Tractor-trailer accidents (18-wheeler accidents) are among the most devastating and catastrophic collisions that occur on the highway. Due to the substantial size of these vehicles, and due to the difference in weight between an 18-wheeler and a car, it is usually not a fair fight - the car loses. The primary causes of truck accidents are speed and fatigue, however, several other factors may play a role in causing trucking accidents including driver error, faulty equipment, and trucking companies violating federal safety regulations.
It is extremely important to investigate these collisions carefully, in great detail and as early as possible. Federal regulations require certain records to be kept, both regarding equipment safety as well as hours of operation. A thorough background check needs to be conducted of the driver causing the collision. Experts must be consulted as to equipment safety, accident reconstruction and driver and trucking company records. Many commercial trucks are equipped with electronic data recorders (EDR) or "black boxes" that record accident data - including braking and speed prior to collision. This information must be downloaded immediately or it may be lost forever.
In addition to requiring a quick and in-depth investigation, representing those injured in trucking accidents requires a thorough knowledge of applicable federal regulations, state laws and engineering principles applicable to analyzing and reconstructing collisions. State and federal regulations may vary based on the size and type of truck and the product it is hauling. Familiarity with and knowledge of insurance coverage for trucks operating in interstate commerce is important as well. Often trucking companies carry multiple layers of insurance.
The attorneys at Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens have nearly 40 years of experience successfully representing victims of trucking accidents.
For more information, please see our FAQs regarding Trucking Negligence or contact Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens to speak to one of our Trucking Negligence attorneys.Trucking Accident ResourcesFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Insurance Information Institute
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
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