10 Reasons an Accident Involving a Semi is Different
Often times, people assume if they are in a car accident involving a semi-truck, the case is treated the same as though both vehicles were cars. This is far from the truth. Below are the top reasons explaining the differences between a “typical” car crash and one that involves a semi. The main takeaway is that if you are the victim of a car accident, you should not seek out just any lawyer. Choose a car crash lawyer that has experience with cases involving semi-trucks.
- Truck drivers hold more licenses. A CDL license, (Commercial Driver’s License) is required for all truck drivers. This is in addition to the standard test and license that most other drivers hold, which holds them to higher standards.
- There are different regulations for truck drivers and trucking companies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations division has different criteria that truck drivers and their companies must obey for the safety of other drivers on the road. The government views large vehicles as posing different safety hazards than traditional vehicles.
- Consider the size of a trailer. The trailer of a semi can be as long as 53 feet, and as wide as 8.5 feet. Not only does this affect smaller vehicles around the semi-truck, but it also hinders the truck driver’s ability to see other vehicles, etc. In order for a crash case to be strong, your lawyer needs to consult an expert in reconstructing semi-truck cases.
- Consider the weight of the trailer. The most a semi-trailer can legally haul on most of the roads in the United States is 80,000 pounds. This weight differs greatly from the majority of vehicles on the roadways. This difference in weight not only changes the time in which a semi can stop, it can cause greater damage.
- More information is available from semi-trucks. The electronic systems found inside most standard semi-trucks quite sophisticated in comparison to other vehicles on the road. It typically has a backup system that records the air pressure in the tires, how the engine is operating, speeds, etc. Any and/or all of the information can be a significant help to your lawyer in your case.
- Fatigue in truck drivers is common. Drivers earn a living by transporting freight from one location to another within a certain timeframe. This mentality can lead to long hours, not enough breaks and exhaustion, a combination that has the potential to cause serious harm.
- Truck Drivers are required to keep logbooks. Drivers keep logbooks (record of duty status) to show how long they have been on the road, when they took their breaks and how many miles they have driven. This is all information that could be very valuable in court.
- More experts are involved. Recreating a scene involving a big truck is different than recreating a scene that only involves smaller cars and requires different experts. You will also want an expert that has experience with the electronic systems that are in the involved truck’s cab, as well as any other experts that may be pertinent to your case.
- More documentation is available. Trucking companies keep a lot of information about their drivers. Driving history, disciplinary actions, training, etc. are all examples of documentation that would be included in a personnel file. In addition, policies from the company itself could prove huge when presenting a case to a jury.
- Information is more time-sensitive in cases that include a semi. For example, the information collected from an electronic system may only be stored for a period of 90 days. Consult with an attorney that understands the timeframes that are required of these cases.
At Studinski Law, not only do we have the expertise, we also have the connections to have your case investigated to the highest degree. Call us today at 1-822-343-2850 to discuss your case.
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