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 at 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.
There are also unique federal and state regulations that apply only to big rigs and 18-wheelers and such. And so you want to check to make sure that the driver and the trucking company complied with the applicable federal regulations. Was the person really qualified to be driving, was the person sleepy, did the trucking company put them on a schedule that was unrealistic so that they had to drive sleepy.
You also want to check to see if the trucker was distracted. Because now a days, in many of these trucks, they have actual computers right there by the steering wheel. They have a keyboard and a computer screen. They are supposed to pull over when they want to talk to dispatch or their family, but lots of times they do that while they are driving. And there is a study out there that says that these truckers are 10 times more likely to cause an accident when they are distracted. You want to evaluate whether they are intoxicated or drunk or on drugs and of course you want to evaluate whether they are speeding. Many of these trucks have black boxes, kind of like an airplane, that records speed and other critical data. But even when they don't have that, there are very sophisticated ways to calculate the speed of a vehicle and to reconstruct the accident. And the formulas and the science behind how you calculate the speed of an 18-wheeler are very different than what happens when you are dealing with a regular passenger car.
Bottom line is this, if you have been hurt by an 18-wheeler, you want a lawyer who has done this enough times to know what the issues are, who the real experts are, what the regulations say and what to do so that you can be protected and your family can be taken care of.
So give us a call if you have one of these cases, we know what to do.