All accidents are scary and should be taken seriously, but those involving tractor-trailer trucks are far more likely to cause trips to the hospital and the personal injury attorney’s office afterward. These vehicles are simply much larger and carry much more force than the average passenger vehicle car accidents.
There are many notable differences between car accidents and tractor-trailer accidents, which cause these incidents to spur on tort lawsuits more often. The first and most obvious difference is the cause of the accident.
Jackknifing is not something that a passenger vehicle is likely to experience, unless of course, it is pulling a trailer, but even in that case, the force remains much less significant than when a tractor-trailer jackknifes. This occurs when control is lost and the trailer no longer moves in conjunction with the truck. This results in the forward momentum of the trailer carrying it up alongside the truck, forming a very tight V-shape between the two. This is most commonly experienced on wet or slippery roads, and, as one might imagine, the driver has little or no control of the vehicle after it occurs. That spells trouble for any nearby drivers and potential car accidents.
Added Cargo Weight. Even filled to capacity, a passenger vehicle will not weigh as much as an unloaded tractor-trailer. So, add in the weight of cargo, which can be a very significant mass. Additionally, this cargo can be toxic, flammable, live, or otherwise introduce another level of hazard in an accident situation. When cargo isn’t loaded correctly, it can make it very difficult for the driver to control the massive weight, and liquids sloshing about in a tank can change the direction of momentum on the road.
Levels of Negligence. Even in a typical St. Petersburg car accident, there can be many different parties at fault. The drivers, of course, are the most likely to be named. But, there are also vehicle manufacturers, car repair services, and those in charge of road maintenance that could be found to be at fault, depending on the cause of the accident. In a tractor-trailer accident, the number of potential players is much larger. The trucking company could be at fault for failing to abide by trucking regulations, or the loading dock operators could be responsible for failing to secure the load properly.
Difficulty of the Case. Trucking companies can be very large, wealthy, and powerful organizations. They will often have on-staff attorneys that are ever-ready to battle lawsuits related to tractor-trailer accidents. That is why it is so essential that you speak to a lawyer in Saint Petersburg as soon as you are medically able after an accident like this.
The results of a tractor-trailer accident can be extremely devastating. Having 80,000 pounds rushing toward your small car or van would undoubtedly be a terrifying experience. It can also lead to major losses – loss of life, loss of physical ability, loss of mental facilities, loss of physical property, loss of wages, and more. These accidents are considered very serious and the courts aim to protect those who are innocent in such crashes. You will need assistance, however, to ensure that you get proper compensation so that you don’t suffer financially for someone else’s negligence. There are professionals in this city prepared to assist you in collecting evidence, filing the case, and negotiating a possible settlement. If the case does go to court, you will be backed by educated, experienced attorneys.