Auto wrecks involving 18 wheeler tractor trailers can be devastating. The size and weight differences between a commercial tractor trailer and a passenger automobile mean that the occupants of the passenger auto will absorb a large amount of force when a collision occurs. The resulting injuries can be severe, and often fatal. Many of the wrongful death claims handled by Tate Rehmet Law Office stem from tractor trailer accidents.
Commercial motor vehicles are defined as any truck or tractor trailer with a gross motor vehicle weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds. 18 wheelers which are a tractor and trailer combination usually weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Commercial motor vehicles include rock haulers, oil field service trucks, and most any tractor hauling a trailer. All commercial motor vehicles are subject to the Code of Federal Regulations, most of which have been adopted by the various states. These regulations impose a complex set of rules upon the drivers of these large trucks and the companies who employ them. Those regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can drive, and require the trucking companies who employ them to perform background checks and periodic drug testing. In addition, there are many other rules surrounding the safe operation of these large trucks and many times, these regulations are not followed. If these regulations are not followed and an accident ensues, the damages can be devastating.
Tate Rehmet Personal Injury Lawyers Investigate Tractor Trailer Accidents
The lawyers at Tate Rehmet Law Office will aggressively pursue the driver and his company for the careless operation of the 18 wheeler, and investigate to determine if the driver and the company violated the law. The investigation may include gathering computer data from the truck. These large trucks often have a “black box” of sorts, called an electronic control module (ECM). The ECM will record and save data, including the speed, gearing, and engagement of the brake among other data, in the event of a wreck. This data must be downloaded from the ECM after the wreck, and can give valuable evidence in a case. In addition, the lawyers at Tate Rehmet will obtain the drivers’ log to determine whether the driver violated the limit on the number of hours driven, and compare that log to other evidence to determine if the log was falsified. Comparing the log to other records such as fuel receipts, bills of lading, satellite inventory tracking data, and other evidence frequently shows the driver lied in his logs so he could drive more hours than allowed. This type of evidence can eventually be lost or destroyed, so gathering this evidence quickly may be critical to the success or failure of the case.
Tractor Trailer Accident Values
Truck and tractor trailer accidents can have more value than an accident involving only passenger autos for several reasons. Usually, the injuries caused by tractor trailers are more severe due to the weight and speed of the truck. In addition, state and federal law requires these large trucks to carry large insurance policies with higher limits, typically $500,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 and many times the amount of money available to compensate the victims exceeds $1,000,000.00. Furthermore, juries feel little sympathy for truck companies, especially if that company is caught violating the laws mentioned above in an attempt to gain more profit.
Call Tate Rehmet Law Office for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney if you have questions about a truck or tractor trailer accident at (903) 892-4440. The initial call and investigation is always free of charge. Our office is conveniently located at 2902 N. US Highway 75, in Sherman, Texas. Please feel free to stop by any time.