You are required by law to wear your seatbelt. You are required by law to drive the speed limit and adhere to road signs and signals. You are required by law to not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when operating a vehicle. These are the basic expectations of you when you get into your car. But you, hopping in your car to drive to the grocery store, are not the same as a trucker getting behind an 18-Wheeler and taking off down the highway.
You are not required by law to walk around the perimeter of your vehicle before operating it. You are not required by law to check the brakes each time you drive. You are not required by law to log your driving time accurately. You are not limited, by law, on what time you can drive, how long you can drive, and the amount of rest you have to have before driving. But law requires truckers to do each of these things. Why? You are just driving to the grocery store. But the trucker behind the 18-Wheeler is driving for 11+ straight hours, for maybe the third time this week, and is on a tight schedule.
Your car, maybe a 2,900 pound Prius or a 5,200 pound Suburban, is not the same as an 80,000 pound 18-Wheeler. Your 4 wheels require much less brake maintenance when compared to their 18. These tractor-trailers are more complicated and require a more specific knowledge of operation. There are more factors at play every time the vehicle is started.
There is a reason that truck drivers have to get a specific drivers license to operate an 18-Wheeler. The rules and regulations surrounding the trucking industry are so specific and numerous that just a regular license is not enough to ensure the safety of both the trucker and of other drivers out on the road. They must study and pass a specific test to earn a CDL license.
All this suffices to say that a wreck with an 18-wheeler is not just another car wreck. Physically speaking, the force of impact is much stronger in a wreck with a tractor-trailer, making the driver of the other vehicle much more likely to sustain injuries. The physics behind 18-wheeler wrecks are much more complicated than any other car wreck. When you press down the brakes on your car, only 4 need to respond. There are many more in an 18-wheeler. There are both trailer brakes and tractor brakes. Even if the brakes on the trailer work, if the brakes on the tractor fail, there could still be trouble stopping, resulting in a wreck. They are harder vehicles to control, and it is important in any wreck to carefully map out exactly what happened to break down the causes of a wreck.
The litigation of these types of cases is also much more complicated. Because there are more laws that regulate the trucking industry, the litigation process is much bigger. It requires more hands on deck, an intense attention to detail, and a vast knowledge of the regulatory laws. This is why a law firm with experience in these cases is vital to the success of any litigation.
Truck wrecks are not the same as car wrecks. They are special cases that require special attention.