Every year in the U.S. about 5,000 people die in accidents involving tractor trailers. Accidents involving a truck and a car are not the same as car-only accidents. There are several significant differences. Whenever a truck is involved, it’s an excellent idea to review the facts of the accident with a Personal Injury Attorney.
Size and Weight Increase Injuries and Property Damage
On average, a car weighs 3-4,000 pounds. A tractor trailer fully loaded can weigh 80,000 pounds or 20 times as much as the car. Any impact between a truck and a car will be significantly more serious than if it were two cars.
For example, suppose that a car is sitting at a light and is rear-ended by another car. The driver might suffer from whiplash. Now, imagine that a semi rear-ended the car. It wouldn’t be unusual for the driver of the car to sustain broken bones, back or neck pain or other injuries.
Damage to the car is also much more extensive after a crash with a truck. Rather than a dented trunk or scratched bumper, the car could be totaled.
Trucker Logs and Files
Truck drivers must keep logs covering how long they had been driving, any stops, how long they rested and other matters. These logs cannot be changed as they are recorded by a computer within the truck. Also, truck drivers can only use a cell phone if they are using a wireless Bluetooth ear piece.
In an accident, the driver’s logs, cell phone records and all inspection records are evidence. This is different than when an accident involves two cars and it can come down to one driver’s version vs. the other driver’s version of the accident.
If the truck driver is to blame for the accident, it’s possible that the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck and others could also be held liable. The trucking company would be responsible for the hours that the driver was at the wheel, logs and files and maintenance performed on the truck. Faulty brakes could extend liability to the both the truck and brake manufacturers.
Krebs Law Firm LLC in Springfield, MO offers a free 5 Point “Accept No Limits” in-depth consultation during a face-to-face meeting. Your case will be reviewed in depth and you’ll receive an honest case evaluation as well as suggestions for your next step. Call 1800 345-0535 to reserve a time.