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How Commercial Vehicle Accidents Are Different
How Commercial Vehicle Accidents Are Different

Commercial vehicle accidents are distinct from other automotive accidents for various reasons. Although every automotive accident has the potential to leave a person with catastrophic injuries and countless damages, commercial vehicle accidents are more complex. The Washington, D.C. commercial vehicle accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. explain why commercial vehicle accidents are different.

The Large Size of Commercial Vehicles

Commercial vehicles are often semi-trucks or 18-wheelers. Due to their large size and weight, they can cause more damage to those involved in an accident. Not only are commercial vehicle accidents more catastrophic, but they are also complex cases.

Multiple Parties Involved in Commercial Vehicle Accidents

A person injured in a car accident often has to deal with the negligent driver and their insurance company. However, a commercial vehicle accident will involve the commercial vehicle driver, their employer, and their insurance company—making a commercial vehicle case more complicated. Their insurance company might also have more resources to overthrow a case, so it is vital to have strong legal representation.

A wide variety of factors can cause commercial vehicle accidents. In some cases, companies fail to maintain their vehicles or adequately train their employees to drive safely on the road. Companies have a responsibility to train their drivers and ensure that they have the needed qualifications to be a safe driver.

Call Our Washington, D.C. Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys!

Commercial vehicle accidents can result in tragic accidents and are complex cases to handle. If you were injured in a commercial vehicle accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Due to the complexity of commercial vehicle accidents, you need an attorney who has the knowledge and experience needed to fight for your rights. The legal team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has over 45 years of experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve after an accident. We are ready to help you get the best possible results for your case.

Need legal assistance? Call our Washington, D.C. commercial vehicle accident lawyers today at (202) 644-8303!

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Recent Posts
  • How Commercial Vehicle Accidents Are Different

    Commercial vehicle accidents are distinct from other automotive accidents for various reasons. Although every automotive accident has the potential to leave a person with catastrophic injuries and countless damages, commercial vehicle accidents are more complex. The Washington, D.C. commercial vehicle accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. explain why commercial vehicle accidents are different.

    The Large Size of Commercial Vehicles

    Commercial vehicles are often semi-trucks or 18-wheelers. Due to their large size and weight, they can cause more damage to those involved in an accident. Not only are commercial vehicle accidents more catastrophic, but they are also complex cases.

    Multiple Parties Involved in Commercial Vehicle Accidents

    A person injured in a car accident often has to deal with the negligent driver and their insurance company. However, a commercial vehicle accident will involve the commercial vehicle driver, their employer, and their insurance company—making a commercial vehicle case more complicated. Their insurance company might also have more resources to overthrow a case, so it is vital to have strong legal representation.

    A wide variety of factors can cause commercial vehicle accidents. In some cases, companies fail to maintain their vehicles or adequately train their employees to drive safely on the road. Companies have a responsibility to train their drivers and ensure that they have the needed qualifications to be a safe driver.

    Call Our Washington, D.C. Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys!

    Commercial vehicle accidents can result in tragic accidents and are complex cases to handle. If you were injured in a commercial vehicle accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Due to the complexity of commercial vehicle accidents, you need an attorney who has the knowledge and experience needed to fight for your rights. The legal team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has over 45 years of experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve after an accident. We are ready to help you get the best possible results for your case.

    Need legal assistance? Call our Washington, D.C. commercial vehicle accident lawyers today at (202) 644-8303!

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  • How to Reduce Your Chances of Being in a Truck Accident

    Truck accidents often result in catastrophic or even deadly injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 98 percent of accidents involving a truck results in at least one fatality. Our legal team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has put together a few tips to help you reduce your chances of being involved in a truck accident.

    Stay Out of a Truck’s Blind Spots

    One of the best ways to avoid being in a truck accident is to maintain visibility. 18-wheeler trucks have larger blind spots than cars do. A truck driver’s largest blind spot is on their passenger’s side, so it is best to pass trucks from the driver’s side. A great tip to know if you are in the truck driver’s blind spot is by checking if you can see the driver’s face—if you can not, you are most likely in their blind spot.

    Keep a Moderate Distance

    Drivers should maintain a good distance behind a truck. Following a truck too closely can prevent you from seeing hazards or obstacles ahead. When changing lanes in front of a truck, it is important to leave your blinker on for a few seconds to give them time to slow down. You should also give them enough room since truck drivers require 90 percent more space to stop.

    Be Mindful When Turning

    Drivers should be careful when making turns next to a truck. Trucks often have to make wide turns that take up multiple lanes, so it is important to give them space. Driving too closely to a truck when they turn could put you in their blind spot.

    Call Our Washington D.C. Truck Accident Attorneys!

    If you were injured in a truck accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. The Washington, D.C. truck accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have been helping those injured in a truck accident for over 45 years. Our team has the knowledge and experience needed to help you obtain the best possible results for your case.

    Contact our Washington, D.C. truck accident attorneys today at (202) 644-8303 to schedule a free consultation!

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  • What to Do After a Truck Accident

    What to Do After a Truck Accident

    If you or your loved one were injured in a truck accident, you are probably wondering what you should do next. Truck accidents can be complex and often involved many factors, so it is best to take the right steps after an accident to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. The Washington, DC truck accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. explain what you should do after being injured in a truck accident.

    Report the Truck Accident

    The first thing you should do after being involved in a truck accident is contact 911. You should make sure that you and the other people involved in the accident are safe. You should also obtain a copy of the police report because it will be beneficial to have when you seek compensation for your injuries.

    Seek Medical Treatment

    It is vital that you seek medical attention after a truck accident, whether you have been severely injured or not. If you don’t receive treatment at the scene of the crash or you are not transported to the hospital, you should visit your doctor to determine if you suffered injuries that may not be obvious. Obtaining a medical report right after your accident is helpful to demonstrate that your injuries were sustained because of the truck accident.

    Exchange Information with the Driver

    You should also exchange information with the driver at the scene of the crash, if possible. Even if you have the name of the trucking company, you should have the personal information of the driver.

    Below is the information you should gather at the scene:

    • Diver’s name, address, phone number, and email address
    • Driver’s insurance company and policy information
    • Driver’s license number
    • Name and contact information of the truck driver’s employer

    Check for Witnesses

    It is important to collect the information of any eyewitnesses at the scene. It will be helpful to have their information in case you need it for your case. You should gather their name, phone number, and email so that you can contact them in the future.

    Contact a Truck Accident Attorney

    If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Truck accidents are more complicated than most car accidents because they are often caused by multiple factors. You need an attorney who understands the complexity of your case and who has vast experience handling truck accidents. The Washington, DC truck accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has over 45 years of experience helping those injured in truck accidents obtain the compensation they deserve.

    Call our Washington, DC truck accident attorneys today at (202) 644-8303 for a free consultation!

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  • What Causes Truck Accidents?

    What Causes Truck Accidents?

    Truck accidents are the most catastrophic vehicle crashes that occur on our roads every year. In 2012, over 100,000 people suffered injuries in truck accidents according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 18-wheelers weigh more than 10,000 pounds and travel at 50 to 60 mph. When a large truck collides with a car or a pedestrian, it often results in serious injuries. So, what causes truck accidents? The Washington, DC truck accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. explains the common causes of truck accidents.

    Common Causes of Truck Accidents

    Every truck accident is different, but there are common issues that have been present in truck accidents. Unfortunately, many of the factors that have caused truck accidents could have been prevented.

    • Driver Fatigue: According to FMCSA, 13 percent of accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Since truck drivers are paid by the miles and not the hour and they have tight deadlines, they are often forced to drive for long hours. Drowsy driving us just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
    • An Overloaded Trailer: An overloaded trailer is a serious threat on the road. The increase in weight reduces the amount of control the driver has. It also increases the pressure on the tires and the breaks.
    • Inadequate Maintenance of Vehicle Parts: In some cases, truck drivers fail to do routine maintenance. When truck drivers fail to ensure that their vehicles are in good condition, they are putting their lives and the lives of others in danger. Many truck accidents have been caused due to faulty breaks or bad tires.
    • Defective Equipment: Defective equipment is also a common cause of truck accidents. Many truck accidents are caused because the truck was manufactured incorrectly.
    • Drinking and Driving: Truck accidents have also been caused by drunk driving. It is the trucking company’s responsibility to ensure that their drivers are responsible and will not drink and drive.
    • Failure to Follow Traffic Laws: Unsafe lane changing and speeding often cause truck accidents. Truck drivers have a responsibility to follow traffic laws.

    If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact our experienced Washington, DC truck accident attorneys today at (202) 644-8303!

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  • What Makes Truck Accidents So Dangerous?

    What Makes Truck Accidents So Dangerous?

    18-wheelers are among the most dangerous vehicles on today’s highways. In 2012, the American Trucking Associations reported that commercial trucks transported more than 9 billion tons of freight—that is just over two-thirds of all freight that was transported domestically. Trucks’ fast speed and heavyweight causes nearly every truck accident to be catastrophic or even fatal. In the same year, there were 3,702 fatal accidents involving trucks and buses. Those were responsible for 4,183 fatalities.

    Why Are Truck Accidents Dangerous?

    Truck accidents are different from typical car accidents. Trucks are large vehicles that have a significant impact on any crash. A truck colliding with a pedestrian or a car will leave them severely injured. Unfortunately, many people involved in truck accidents are left with catastrophic injuries—affecting the survivor’s quality of life. Although truck accidents can significantly affect those involved, there are many other factors that increase the danger of truck accidents.

    Common Types of Injuries Sustained in Truck Accidents

    Truck accidents often leave survivors with serious or catastrophic injuries. These injuries often leave truck accident survivors with extensive medical bills, lost wages, along with emotional and physical distress.

    Some of the most common injuries sustained in truck accidents include:

    • Amputation
    • Blunt Force Trauma
    • Burn Injuries
    • Neck and Back Injuries
    • Paralysis
    • Traumatic Brain Injuries

    What Is Causing These Truck Accidents?

    Over 2,834 truck accidents involve other vehicles and large 18-wheelers. Unlike motor vehicle accidents, it is more challenging to identify the cause of a truck accident. There are many different factors that can contribute to a truck accident, and in many cases, there is more than one thing that causes an accident.

    Common causes of truck accidents include the following:

    • Driver fatigue
    • Speeding
    • Drug and alcohol use
    • Defective truck equipment
    • Unsafe lane change
    • Aggressive driving
    • Distracted driving
    • Improperly loaded cargo
    • Inexperienced driver
    • Failure to maintain a proper distance

    Driver Fatigue

    Driver fatigue is one of the common causes of truck accidents. According to the FMCSA, 13 percent of truck accidents are caused at least in part, by driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is so common because trucking companies do not pay their drivers by the hour, but rather by the mile. As a result, it forces drivers to stay awake long hours to meet rigorous deadlines. However, driving fatigued is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. When truck drivers get behind the wheel drowsy, they become a serious hazard on the road.

    The FMCSA has implemented regulations to prevent truck drivers from falling asleep on the wheel. For example, the average workweek for a truck driver cannot exceed 70 hours. Once a drive has reached the limit, they cannot drive for 34 consecutive hours. They must also take 30-minute breaks within the first eight hours of a shift.

    Improper Truck Maintenance

    Another common cause of truck accidents is improper maintenance. Due to truck drivers’ tight schedules, many fail to perform routine maintenance on their vehicles. This can quickly become a hazard to the truck driver and to other vehicles on the road. In many cases, faulty breaks or engine issues can cause a truck driver to lose control and cause an accident.

    Employer Negligence

    When trucking companies disregard standard hours of service requirements and require drivers to complete more driving hours, they are putting their truck drivers and others on the road at risk. Often times, employers make drivers stay on the road for more time than what is considered safe.

    In other cases, trucking companies fail to hire drivers who are experienced, or they fail to train drivers. Inexperienced truck drivers can also become a serious hazard on the road. It is trucking companies’ responsibility to ensure that their drivers are not fatigued due to a demanding driving schedule. Truck companies must also keep their vehicles in good condition and ensure that drivers are properly trained to operate safely.

    Who Is At Fault in a Truck Accident?

    After being involved in a truck accident, it is vital to determine the fault of the accident. Negligence is partially determined through eyewitness accounts and the citations given at the scene of the accident. In most cases, the truck driver and trucking company are at fault for accidents. It is also possible for the truck manufacture to be at fault if the accident was caused due to faulty equipment. If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is best to have an experienced attorney investigate your case to determine who is at fault for your particular accident.

    Experienced Washington, DC Truck Accident Attorneys

    If you or your loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Truck accident cases are complex and require extensive investigations. You need a legal team that specializes in trucking cases and who will know exactly what evidence to gather and how to develop a strong case on your behalf. The Washington, DC truck accident attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have over 45 years of experience helping those injured in a truck accident. We have recovered over 50 million dollars on behalf of our clients, and we continue to help our clients get the best possible results for their case.

    Have you been injured in a truck accident? Call our Washington, DC truck accident attorneys today at (202) 644-8303 to schedule a free consultation!

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  • President Trump’s Statements About Brain Injuries Are Misguided

    By: Allan M. Siegel

    Brain injuries are notorious for their unpredictable and far-reaching repercussions, and they have the potential to result in physical and / or emotional effects that can be very serious, permanent, and life altering.

    While research and high-profile cases have helped the public better understand brain injuries and their potential for creating significant setbacks in the lives of victims and families, it is an unfortunate fact that many fail to grasp just how serious they can be. That’s a problem which prevents many victims from seeking the help they need – and one that’s often perpetuated by myths and misguided statements.

    Just recently, the current U.S. Administration held a conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where attendees questioned President Donald Trump on a variety of issues – including why initial claims said no Americans had been harmed in retaliatory strikes against a U.S. base in Iraq, when reports revealed a number of military personnel were diagnosed with concussions (the Department of Defense later reported 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries from the Iranian airstrikes on the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq).

    In response to those questions, President Trump was dismissive of the traumatic brain injuries; concussions suffered by the service members, he said, were not “serious” injuries.

    "I don't consider it very serious relative to other injuries that I've seen… No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries."

    According to the New York Times, 17 of the 34 service members with reported traumatic brain injuries were transported by medical evacuation aircraft to Germany. Nine remain in the hospital, while others were flown home. All, contrary to statements made, will likely face unpredictable futures filled with risks for serious symptoms, setbacks, and disabilities.

    Brain Injuries Can Have Life-Long Consequences

    Unfortunately, misinformation about brain injuries is not uncommon – particularly when it comes to the assumption that concussions and TBIs won’t have long-term consequences or create lasting issues. This misbelief is a major reason why many forego medical treatment after a head injury, and why our sports cultures have long encouraged athletes to believe they can “shake” these injuries off.

    In reality, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause serious and lasting harms. Though they cannot be “seen” in the ways visible injuries can – something which makes them arguably more dangerous – they still present very immediate concerns, long-term risks, and the very real possibility of life-altering consequences.

    Though brain injuries are shrouded by a level of mystery unpredictability, the science is all too clear when it comes to some common facts:

    1. Concussions are brain injuries, and all brain injuries have the potential for long-term, severe, or life-altering repercussions.
      • Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury resulting from sudden and forceful movement of the brain within the skull. This stretches and damages delicate brain cells and structures, and causes chemical changes which affect how it functions. This includes changes affecting thinking (reasoning and memory), sensation (balance and sight), language (communication and expression), and emotion.
    2. Even if they are not visible, brain injuries can have lasting consequences and even if brain injuries are classified as “mild,” it does not mean victims are exempt from serious physical, behavioral, and psychological effects.
      • One study from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) found even “mild” TBI can cause significant brain damage; mTBI victims scored 25% lower in thinking and memory skill tests than people without brain injury.
    3. Chronic head trauma substantially increases risks of progressive and debilitating neurological disorders, and makes a person more likely to suffer another.
      • Repetitive head injury, as illustrated most notably by the NFL concussion lawsuit, can result in life-altering physical, emotional, and neurological changes; including conditions like Parkinson’s, ALS, dementia, and CTE.
    4. Even a single brain injury can cause permanent damage and impairment.
      • Research shows even one concussion can have serious long-term effects. According to an Oxford University study, younger victims with just a single diagnosed concussion were more likely to receive disability as adults, seek mental health treatment, and drop out of high school / not attend college, and were twice as likely as their siblings to die at a younger age.
    5. In addition to debilitating headaches, thinking and memory problems, and other physical or cognitive symptoms, TBI victims face greater risks of mental health issues, including depression and PTSD.
      • Emotional and behavioral symptoms associated with brain injuries have been strongly linked to repetitive head trauma the likes of what former NFL athletes suffered. However, TBI and PTSD have also become “signature wounds” among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

    Ultimately, statements made by the President during his conference are not an anomaly; there is still much to learn about the brain and its response to trauma, and much awareness to raise among the public about treating brain injuries – including concussions – as the very serious injuries they are.

    Because even our nation’s leaders can made mistakes in proliferating misguided statements, it is important for people, parents, and families to educate themselves about brain injuries, the importance of immediate medical evaluations, and the growing body of research into both long-term effects and treatment. If anything positive is to come of the criticism the Administration has received for these statements, it will hopefully be increased visibility and understanding of traumatic brain injuries.

    Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is a nationally recognized civil trial firm that serves injured victims and families across the DMV region. As designated “Preferred Attorneys” for the DC Metro area by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), we have extensive experience with brain injury cases, and are available to speak with anyone who would like more information about personal injury claims and their legal rights. Contact us to speak with an attorney.

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