Protecting Your Rights After a Truck Accident

Commercial truck accidents in Maine happen with surprising frequency. As the Maine DOT recently reported, 1,920 truck accidents happen in the state each year. Given the vulnerability of a passenger vehicle, the possibility of a commercial auto accident should be a concern for all Maine drivers. In the event of an accident, the potential to cause serious harm to you and your car is substantial. When determining fault, commercial auto accidents can get very complicated. As you recover, it’s in your best interests, for you and your loved ones, to enlist the services of an experienced car accident attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. 

More Trucks, More Accidents

Simply put, there are a considerable amount of commercial trucks on the nation’s roads. Commercial trucking is considered the most preferred method of transporting goods, with 70% of all products reaching their destination via commercial trucking. The truth, then, is in numbers. With so many commercial trucks on the road, it increases the probability that an accident involving one is likely to happen.  

Why are Truck Accidents in Maine So Common?

Maine, especially, is vulnerable to commercial auto accidents. The state’s unique location at the furthest northeast reaches of the country makes commercial trucking as much a necessity as essential to the state’s commerce and economy. From tractor-trailers and logging trucks to cargo vans and step vans, whether long-haul, short-haul or local, the trucking industry in Maine plays an essential role in transporting goods into/from the state, as well as throughout the state. 

With so much trucking there is an increased risk of commercial truck accidents in Maine. An impressive study published by the Maine DOT tallied 9,601 commercial truck accidents occurring in the state over a recent five-year span (2016-2020). Even more troubling, the percentage of personal injuries in those accidents was approximately 20%, including 83 fatalities statewide. 

Most strikingly, the data revealed that commercial truck crashes could happen anytime under the most ordinary conditions. In fact, the overwhelming majority of truck accidents in Maine occur during daylight hours (77%) on a weekday (90%). Nearly 3 out of 4 accidents happen in clear or cloudy weather conditions, and 2 out of 3 on dry road surfaces, with the physical condition of the truck driver average (98%). Contrary to popular belief, fatigue and drug or alcohol abuse are not among the top causes of truck crashes. Only 1% or less of truck drivers involved in crashes in Maine were under the influence, tired, or emotionally disturbed somehow. Instead, the study found that failing to yield the right-of-way, an improper lane change, driving too fast for conditions, a tire malfunction, or following too closely were far more likely to cause a truck accident in the state. 

Given the ordinary circumstances in which commercial truck accidents happen in Maine, as a preventive measure, drivers should always be aware and alert when approaching or in the presence of a commercial truck. If, however, you are the victim of a commercial auto accident, it’s essential to know your rights. 

Knowing Your Rights If You’re Involved in a Truck Accident

Determining liability in commercial auto accidents can be a highly complex affair. In truth, there may be more parties at fault than the driver. Liability may be shared with the driver’s company or employer, the company that leases or owns the truck, the truck manufacturer, a part manufacturer for the truck, or even the service garage responsible for the truck’s maintenance. An experienced car accident attorney can help sort through the layers of liability.

As a victim, you and your family need to receive financial compensation—not just compensation owed to you but the compensation you deserve. If you are considering legal representation, then consider the law offices of Hardy Wolf and Downing to advocate on your behalf. 

As Maine’s preeminent car accident attorneys, we offer our clients over 40 years of experience representing Mainers in their times of crisis and need. After an accident, financial recovery can be difficult on many levels. We ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable for the damages inflicted upon you and that you’re compensated for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and payment for other losses you have incurred. If you are a victim of a commercial auto accident, contact Hardy Wolf and Downing for a free consultation.