A big rig is an incredibly large commercial vehicle that takes up a lot of space on the road. These vehicles are commonly used for the transportation of different products that are shipped from one state to the next. The drivers of these vehicles have a major responsibility that involves driving safely and efficiently to get to their destination without getting into an accident.
Unfortunately, there are times when big rigs are involved in accidents, and some of these accidents are hit and runs. They’re not always intentional, but that doesn’t mean the drivers and/or their companies aren’t liable for your injuries. The Chattanooga truck accident attorneys from Wagner & Wagner explains how and why these incidents can happen.
The big rig driver does not see the other driver
Not all hit and run accidents involving big rigs are done on purpose. The driver is in a large vehicle that is much higher than the standard vehicle on the road. If there is a small vehicle driving in a blind spot, for example, the big rig driver could hit that vehicle, sending it veering off the road or even in the way of oncoming traffic.
However, if it is late at night and the big rig driver does not see or hear much of anything because the truck itself is noisy enough, the driver could continue to proceed down the road without coming to a stop to see what happened or if anyone was injured from the impact.
A lack of visibility is definitely a big problem for semi drivers, and those sharing the road with these vehicles. It is for that reason that truck drivers should make sure they are aware of their surroundings the whole time while driving.
Other drivers also need to be mindful of these large vehicles while making sure to avoid driving in areas that would be considered blind spots. Don’t attempt to pass them on the right-hand side, and make sure to use your signals when you’re in front of them. The flash of light might be enough to alert a trucker that you’re nearby.
The big rig driver is distracted
While there are times when the hit and runs are accidental, sometimes big rig drivers are doing something they should not be doing, like texting behind the wheel, or using a cell phone in any way. In an age where many people are using FaceTime and different social media apps to stay connected, the chances of being distracted while driving are much greater. If the big rig driver knows that they are in the wrong when they hit another vehicle, they may attempt to evade the situation by continuing to drive off, leaving the other driver stuck and in pain with injuries from the impact of such a large vehicle.
I was clipped by a tractor-trailer, and the trucker drove off. Now what?
When big rigs are involved in accidents, there are often quite a few witnesses on the road. Even if the vehicle does not stop, a witness may have managed to get a license plate number or the name of the company from the side of the vehicle. There may also be surveillance footage of the accident involving the big rig. If you have a back-up camera, you may be able to grab the license plate yourself.
The first thing you should do is pull over (if you can) and make sure you and your passengers are okay. If anyone is injured, call for medical help, and then alert the police. Once you know you’re safe, call your insurance company and alert them to the hit. Your UM/UIM insurance can help you cover the initial costs for damage to the car and your medical bills, if you can’t find the driver right away, but the chances are good that it won’t be enough. Give our truck accident lawyer in Chattanooga a call to see what other options you may have.
There is nothing quite as serious as getting into an accident with a big rig. It is even worse when that accident is a hit and run. You might think that there is no way to pursue compensation for any of your injuries because the driver of the vehicle never stopped or exchanged information with you, but that is not true. You may still be able to recover compensation for damages. At Wagner & Wagner, we want to help you. Reach out to us at 423-756-7923 or send us your information via our contact form. We serve clients throughout North Georgia, Cleveland, TN, Chattanooga, and the surrounding areas.