A collision with a tractor-trailer rig is unlike a wreck involving two cars. Due to the significant differences in size and weight, the force of impact from a wreck between a large commercial truck/tractor-trailer rig and a car often results in the driver and passengers in the automobile being seriously injured or even killed.
The physical and financial consequences of such a wreck can be life-altering. Only with theassistance of an attorney who has substantial experience handling these cases and the resources to hold tucking companies accountable, do you and your loved ones stand a chance of getting your lives back on track, to include being fully compensated for your losses. This must be coupled with the input of experts, who are familiar with the various aspects of commercial trucking and have the ability to interpret key data.
Most trucking companies utilize on-board computers that store critical information, to include the exact location of a tractor-trailer rig at a particular point in time and the speed at which it was traveling. This data, along with the driver’s log books, the vehicle’s maintenance records, and the driver’s personnel file, must be preserved, retrieved, and analyzed in a timely manner. The failure to secure this evidence can adversely affect any potential claim that you might maintain against the trucking company and the driver.
The operation of tractor-trailer rigs, along with most commercial vehicles, is heavily regulated under federal and state law. Drivers are required to receive training and pass a test in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The vehicles that they drive must be inspected on a daily basis and properly maintained to ensure that they are safe for use on public roads. Drivers are limited by the number of hours that they can drive a tractor-trailer rig during any 24-hour period.
Some of the more common reasons for wrecks involving tractor-trailer rigs are:
• Inexperienced or improperly trained drivers
• Driver fatigue or driving for too long without sufficient rest
• Drivers operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Distracted driving
• Driving at an excessive rate of speed
• Failing to stop or downshift at an intersection
• Improperly maintained brakes, tires, lights, or other safety equipment
• Incorrectly loaded (top heavy or shifting cargo) or overloaded trailers
Had proper precautions been taken and rules of the road followed, most, if not all, such wrecks (and resulting injuries and deaths) could have been avoided.