settlement. A trucking accident settlement is often a faster way to resolve the case. You have to think about specific points contained in the settlement terms to determine if it is suitable. You may have to keep quiet about the terms of the settlement and the liable parties might not have to take responsibility for the accident. Payment terms vary from lump sum payments to structured settlements. Make sure you understand the exact terms of the settlement if you opt to pursue this option.

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