Just before the New Year began, a head-on collision involving two big-rig trucks left one dead and one critically injured in Bernalillo County. This incident figures as the last recorded trucking accident fatality of 2017 (as of this writing). However, it is likely portentous of more calamities to come.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly 4,000 deaths each yeararise from accidents involving large trucks. The toll has increased every year (except one) since 2009. New Mexico, serving as a hub for a great deal of cross-country traffic, sees its fair share of such crashes. And there are reasons that drivers of passenger vehicles ought to be particularly cautious.
Why this crash was different
The specific cause of the crash in Bernalillo County – whether it stemmed from driver fatigue, mechanical failure, poor road conditions, or some other factor – has yet to be revealed. What is known, however, is that the crash was, in its way, unique.
Namely, while trucking wrecks are fairly common, they usually involve passenger vehicles – not other trucks. Indeed, two-thirds of fatality victims are ordinary drivers, while truckers and their passengers often emerge unscathed from collisions. They are, after all, in much larger, safer vehicles.
What to do after a crash
In the event of a trucking accident, it is crucial for victims or their surviving family members to seek help. Injured individuals ought to obtain medical attention immediately – even if they don’t believe themselves to be injured. Some injuries – such as trauma to the brain and spine – may not be felt instantly, but can become severe without treatment.
Likewise, it is important for victims and their families to work with a qualified attorney after a crash. There will be medical bills to pay, as well as costs associated with ongoing care, lost wages, and damage to one’s vehicle. Yet trucking companies and their insurers are quick to challenge victims’ claims. They will offer paltry settlements, and in many cases attempt to deny victims any compensation at all. A lawyer will know how to fight back, and obtain a fair settlement for one’s trauma.
But it is best, of course, to avoid any involvement in such crashes. As statistics, truck accidents are inevitable. But individuals can exercise caution and lower their own risk of incident.