Lawyers in our firm handle a large number of areas arising out of crashes involving large trucks. They have learned a great deal over the years. It’s estimated that there are currently more than 2 million 18-wheelers on U.S. highways. Each rig can weigh from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds. Unfortunately, the presence of those large trucks on the roads can pose serious risks to the safety of motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large trucks accounted for 3,964 fatalities in 2013. That marked the fourth straight jump in annual large truck-involved fatalities, dating back to 2009.
Based on our firm’s experience in handling cases involving 18-wheeler accidents, we realize there are few “accidents” in that litigation. In the overwhelming majority of those type incidents, somebody is at fault and caused the incident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that the top 10 most common factors causing these accidents are fatigue, brake problems, distractions, traffic flow interruption, prescription drug use, drunk driving, traveling too fast for conditions, unfamiliarity with roadway, over-the-counter drug use, and inadequate surveillance.
While many of the factors set out above are attributed to the fault of the driver, there can be others who share in the blame. The trucking company, the manufacturer of the trucks, and the supplier of parts also can be at fault. Also, there can be a third party who is responsible for maintaining the truck involved in a crash.
In handling litigation involving 18 wheeler accidents, it’s very important to do a thorough initial investigation. That includes getting to the scene as soon as possible after being hired to represent a victim, locating witnesses, and surveying the area. Also, a good search of records is an absolute necessity. If you need more information relating to 18 wheeler litigation, contact Julia A. Beasley or Chris Glover, lawyers in our firm’s Personal Injury and Product Liability Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Julia.Beasley@beasleyallen.com and Chris.Glover@beasleyallen.com.
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