How Is A Big Rig Crash Different From A Car Crash
Two main things will stick out when you are talking about a car crash case versus a tractor-trailer or big rig crash.
Number one is the is very simple as the physics. A tractor-trailer is typically an 80,000 pound machine traveling at somewhere between 60 and 70 miles an hour When these collisions occur. A vehicle is somewhere between a 2 and 4,000 pound, maybe even a little heavier machine. So you’re talking about a tractor-trailer can be anywhere from 20 to 40 times heavier, which is more mass, more force that comes into collision with the individual than a regular car or truck.
That in and of itself is a game-changer because the amount of force going through from the big rig to the car or the truck is increased exponentially, which can affect the injuries, the biomechanics, the physics, all types of things that can run all the way from your ankles, all the way up to your brain. And, we see it most in the brain and that’s where it’s mostly missed.
So, the number one thing is just simple, simple physics. The size of these vehicles creates different forces, biomechanics, and injuries than you would expect from a regular car crash.
The second thing is when you have a big rig crash, almost always, there’s going to be more than one party involved on behalf of the big rig. You have the trucker who is either driving for the company or an employer, or he is carrying a load for another company.
So you are going to have not only the trucker, but you’re also going to have at least one other entity, the company. And there creates a whole different relationship here of what’s called employer and employee relationships or respondent superior.
You do not have to look it up. It is a legal term. Do not worry about it. It just means in trucking cases, most of these cases are going to be where the trucker is working within the course and scope of his employment for whatever company he is hired for to transport the goods.
Then you can get into a whole other layer of, well, who’s he carrying the goods for? You could take an example of a, of a grocery store chain. Are they working for that grocery store chain as an employer, or are they, has that been, re-brokered into a different company.
The layers of liability and insurance and employees and employers get very complicated, very fast when it comes to trucking cases.
Additionally, there is a whole thing called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These are regulations by the federal government that are adopted by every state that are in place that require truck drivers and trucking companies to follow regulations that regular drivers don’t have to follow.
There is a ton of complicated nuance that goes throughout these, including pre-trip inspections, over or hours of service violations, all types of things, electronic log recording, a lot of things have dashcam.
So much information that goes into a trucking case that is different from a regular car crash case, that it really does come down to how often you’re handling these cases.
- Do you know what to look for?
- Do you know how to handle on what the regulations are?
- Do you know what evidence to seek and preserve?
The federal regulations only require trucking companies to hold most of their information for 180 days. If you do not get out ahead of it and preserve it, it’s gone. It disappears. They do not have it. They do not keep it.
It is important to get a lawyer involved in this right away to preserve that information. We have had plenty of cases where people were trying to handle it on their own and all that info disappeared then they get a low-ball offer from the trucking insurance company. They’re not on your side to help you they’re on their side to save themselves money.