The effects of a truck accident are often long lasting. Trucks are large, heavy, and unwieldy. Understanding the implications of accidents involving large trucks and tractor-trailers can be the difference between a $5 million case and a $1 million case.
“A close look into truckers, the trucking industry, and virtually every trucking accident will often reveal rampant drug use, mechanical problems, driver fatigue, violation of federal regulations, sketchy qualifications, and dubious ethics,” Frank L. Branson writes in the “Anatomy of a Truck Catastrophe” (Oct. 24, 2009).
Mechanical problems are the second leading cause of accidents involving tractor-trailers. Although the government imposes higher standards of inspections on such vehicles because of their potential for severe accidents, many truckers fail to follow regulations. Truckers are required to inspect their vehicles daily and make repairs as needed, but many do not. As a result, there is a real possibility of major damage when an accident involves a tractor-trailer or other large truck.
When a commercial vehicle is involved in a serious accident, the Department of Transportation (DOT) conducts a post-accident inspection of the tractor-trailer. These investigations will document any mechanical problems, especially any problems with the brakes or tires. The primary purpose of these inspections is to determine if the truck should be taken out of service. These government inspections do not determine the cause of the accident, but rather whether the truck should remain on the road. Therefore, other experts are needed to carefully examine all of the vehicles involved in the crash.
After receiving the first phone call about an accident involving a truck, the plaintiff’s attorney must act quickly to protect the client’s interests. In almost all truck accident cases, a claims adjuster and a collision reconstruction expert will be at the scene within twenty-four hours, protecting the trucking company’s interests. The plaintiff’s counsel must be able to move quickly if there is to be a level playing field with the trucking company and its insurers.
Determining Mechanical Failure
To present a case before a judge and jury, a trial lawyer needs to understand the facts. The trucking company and the insurance carrier have their people out to protect their interests. As such, the plaintiff must present a case demonstrating the vehicle’s inadequacy. To accomplish this, the plaintiff may need to hire experts to inspect the truck and the scene of the accident. Once the plaintiff is armed with information, he or she can state that the truck caused the accident due to mechanical failure.
Items to Look For
The following are common mechanical failures that may cause an accident:
- Defective tires
- Brake failure
- Light outages
If you have been injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer that experienced mechanical failure, you need a lawyer who understands the impact of such an accident. Call the law office of Joel Williams, a Cobb County personal injury lawyer.