The handling of personal injury claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents involving semi trucks and tractor-trailers may warrant special attention for a number of reasons. At the outset, due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, accidents caused by these vehicles can result in catastrophic injuries or death. In addition, for purposes of the investigation and handling of a personal injury claim and any litigation that may ensue, it is important for somebody who has been injured in an accident caused by a semi truck, tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle to have legal representation by an attorney who is skilled and experienced in handling matters of that type.
There are numerous federal and state laws and regulations which apply to commercial vehicles. For example, the operators of such vehicles are typically required to carry a high amount of liability insurance, for the reason that such vehicles have the potential to cause huge amounts of damage and horrible injuries in an accident. As another example, commercial drivers may be subject to laws or regulations applicable to their work, like laws and regulations pertaining to the maximum number of work hours and the minimum amount of rest time, as well as laws and regulations about maintaining driver logs of hours worked, rest time, and other important information about work and job duties.
Commercial drivers are supposed to be aware that their vehicles typically require much longer distances to stop, much larger areas to make a turn, and other considerations not typically encountered in the operation of a routine automobile or pickup truck. The failure to follow basic rules of the road in the operation of a large commercial vehicle can quickly result in a major accident resulting in multiple injuries or even deaths.
Many commercial vehicles are now equipped with event data recorders, often referred to as “black boxes”, which should record important information pertaining to the operation of such a vehicle just prior to and at the time of an accident, such as the vehicle’s speed, which gear it was in, application of the accelerator, braking, and the like. Such information can very useful in determining whether there was negligence on the part of a driver of a large truck.
Having an attorney who is experienced in the handling of such matters can help make sure that appropriate investigation is performed early on following a collision, and for the preservation of important information or evidence. At Goss & Fentress, PLC we have successfully handled many claims arising out of accidents caused by tractor-trailers and other types of commercial vehicles. If you or someone you know has been injured in such an accident, please contact us. We can help.