Visit The Links Below For Answers To Texas Truck Accident Injury Questions
What if I didn’t know that I was injured until later?
The Discovery Rule
What is the lawsuit deadline for injuries to minors and children?
Why are 18-Wheelers so dangerous?
18-wheelers are monstrous vehicles. A loaded 18-wheeler will weigh between 60 and 80,000 pounds. That is 20 times the weight of an average passenger vehicle. And when you are talking about damage to a car or to the people inside, it is not just the speed of the vehicle, it is the momentum. And when you are talking about 60 to 80,000 pounds, it will just crush a passenger car.
These 18-wheelers kill and maim people every day. Government studies show that 18-wheelers account for only 4% of the vehicles on the road, but they are involved in one in eight of the traffic fatalities. When you are on the road, be mindful of the 18-wheelers because they can be really dangerous.
How is a big truck case different than a regular car wreck case?
Well, they are usually a lot more complex, and they have a lot more issues. For example, you are going to need an expert witness almost all the time, usually more than one. You are going to want to evaluate the rig itself. It is very important to examine the vehicle, the 18-wheeler.
You want to check the tires to make sure they are not overly worn, you want to make sure the brakes are in the right settings. Essentially you want to make sure that the vehicle should have been in service, so you look at the maintenance records, for example. And you also want to make sure that the load was secured so that it wasn’t sliding around, as that could be the cause of the accident. None of that is relevant in a typical car wreck case, most of the time.
As a lawyer, do you need to be involved in the scientific and technical details of an 18-wheeler case?
In an 18-wheeler case, a truck accident lawyer really needs to be involved in enough of the details to know when an expert is trying to deceive them. They don’t have to know all the science, but they have to be willing to learn it so that they can be conversant with the experts. They have to know the rig, they have to know the regulations, and they have to know the science.
I had a case one time where an 18-wheeler killed four people. The expert that the other side had hired calculated the speed of the 18-wheeler at something that was very disadvantageous to our case. And we knew that he was wrong, but my expert couldn’t figure out what he had done wrong. So, I went out and bought the textbook that the expert had used when he was in college. I read the whole thing, some of it multiple times, until we found it. The expert from the other side had used the wrong formula, wherein the right formula would have had a very different speed for an 18-wheeler. I confronted that expert in open court in front of the judge, and the judge threw out the expert and all of his testimony as nonscientific, which turned the whole case. So, you have to have a truck accident lawyer that is willing to get into the details, get into the science, and if he doesn’t know, he is willing to learn it. Because in these kinds of cases, where the stakes are high, there is no telling what the other side will do.
Is it really important to act quickly in an 18-wheeler case?
Am I at a higher risk for a truck accident if I’m in an intersection? Do turning trucks pose a threat?
What should I do if the truck in front of me loses control?
Every year, thousands of truckers lose control of their rigs and cause irreparable damage. In 2012 alone, over 100,000 people were severely injured due to truck accidents – 70% of whom were car passengers and pedestrians. (The remaining 30% were drivers or passengers of the trucks which caused the collisions.) So what’s the deal? Why are trucks so dangerous? Although poor maintenance and environmental factors are sometimes to blame, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that truck drivers are 10 times more likely to cause truck accidents than any other determining factor. Anything from fatigue-induced distractions to simple miscalculations is enough to cause a driver to lose control of his truck. Unfortunately, due to the size and weight of most semis, once control is lost, it’s extremely difficult to get it back. This unfortunate span of events can consequently lead to a collision, a rollover, or a multi-car accident.
Although it’s easy to see how a truck can cause an accident, it’s not so easy to stomach the thought of you and your family being caught up in one. Thankfully, despite the risk factors, you can protect yourself and your family from a tragedy by simply knowing how to handle yourself when forced to drive near a truck, whether it shows signs of distress or not.