Some people call them 18-wheeler trucks. However, a big rig truck is usually any truck above 33,000 pounds in gross vehicle weight. These trucks are also known as "class 8" trucks, which are significantly different from there smaller pick-up truck cousins. The big rig truck can cause more severe injuries and damages due to their sheer size and weight. Big rig trucks are more complicated and difficult to operate due to their size, heavy vehicle weight, and maneuvering limitations. Big commercial trucks can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, and measure 102" (8'6") inches wide, 65' long and 14' high, and even bigger with special permits. Semi truck accidents happen because of the truck’s limitations in braking, cornering, and accelerating, which is lower performance capabilities than light vehicles. 18-Wheel rigs require special education and training for an operator's license, referred to as a "CDL" or commercial driver's license for drivers.
U.S. DOT and the federal motor carrier safety administration have adopted safety regulations because of the size, capacity, and operational characteristics of commercial trucks. Most States including, Michigan, have statutorily adopted many of the federal safety regulations. In addition, in most states, these large heavy trucks above a certain weight are required to register and obtain operating authority. Michigan requires periodic vehicle inspections be done by independent mechanics. Our law firm knows that in-house inspectors cannot be trusted because they tend to put profits over safety.
In this photo a semi truck struck the rear of a pick up truck. The destructive force of weight and size of the semi truck is demonstrated in this photo.
A big rig inspection usually involves the brakes, steering gear, suspension, tires, and a countless number of other mechanical parts evaluation. Federal and State Law usually require annual commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inspections. After a crash the big rig can be investigated and inspected whenever the mechanical condition of a heavy truck involved in an accident is suspected to have played a role in the crash. Big rigs are driven many miles in one year and have significant wear and tear quickly. Don’t ever rely on the last inspection, your lawyer should try to inspect the vehicle after your accident to find-out the condition of the vehicle at the time of the crash. Our team of big rig crash lawyers and investigators try to get out to the crash scene, immediately, to gather evidence of the condition of the heavy truck that injured you.
States issue CDL books that provide learning instructions on the requirements to educate truck drivers. Big rig heavy truck drivers conduct, or their performance can usually be compared to the textbook requirements after a truck accident to see where they committed driver errors. Our team of semi-truck accident injury lawyers are experienced and familiar with trucking textbooks and rules applicable to your truck accident case. Most lawyers are only familiar with the rules applicable to light vehicle drivers, which is the same as your everyday passenger vehicles. Our freight truck accident lawyers are experienced in the special licensing requirements for hazardous materials (hazmat) drivers, special tests for tanker and doubles or triples drivers, and pre-trip inspections and general licensing regulations which don't pertain to other types of passenger motor vehicle drivers.
Heavy Truck accidents are unique in many ways. Our personal injury truck accident lawyers know that even without causing personal injury, big rig truck accidents can be expensive and involve substantially more property damages than that done by passenger vehicle accidents. In addition to property damage, a heavy rig truck accident can cause environmental damage due to fuel spills or highway structural damage, if a semi-tractor trailer wipes out an overhead sign or smashes guardrails, and the concrete median divider wall. Big rig accidents may have complex damage determinations and larger liability exposure than you would normally expect from a passenger vehicle accident crash scene.
Personal injury cases involving heavy trucks will likewise probably involve greater devastation and injuries than similar accidents between two passenger vehicles. Due to their weight and size, passenger vehicles making contact with big rigs do not require very much force because of the tract-trailer trucks lack bumpers and underride protection on both sides and rear of the large truck. The big rig truck compared to other smaller vehicles can cause potentially greater harm to the occupants of smaller or lighter passenger vehicles.
In some cases, the big rig driver can suffer serious injuries for the same reasons. The high center of gravity and badly built cabs make big rigs vulnerable to rollover crashes, which is how most fatal injuries suffered by heavy truck occupants happen. In motor vehicle accidents with big rigs, some of the injuries are caused by occupant entrapment or asphyxiation. In some cases, the big rig truck driver is trapped under the weight of the cab and cannot breathe or cannot escape a fire or other hazard. Sometimes, the truck driver can have an insurance claim beyond the typical workers compensation claim when a truck driver is seriously injured or killed.
Our focus is on truck accident causation as soon as we are hired because several factors need to be considered such as the human factors, the types of vehicles involved, and the environment where the crash occurred. A crash scene visit can shed light on highway signage, weather conditions, and any visibility factor involved in the injury crash accident. Our law firm is very familiar with the techniques used to determine how these potential factors played a role in your crash, which can be complex and complicated for trucks and truckers more so than they are for other types of basic vehicles and their operators. Your case depends on your lawyers understanding of the law and specific facts of your case to successfully maximize your compensation after your life changing injuries.
Our heavy truck accident injury lawyers have handled some of the most challenging truck accident issues over the past 30 years. If you hire us, you know our law firm has special knowledge and perform careful investigations to evaluate fault in a trucking accident.
Call us at (866) 447-3563 or fill out our online contact form to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our large truck accident injury attorneys. We give you a written no win, no fee guarantee — you will never be asked to pay a penny up front and only pay fees if you are successful in securing compensation for yourself.