Semi-Truck Accidents Are Not the Same as Car Accidents

The vast majority of Americans have been in some type of motor vehicle collision.  If you are lucky, then it was just a small dent in your fender and everyone went their separate ways.  If it was anything more serious, then you know that it can be a very unpleasant experience.  There is the hassle of insurance adjusters who spend their days plotting against injury victims and making excuses for not paying for property damages.  It may be sleepless nights, excruciating pain and missing time from work or your family because of injuries.

Now imagine all that but the whole situation is made worse by being involved in a crash with a semi-truck.  There are many reasons why semi-truck accidents are different and much more difficult than regular car accident cases.  There are many reasons that this is the case but in this blog, I will discuss some of the most common aspects that tend to be unique to trucking cases.

Serious Injuries

When you are in a passenger vehicle (car, truck, keep or motorcycle), it is uncomfortable to imagine what a loaded semi-truck weighs.  They can weigh upward of 60,000 to 90,000 pounds and it is hard to think about what that can do to a vehicle and its passengers.

The risk of serious injury or even death greatly increases when there is a collision between a semi-truck and another vehicle.  The small vehicles will often be crushed under the impact.  When the injuries are more catastrophic, there is a need to conduct a more thorough investigation of the crash.  This will mean more medical professionals, investigators and expert witnesses to help build your damages case and assess the long-term injuries of an accident victim.

Denial of Liability

Many truck drivers are trained by their employers to deny fault.  This denial means that many truck drivers will say anything to protect their jobs and their livelihood.  Often, the largest trucking companies keep the big New Mexico insurance defense firms on retainer to go out and immediately investigate a car crash.  This means that bad information obtained can be hidden since it is covered by the Attorney Work Product Privilege.

In addition to the normal claims of negligence against the truck driver, the injury victim will also need to prove liability against the trucking company.  This could also mean working hard to prove that the weight of the cargo was distributed improperly, the driver was forced to work longer hours or drive to meet a quota pressuring him to hurry.  Acquiring this evidence will be difficult and you will need an attorney to make sure that you find out as much as you can to make your case as strong as possible.

Expert Witnesses

Because the trucking companies take semi-truck accidents so seriously and because the injuries are likely to be more severe, there is a greater likelihood that you will need more specialized expert witnesses than a normal run-of-the-mill car accident case.  The attorneys are more obstreperous when working for the trucking company and that will require specialized medical experts.  In addition, it is common to hire trucking experts, accident reconstructionist and human factors experts in trucking cases.

Federal Court

A very serious complication for trucking cases, is that they are frequently removed to United States Federal Court based on diversity of jurisdiction.  This means that the amount in controversy is greater than $75,000 and the defendants are from a different state.  The trucking attorneys know that being in the Federal Court is more favorable to trucking companies and defendants in general.  Having a knowledgeable attorney to work to keep the case out of Federal Court when possible can greatly increase the value of your claim.

Time Sensitive Information

Trucking companies will not keep important evidence any longer than they are required to by law.  This means that you need an attorney to ensure the preservation of important evidence that may be vital in proving your case.  IF the evidence is later destroyed, then you may have separate claims for spoliation of evidence.

If you have been involved in a crash with a semi-truck, then you should talk to the experienced attorneys at Whitener Law Firm.   Contact Whitener Law Firm ONLINE or at (505) 883-RUSS for a FREE CONSULTATION.  Remember there is NO ATTORNEY FEE unless you settle or win your case. 

After a Crash, Don’t Accept Quick Cash… call Whitener Law Firm, P.A.