How Do Tractor Trailer Accidents Differ?
The main factor that makes tractor trailer accidents different than other accidents is that the level of severity almost always more serious. Tractor trailers, “big rigs” or “18 wheelers” virtually almost always cause serious injury at minimum. Therefore, when you contact an attorney following a tractor trailer accident, they will most likely suggest that you file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit allows for the court to fully develop the evidence, find all possible causes, and reach a reasonable verdict.
When it comes to compensation in tractor trailer accidents and the resulting injuries or damages, every aspect of the complex injury case must be considered. To more fully illustrate the complexity of this type of case, we have listed below some of the differences between litigating tractor trailer accidents and automobile cases…
The difference between automobile cases and tractor trailer cases:
First, interstate trucking companies are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which publishes mandatory, strict regulations. If a tractor trailer driver violates these safety regulations, an experienced tractor trailer accident lawyer will request a jury charge on “negligence per se.” This means that if a rule is broken, the judge will instruct the jury that the trucking company can be held responsible for the harm caused.
Then you have to consider that all new, and many older, tractor trailers have advanced computer systems onboard similar to an aircraft “black box.” Others have on-board radar and satellite tracking data that can reveal a great deal of information. Just as in plane crashes, a review of this data can show a truck’s speed, direction, whether brakes were applied, as well as other critical information. The best part is that this data is completely objective. There are instances when the truck driver might be killed in the crash, or merely not cooperative in giving information. These records eliminate all doubt and must be preserved quickly to protect this vital evidence for trial.
In cases where deaths occur…
The state agencies for highway safety will often conduct an in-depth investigation into an accident. However, even these studies may not answer all questions. It may be necessary to retain a collision reconstruction expert with specialized skills to review or even reinvestigate the accident in full. At a minimum, the driver and risk manager of the trucking company should be deposed and an exhaustive review of all operational documents should be performed. The average car accident lawyer is simply not trained to handle these more serious cases.
A team approach
Our trucking accident attorneys employ a team approach to serious injury and death cases. All of the lawyers in our firm are seasoned trial lawyers and include former insurance defense attorneys and a former Registered Nurse (RN). Together, they can consider all aspects of a serious highway crash involving large commercial trucks and the mayhem they can cause. Call us today for a private consultation about your particular case. You need answers. We can help.