Commercial Vehicle/Truck Collisions Attorney in Anchorage, Alaska
If you’ve sustained injuries in an Alaska truck accident, contact the The Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC for reliable legal representation.
Being injured in any type of traffic accident is always a nerve-wracking and painful experience. However, being involved and injured in an accident with a commercial truck can be even worse than being involved in an accident with another passenger vehicle. Over 4,900 people lost their lives in commercial truck accidents in the United States in 2018. Accidents involving large commercial trucks in Alaska such as 18-wheelers almost always result in severe, life-threatening injuries or in worst-case scenarios, fatal injuries for the occupants of the lighter, smaller vehicle. Severe injuries oftentimes occur due to the vulnerability of a smaller vehicle when faced against a much larger, much heavier commercial truck. Most of the deaths that occur in these types of accidents in Alaska are those who were in the smaller passenger vehicle. Truck breaking capabilities can also be a factor in commercial truck accidents, as large and loaded tractor-trailers can take 20-40% longer than average passenger vehicles to come to a complete stop.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a commercial truck accident in Anchorage or throughout Alaska that resulted in serious injury or wrongful death, Attorney Jason Skala can help.
Jason Skala is a highly skilled commercial truck accident attorney in Anchorage with over a decade of experience in successfully litigating truck accident claims and awarding claimants the maximum compensation amount available for their particular case. Contact The Law Office of Jason Skala today if you wish to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim due to your involvement in a commercial truck accident, or another type of accident.
There are more than eleven million commercial trucks operating in the United States at any given time. Many of these trucks are being operated under hazardous circumstances, as their drivers are often overworked and overtired, not to mention a percentage of them are usually carrying hazardous materials. In the year 2016, there were a total of 475,000 large truck crashes reported in the United States–with driver error accounting for nearly 90% of them. About one fourth of commercial truck drivers have fallen asleep while driving according to a recent study.
With a large number of drivers utilizing crowded highways to get from point A to point B in Alaska, all it takes is one overtired truck driver to alter your life in an instant. Commercial trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than an average passenger car, which will undoubtedly magnify the consequences and impact of an accident.
In the event that you or someone you love has been involved and injured in a traffic accident in Anchorage that involved a commercial truck, retaining the assistance of an experienced Anchorage truck accident lawyer becomes imperative. Due to the fact that truck drivers are usually insured, having an attorney in your corner as soon as possible after your crash will help you feel more confident that your claim is handled in a professional manner. Dealing with all the different types of insurance in a trucking accident in Anchorage can be very complicated as the truck and trailer are usually insured by different companies. An attorney will know how to go about negotiations with these insurance companies and take this burden off of your hands.
The Legal Process for Commercial Truck
Accidents in Anchorage
Documentation: First and foremost, your legal team will want to gather official records related to your claim such as any medical bills, pharmacy receipts, and insurance policy information, as well as any police reports and documents related to the crash itself. These documents will assist your lawyer in understanding and proving the extent of your injuries and be able to better build your compensation case.
Investigation: Your lawyer will then investigate your crash in detail in order to gather helpful and necessary evidence. They may seek out any security or dashcam footage available as well as police reports.
Negotiation: Your attorney will then engage in negotiations with the defense in order to get you the maximum compensation amount available for your particular case. If for some reason, settlement negotiations fail, your attorney will be prepared to take your case to trial in order to present it in the strongest possible form.
What Should You Do Following a Truck Accident?
There can be a lot of confusion that arises immediately following a commercial truck crash in Anchorage or throughout Alaska. It is important to ensure that the authorities as well as any emergency crews that may be needed are called right away in order to assist with any resulting injuries.
Extensive notes and statements from all parties involved will be taken down by the police upon their arrival at the crash scene. These will be very helpful in providing the proper evidence necessary in order to prove your injuries in court if need be. If you are able, you may also want to document as much as you can from the crash scene, including witness statements and photos of the damage to your vehicle and your injuries as well as any injuries any of your passengers may have sustained. This can help that anything the police may have missed will still be documented.
As soon as possible after your truck collision in Anchorage or a surrounding city, you should contact an attorney to get started on your claim. Jason Skala at the Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC is a personal injury lawyer in Anchorage who specializes in personal injury, commercial truck litigation, and wrongful death claims. Whatever type of counsel you are seeking after your truck accident, Jason Skala is the lawyer for you.
Leading Truck Accident Causes in Anchorage
Truck accidents can take place for a multitude of different reasons, most of them involving driver negligence. The top four causes of commercial truck accidents in Alaska include:
Driver error: Despite trucks being the largest and heaviest vehicles on the highway at any given time, truck drivers often drive carelessly. In order to reach mileage goals set by their employers, truck drivers will drive fatigued which is extremely dangerous. They also may be using drugs in order to stay awake which can impair their judgment, their ability to drive correctly, and slow their reaction times or cause them to be jumpy and react too quickly.
Poor Truck Maintenance: Large commercial trucks are usually driven thousands of miles per week. If they are not properly maintained, they can become dangerous to the truck driver and other drivers around the truck at any given time. A cracked windshield or worn brake pads can become the cause of a major truck accident if not attended to on a large commercial truck.
Failure of Equipment: Although they may not be the fault of the driver, faulty parts on a truck can easily cause a deadly accident to occur. Your lawyer will be able to decipher whether a trucking company or parts manufacturer is at fault for your crash. Without an attorney, utilizing this angle may not be an option.
Cargo Improperly Loaded: The loading of commercial truck beds must be done carefully and lawfully. Improper loading of commercial truck cargo can cause items to spill out onto the roadway, causing severe accidents and potentially fatal injuries.
How Commercial Truck Crashes Differ
from Car Crashes
Commercial trucks, which are sometimes referred to as 18 wheelers or big rigs, can weigh around 80,000 pounds or more. This is approximately 20 times the weight of an average passenger car. Regardless of safety regulations that state that commercial truck drivers should not drive over 10 hours per day, they are often faced with monetary incentives that encourage them to drive farther which can directly threaten the safety of other drivers on the road.
Accidents between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks are extremely different. Some of the most common differences between commercial truck crashes and passenger vehicle crashes include:
Insurance Policy Differences: The insurance policies of truck drivers can be up to fifty times larger than the policies for car accidents. This usually puts the overall value of their insurance into the millions, so it is common for the different insurance companies named in the lawsuit to pull out all the stops in order to prove that they were not responsible for the crash. Highly experienced insurance adjusters will be utilized and they will employ specific tactics, such as offering a payout that seems large to you, when your case is actually worth far more than what they are offering. Employing a trusted and reputable Anchorage truck accident attorney can lessen the stress and complexity of your situation and help you get the money you may be entitled to without first being manipulated by insurance adjusters.
Property Damage Increase: The weight of an 18-wheeler commercial freight truck is much more than that of your average passenger vehicle. This ultimately results in much more damage taking place to the smaller vehicle involved in a commercial truck crash.
More Severe Injuries: Most of the time, the injuries that are suffered in commercial truck accidents are much more severe than those that are suffered in an accident between two passenger vehicles. These injuries often include more expensive medical bills and more intensive care. The injuries that may result from a serious truck accident in Anchorage are often life-changing in nature, from serious whiplash to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and even paraplegia.
Higher Medical Costs: If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident in Anchorage, you may be forced to spend a lot more time recovering in the hospital than you would if you were involved in a regular car accident. Oftentimes, the victims of truck accidents are unable to go back to work for a prolonged period of time. Working with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Anchorage will allow you to accurately calculate your current as well as your future pain and suffering in order to obtain the necessary financial compensation you may be entitled to.
Greater Chance of Fatality: A traffic accident involving a large 18 wheeler is much more likely to result in fatalities than an accident involving smaller passenger vehicles. According to information provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 people lose their lives in commercial truck accidents each year in the United States, a percentage of these deaths taking place in Alaska.
There are a large number of variables that come into play when you or a loved one of yours is injured in a commercial truck accident. There are also a considerable amount of resources utilized by trucking companies as well as their insurers, which means that hiring a lawyer may be your only way to collect full and fair financial compensation. Getting a consultation and case evaluation is always a smart first step to take when deciding whether you should hire a lawyer. We offer free case evaluations as well as consultations and works on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no upfront costs or fees associated with our services. We only get paid if you do.
We Are Here for You
At our firm, not only is Jason Skala highly familiar with the many tactics often utilized by insurance adjusters and companies in order to reduce the amount of financial compensation you receive, but he also boasts a far-reaching network of expert witnesses as well as investigators who will thoroughly investigate each and every aspect of your case. Following your accident, the trucking company involved will immediately begin investigations of the crash to see how they can shift liability. State authorities can also conduct their own investigation of your crash, which may serve to be helpful to your claim depending on the circumstances of your accident. As soon as you decide to work with us, the personal injury team will go to work examining each and every aspect of your claim.
Contact The Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC in Anchorage today if you or a loved one have been involved and injured in a serious truck accident in Anchorage or throughout Alaska. Jason Skala serves the cities of Barrow, Pt. Hope, Pt. Lay, and Anuktuvak Pass, among others. Call our law firm at (907) 569-6633 for a free consultation and case evaluation to see if you qualify for financial compensation for your injuries and losses. We hold a firm belief that no one should ever have to pay for being injured or losing a loved one to a negligent driver on the road. Contact our law firm for help with your Alaska truck accident claim today.