After an 18 wheeler accident, a personal injury lawyer can review the facts and possibly help with the necessary steps to get life back on track for the victim. Cargo trucks and semis are extremely dangerous vehicles in careless hands, capable of destroying multiple cars in a single crash. These wrecks often leave behind devastating injuries, including paralysis, organ damage, brain damage or chronic health complications. In truth, the victim’s life can be forever changed after surviving a crash with a semi, both physically and mentally.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A WRECK WITH A SEMI?
When an 18 wheeler accident occurs, an injury lawyer will have to build a case around the details of the crash. Most important is how the wreck was caused. Semis are huge, unwieldy vehicles, and the smallest mistake can send them careening out of control.
In most cases, semi crashes are the result of driver error, lapses in maintenance, or manufacturing defects.
Manufacturing defects aren’t common, but they can create problems out of nowhere and cause total vehicle failure. Engine failure, brake failure, tire failure or problems with the cargo area can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash. In the aftermath of a semi wreck, investigators will be sent to the area to determine if vehicle failure was a factor in the incident. If investigators find faults somewhere in the vehicle’s build, an attorney will name the vehicle manufacturer as a defendant in the case.
Lapses in maintenance are much more common, which is unacceptable because it is entirely preventable. Trucking companies are responsible for keeping their fleet in good working condition, and this means regular inspections, and repairs when needed. The most common issues with maintenance involve the brakes, tires or cargo area of the vehicle. Tires must be properly pressurized at all times, and drivers are equipped with pressure gauges to help them maintain optimal air pressure. It is imperative that brakes be inspected for responsiveness and to determine if there are any issues to be concerned with. The cargo bed of the truck includes a number of clamps and ties, and trucking companies must observe federal regulations when securing cargo.
Driver error is also common and is usually the result of reckless driving or driver fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers to receive regular rest, especially while they are on the road. However, drivers are often encouraged to move as quickly as possible to their destination, making sleep a secondary priority and pushing the driver into an unsafe situation. If a driver’s inattention or reckless driving causes an 18 wheeler accident, an injury lawyer will use these facts to pursue a higher settlement on the victim’s behalf.
Recovery from a semi crash is often prolonged and painful, but with the help of a legal professional, it doesn’t have to be financially ruinous.