ACCIDENTS INVOLVING 18-WHEELERS AND OTHER LARGER TRUCKS
Despite these startling statistics, some trucking companies do very little to train or monitor their drivers. Because many trucking companies choose to pay their drivers by the mile or by the load, drivers have a financial incentive to exceed the speed limit, drive when they are tired and cut corners on safety.
Every 16 minutes a person is injured or killed in an accident involving an 18-wheeler or other larger truck such as a dump truck, moving van, or commercial grade truck. More people die in collisions with trucks than in crashes involving planes, trains, ships and buses combined. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 98% of the individuals killed in collisions involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle are the occupants of the passenger vehicle.
Because of the large size of trucks, when a smaller vehicle is involved in an accident with a commercial grade truck, the lives of the smaller vehicle’s occupants are unnecessarily endangered when tractor-trailer operators fail to follow proper accident prevention measures.
The most common issues faced in commercial vehicle litigation include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Truck driver distraction due to electronic devices
- Inability of the truck driver to see what’s behind him
Accidents involving an 18-wheeler, log truck or other commercial vehicle may also be related to a defective product. It is important for attorneys to assess the possibility of a third-party liability claim when handling commercial vehicle cases.
There are several parties who could be liable for injuries sustained in a truck accident, including:
- Truck company
- Truck driver
- Owner of the truck
- Company leasing the truck
- Manufacturer of the truck, trailer, or components
- Shipper who wanted the load transported
The lawyer handling a case involving an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle must be familiar with those rules and regulations in order to recognize a claim and effectively handle the case. Additionally, it is essential that lawyers handling these types of cases be prepared with a broad base of knowledge about the specific technology, insurance issues, multistate discovery practices and other aspects of litigation that are unique to the commercial vehicle industry and this type of litigation.
Handling a case involving an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle requires a special investment of time and resources, and a detailed knowledge of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. All aspects of handling a case involving a big truck – including investigation, discovery, technology and the laws involved – are significantly different than a standard automobile case.
The attorneys of Wolff Ardis, P.C. know how to properly prepare your case. We have handled cases for those who were injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler – whether the victim was driving the truck or was in the other vehicle which was struck by or which struck the truck. We can also determine if a defective product was involved and help you recover from the manufacturer if that is the case. If you have lost a loved one or sustained serious injury in an accident with an 18-wheeler, contact Wolff Ardis, P.C.