There is no doubt that 18 wheeler accidents are costly in many ways.
The attorneys who handle 18 wheeler accidents see firsthand the ways these crashes can affect those involved.
Beyond the more personal costs, getting hit by an 18 wheeler can have a trickle-down effect that produces hidden costs many may not know about.
Whether you are the person who was hit, the owner of a trucking company, or even just the resident of a busy city where accidents happen, 18 wheeler lawyers know that many people are affected by unsafe trucks on the roads.
Visible Costs of 18-Wheeler Accidents
According to data collected by the FMCSA, commercial vehicle accident costs enter the billions of dollars each year.1
The cost of injury crashes alone is upwards of $32 billion and rising since 2011. Fatal crashes cost over $39 billion.1
As 18 wheeler attorneys are well aware, these amounts rise every year due to increases in medical, property repair, insurance, and settlement costs.
Yet there is more to the story. Rolled into those billions of dollars are many hidden costs that touch many people whether involved in these accidents or not.
Hidden Personal Costs to Victims
The most obvious cost to those involved in 18 wheeler accidents is the cost of injuries.
The need for medical care at the time of a crash is apparent; however, those costs can continue indefinitely depending on the severity and type of injuries sustained by a victim.
18 wheeler lawyers find that many victims require lifelong medical and psychiatric care as well as the need for personal aids.
Some victims suffer financially from the loss of jobs, relationships, and enjoyment of life. When a life is lost, the cost continues on to the family of the deceased in many ways as well. It is impossible to put a true dollar amount on some of these losses.
Hidden Costs to the Trucking Industry
From drivers to trucking companies and the entire commercial carrier industry, 18 wheeler attorneys have learned that there are even more hidden costs that are not initially evident.
Settlements and property damage costs are the most obvious liabilities that those in the industry experience.
Beyond those, there are many additional hidden costs such as increased insurance premiums, the cost of additional training to help a company prevent more accidents, the cost of hiring new, more qualified drivers, business interruptions, and more.
Hidden Costs to the Public
One other sector that shares the brunt of the costs associated with 18 wheeler accidents is the public.
While local residents are largely uninvolved in these events, 18 wheeler lawyers stress that expenses arising from serious trucking accidents are partially paid by local tax paying citizens.
Accidents cost cities money to repair roadways, infrastructures, and other damaged property; clean up and dispose of hazardous waste; and provide other services in the aftermath of these events.
On a more personal level, local citizens deal with increased traffic and congestion on roads being repaired, higher healthcare costs, higher costs for goods shipped by companies trying to cover losses due to such accidents, and other cost increases as cities attempt to cover losses and maintain conditions.
18 wheeler attorneys find that there is more at stake than what meets the eye when it comes to the actual cost of 18 wheeler accidents.
Beyond the obvious costs of property damage, injuries, and the loss of a life, there are many hidden costs that touch even those not directly involved.
The best solution that 18 wheeler lawyers agree as a way to reduce all of these costs is supporting new ways to reduce costly commercial truck accidents!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1U.S. Department Of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Commercial Motor Vehicle Facts, March 2013